A lot of school personnel, realizing the limited amount of time in the IEP meeting, may draft an IEP for the student ahead of time. The problem is, if it was not created in context of the discussions, concerns, and priorities of the parents and other IEP team members, it is out of compliance with the law. A draft IEP is truly only a list of proposed recommendations that the educational personnel happen to put on the actual form. It carries no weight until the considerations of the draft have been discussed and agreed upon by the entire IEP team, including the parent. It is true that to actually discuss, agree upon, and write the IEP in one 1.5 to 2 hr. meeting is usually impossible. Beginning to see the IEP "negotiations" as a series of meetings, emails, phone calls is probably more in line with reality. As long as you are involved with the draft, it does make sense to work ahead of time on the IEP.
Two weeks before the scheduled IEP meeting -
" I wanted to make sure that before we meet in two weeks, if you will be creating a draft of Nicole's IEP, that I get a copy of that 10 days before the meeting, so that I may come to the meeting prepared to talk about the recommendations in the draft. Better yet, let's set up a time to work on the draft together."
If you get to the meeting, and a draft is presented that you didn't know had been created -
"Because I didn't have time to look at this draft ahead of time, let's have a discussion about each of the elements, and as a team, we can incorporate the parts of the draft we determine are needed for Mike into the one we write today."