7 TIPS FOR IEP PLANNING IN AUGUST
If your child receives special education, chances are you took a much-needed break from the worry and planning of the school year. Although school is still out, there are a few things you should be doing now to prepare your child for a successful fall. Keep in mind with the tips below, that if you communicate with the school either in person or by phone, it’s best practice to follow up in writing (email works) to ensure there is a record of your request(s) or concern(s).
#1: Ensure you received at least one ESY IEP progress report and review it for progress.
If your child received Extended School Year (ESY), you should receive at least one progress report for all the goals worked on for all weeks of ESY. The ESY section of the IEP should specify what goals are/were being worked on.
#2: Request an IEP team meeting now if needed.
You don’t need to wait until school starts to request or have an IEP team meeting. Since school teachers and staff report to work prior to the first day, you should request an IEP team meeting now if you think the team would benefit from a meeting before the first day of school.
#3: Visit the school.
If you’re concerned about your child’s transition to a new school, class or teacher(s), plan a visit to the school with your child to meet his/her teacher(s), see the new classroom/school and review any new routines.
#4: Ensure an aid has been hired.
If your child’s IEP provides for the support of an aid, contact the school now and find out whether that person has been hired. If you don’t receive a satisfactory answer, continue to follow up and/or go up the chain of command since schools often do not have control over who and how aids are hired.
#5: Ensure any specialized programs or materials have been obtained.
If the district or IEP team agreed to provide your child with any specialized programs or materials, contact the school now to see if that has been done. If it has not, ask what the plan is to ensure it’s available for the first day of school.
#6: Ensure any necessary staff training has been completed.
If the district or IEP team agreed to provide staff training for something your child requires, contact them to confirm it has been completed. If it has not, ask what the plan is to complete such training prior to the start of school.
#7: Ensure transportation accommodations have been put in place.
If your child’s IEP provides for transportation services/accommodations like a bus aid, a specialized bus route, or any other accommodations required for the ride, call the department(s) responsible to ensure it actually happens on day one.
Consider the help of an educational consultant, or special education lawyer to understand your child’s program and get the supports and services your child needs.
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