The IEP meeting is over. So now what?

advocacy distrance learning education iep parenting school special education special needs teachers Dec 10, 2020
3 things to always do after an IEP meeting to ensure that everyone agrees on decisions and action items that were discussed during the meeting.
The IEP meeting is over. So now what? Before you begin to pour that glass of wine, let’s review 3 of my golden rules.
As a Master IEP Coach, special needs families typically begin to tap into my services when they are discouraged that the IEP team members are not remembering agreed upon decisions from prior meetings. Who has experienced this situation?
When this occurs, my first question to the parent is… Where is the written documentation of the decision(s) that you are referring to? Unfortunately, too often there is no documentation.  This leads me to my 3 Golden Rules I encourage everyone to follow to prevent this stressful situation from occurring to you.
💛 GOLDEN RULE #1: “If it is not written down, it didn’t happen!” As an equal member of the IEP Team, parents are just as responsible as the school to ensure key decisions and discussions are documented. So, to ensure you have an adequate paper trail it leads me to my next 2 Golden Rules.
💛💛 GOLDEN RULE #2: “Prior Written Notice (PWN) is a powerful procedural safeguard for parents.” It requires a school to give parents written notice any time it adds, changes or denies educational services to your child. This includes, but is not limited to evaluations, supports, services and placements. A PWN can result from an IEP meeting. Parents, please request to receive a PWN during and after the meeting. Upon receiving it, review to ensure it adequately states what you agreed to.
A PWN must include a full description of what the school plans to do or refuses to do along with:
✅ An explanation of why the school wants to make this change or is refusing to make the change you requested
✅ A description of other options that were considered and why those options were rejected
✅ A description of the data the school used to make the decision
💛💛💛 GOLDEN RULE #3: “Within 24 to 48 hours after an IEP Meeting, send an email message to the team outlining the key discussions points and action items you captured.” A lot of information is tossed around during an IEP meeting. Capturing that information in meeting notes can be an invaluable reference tool for future conversations. Make it as simple as bullet points in an email. You can even note that you are expecting a PWN which will detail xxx decisions points.
There you have it, investing some extra documentation time after the IEP meeting will help reduce future frustrations. Now sit back and enjoy that well-deserved glass of wine! 
Have questions? Lets begin to dig into them together.  
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