It’s a new year, and time for fresh starts. Rich Weinfeld offers three ways parents can re-engage with their child’s IEP team and better track educational progress in 2020.
Number One: Remember, your child’s IEP is a fluid document and can be updated at any time.
If your child has had an IEP for some time, you’ve heard this, but it’s a great time of year to be reminded. IEP goals can be revised at any time in the school year. And, as you approach your child’s annual review, you are going to want to know if your child is achieving their goals or not.
If you suspect that your child is not meeting a goal, that’s a good reason to call an IEP meeting. The IEP team is responsible for helping students reach those goals and tracking their progress.
Parents, if your child is doing well, this could be a time to inquire about a new, more challenging goal.
Yes, you can set a new goal in the middle of the new year, and this could be based upon good or bad news. It could be time for a new goal because the student has achieved a goal, which is great news. Or it could be that revisions are in order because maybe a standard was set too high or there’s a new area of challenge. If a parent sees a new area of challenge, they will want to present to the IEP team any data they have that supports that need.
I strongly encourage all parents to collect and present their own data at IEP meetings. Parents can bring forth important evidence through the monitoring of homework or other school-related tasks. Parents can note how much time and effort was made on a certain assignment, and what the level of frustration was as well. Parents can also present up-to-date documentation from outside providers, such as tutors, therapists and related service providers.
Your child is not “stuck” with an IEP that you know needs improvement for the remainder of their school year. This is a good time to make mid-course corrections.
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