Your Guide to the Special Education Identification Process – Step 4

Step 4: IEP meeting is held and the IEP is written.

The school system schedules and conducts the IEP meeting. When scheduling this meeting, the school staff must:

  • Contact the participants, including the parents
  • Notify parents early enough to make sure they have an opportunity to attend
  • Schedule the meeting at a time and place agreeable to parents and the school
  • Tell the parents the purpose, time, and location of the meeting
  • Tell the parents who will be attending
  • Tell the parents that they may invite people to the meeting who have knowledge or special expertise about the child

The IEP team gathers to talk about your child’s needs and write your student’s IEP. You, as parents, and your child (when appropriate) are part of the team. If your child’s placement is decided by a different group, you must be part of that group as well.

For tips on how to make the most of your child’s IEP meeting, see this informative article.

Before the school system may provide special education and related services to your child for the first time, you must give consent. Your child begins to receive services as soon as possible after the meeting.

If you do not agree with the IEP and placement, you may discuss your concerns with other members of the IEP team and try to work out an agreement. If they still disagree, you can ask for mediation, or the school may offer mediation. You may file a complaint with the state education agency and may request a due process hearing, at which time mediation must be available.

Once services are provided, the school makes sure that your child’s IEP is being carried out as it was written. You are given a copy of the IEP. Each of your child’s teachers and service providers has access to the IEP and knows his or her specific responsibilities for carrying out the IEP. This includes the accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be provided to your child, in keeping with the IEP.

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