12. "We did our best to schedule everyone, but the general education teacher is unable to attend."
Why is this statement problematic?
The law is very specific about who comprises the IEP team and, therefore,
who must be present at the IEP meeting. The absence of any team member (or
an inadequate time frame for that member to provide input) can hinder the
IEP process. For example, if a child is learning how to use a cane, all team
members need to understand and support the development of these skills.
If a team member leaves early or is absent, he will not have the information
necessary to support these skills. In the case that the parents and school
agree that a team member may be excused from attending the meeting, his/her
input can be provided in writing.
Possible Responses for Parents/Advocates
- “We think Mr. Smith’s input is important to the goals we were planning
to address today. Let’s reschedule for when he is able to attend. Since my
husband and I took off work, we can stay and do some pre-planning with Mrs.
Afuaku and Mr. Wong regarding goals for Jordan in their areas of expertise.
That way we will have an outline for some of the goals that we can share
with everyone at the actual IEP meeting.”
- “The IEP meeting is the chance for all of us to be on the same page about
Laura’s educational services and goals. We cannot do this if everyone is
not here. In the future, we insist that you contact us in advance if you
know a team member can’t be present for all or part of the meeting. We believe
that we all want to plan an educational program that specifically targets
Laura’s academic needs. There is really no point in spending all this time
talking without the entire IEP team present.”
Read the Law
Collabortive effort between the
National Center on Severe and Sensory Disabilities
and the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children
Copyright © 2008 National Center on Severe and Sensory Disabilities
Copyright © 2006 National Center on Low-Incidence Disabilities
Permission to use for educational purposes granted.