Once your child has been assessed by the school, you will be invited to attend the IEP meeting. IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan. In this meeting, you will meet with school personnel to discuss the assessment results and determine if your child is eligible for special education under IDEA 2004. The invitation to the IEP must be given at least ten days in advance and scheduled at a mutually convenient time for the parents and school personnel. Parents have a right to reschedule the IEP if necessary.
The IEP meeting must include:
• Parent or legal guardian
• Teacher who is familiar with the student
• General education teacher
• Special education teacher
• School professional(s) who is qualified to explain the test data
• School representative who is able to authorize special education
If your child is eligible for special education, an IEP will be written. The school is obligated to provide only what is documented in the IEP. Do not accept a verbal promise of anything related to your child’s education. You may take the IEP home with you to review. Carefully read the IEP and sign it only when you agree it is appropriate for your child’s education. If you do not agree to a small part of the IEP, you may ask your school if they have an informal dispute resolution, where minor disagreements can be quickly settled. If your school does not have such a process or if you are in disagreement with the IEP as a whole, your next step is to file for due process, a formal process where you will have mediation and/or a hearing in order to resolve the disagreement.