10 IEP Tips for Parents

Apr 26, 2022 | Advocacy, IEP

It’s IEP season! Here are 10 tips to help parents prepare for and navigate IEP meetings.

  1. Read the IEP meeting notice. The notice will tell you when and where the meeting will be held, who is invited, and what will be discussed. 
  2. Request an IEP draft. The school is not required to prepare a draft before the meeting. But in Virginia, if they do prepare a draft, they are required to share it with parents/guardians two business days in advance of the meeting.
  3. If you plan to record the meeting or bring an attorney, advocate, or private therapist, email the school to let them know in advance. If you want the school team members to consider private reports, share those in advance. 
  4. Review your child’s IEP progress reports, report cards, assessments and any other current data to see what needs should be addressed in the new IEP. 
  5. Review the draft IEP and compare it to the last IEP.
  6. Make notes of things you would like to see changed or added to the draft IEP. Don’t skip the present levels of performance section. It is the foundation for the IEP. If the descriptions of your child’s strengths and needs are not accurate, be prepared to ask for changes.
  7. Collect data to share with the IEP team that supports your requests, such as report cards, communications to/from teachers, IEP progress reports, assessments, evaluations, work samples, etc. 
  8. Parents are full IEP team members and should fully participate in the development of all parts of the IEP. If you don’t understand something, or when you have something to add during the meeting, speak up.
  9. During the meeting, take notes about what was requested, what the team agreed upon and what the team did not agree upon.
  10. You do not have to sign the new IEP at the meeting. It’s better to take your time, closely review the IEP and make sure all of the agreed-upon changes have been incorporated.