3 1. IEP meetings may be lengthy An IEP meeting involves a significant amount of discussion and review of a number of documents.You should schedule up to two hours for a typical IEP meeting and longer if the meeting will involve an initial evaluation, reevaluation or disciplinary decision.
4 2. Participants at your child’s IEP meeting Required members are an LEA representative, typically an administrator, a special education teacher, and a general education teacher.Additional participants may include: a school psychologist, a speech language pathologist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist and additional teachers.As a parent/guardian, you may bring anyone you need with you to an IEP meeting. If you bring an attorney to an IEP meeting, UCPS will do likewise. Neither parents/guardians nor UCPS staff can reject a participant invited to attend an IEP meeting.
5 3. Acting in a professional and appropriate manner is expected of all IEP team members, including parents.As a professional meeting convened to discuss your child, there are standards of behavior which all IEP team members are expected to follow and include:Utilizing mutual respect and civilitySpeaking in calm, quiet voicesNo interruptions of individual’s points (Avoiding interrupting individuals)Being mindful of body languageRefraining from any behavior that may be considered verbally or physically threateningStaying objective and focused on the issues at hand and not taking discussion personallyAppropriate behavior promotes an orderly and productive IEP meeting and encourages positive communication, which provides valuable input regarding the decisions for your child.
6 4. Unprofessional behavior at an IEP meeting makes it difficult for the team to work together to meet your child’s educational needs.UCPS expects parents/guardians to come to an IEP meeting feeling passionate about having their child’s educational needs met. Inappropriate behavior on the part of any IEP team member, however, will hinder the team’s ability to work productively to develop a positive IEP for your child.Team members engaging in inappropriate behaviors may be asked to leave the IEP meeting. The IEP team will continue with the IEP meeting upon this request.Calming and focusing strategies are employed during contentious meetings, such as breaks. In rare situations, it may be necessary to postpone the meeting and reconvene at a later date if possible.If, when scheduling or requesting an IEP meeting, the parent or school has concerns that the meeting will be contentious, either can request that a state facilitator be included. This involves submitting a Facilitated IEP Meeting Request form to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Both the parent and the school must consent to the involvement of a state facilitator.
7 5. Drafts of IEP documents are permissible for discussion at your child’s IEP meeting. It is not unusual for a parent/guardian to be presented with drafts of the documents to be discussed at an IEP meeting. These drafts are created by the Exceptional Children’s case manager in order to facilitate discussion and efficient use of time. However, they are just that: drafts, which can be changed based on the discussions and the decisions of the IEP team.
8 6. Copies of draft documents may be provided to you before the meeting and copies of completed documents will be given to you after the meeting, including a copy of the Handbook of Parent’s Rights when appropriate.You have a right to obtain copies of the draft documents. Contact your child’s case manager if you chose to make this request, allowing a reasonable amount of time before the meeting to request the copies. Please understand that the documents may not be ready until a few days prior to the IEP meeting and changes may occur before the meeting.You will be provided copies of the documents before you leave the IEP meeting if you attend. Copies of the documents will be sent home to you if you are not in attendance. The Handbook of Parents’ Rights must be given to you one time each school year and at the following times:when your child is first referred for evaluation or when you request an evaluationwhen you request a copywhen your child is removed for disciplinary reasons and the removal results in the change of placement
9 7. As an integral part of the IEP team be sure to ask questions for clarification. The purpose of an IEP meeting is to ensure parents/guardians and staff have a voice in decisions and that everyone involved with the student understands the services to be provided. Parents/guardians are an integral part of the IEP team. If you have questions or concerns after the meeting, your child’s case manager can help you address them.
10 8. The IEP team discusses and considers many things during the course of an IEP meeting. The team then comes to a decision based on consensus.Decisions at an IEP meeting are made by consensus, not by vote. The final decision is documented on the DEC 5- Prior Written Notice form. All members will have an opportunity to review and draft what is written on this form and all should agree that the information accurately reflects what was discussed and decided upon at the meeting. However, all IEP members may not agree with the final decisions.
11 The IEP team discusses and makes decisions regarding your child’s education. There are several areas where the IEP team does not have authority to make decisions. These areas include:Promotion/ retention concernsGraduation requirementExcusal of excessive absencesAssignment of school staffAssignment of students to specific classes or schoolsAreas governed by Board of Education policyDisciplinary consequencesGrades and granting of creditPersonnel concerns
12 UCPS works hard to make this a collaborative process UCPS works hard to make this a collaborative process. However, there may be instances when parents and school staff do not agree. If the team decides there is an impasse regarding a decision, then the LEA representative and IEP team members from the school will make the final decision. The decision will be documented on the DEC 5 Prior Written Notice form, with the details of the impasse, including a statement of the parents’ disagreement, and description of the final IEP team decision. As the parent you will receive a copy of the Handbook of Parent’s Rights, which includes a description of the dispute-resolution options available.
13 9. You may be asked to sign several documents during the meeting. You will be asked to sign several documents, such as the IEP and a DEC 5 Prior Written Notice form, after they have been reviewed. Your signature indicates attendance and participation. It does not indicate agreement.There are two documents on which your signature is required for indication of whether or not you give your consent for the action(s) described:A DEC 2 Consent for Evaluation/Reevaluation form to initiate testing for evaluation or reevaluationA DEC 6 Consent for Initial Provision of Special Education and Related Services if it is determined that Special Education services are to be provided.
14 10. Under certain circumstances, the IEP team may meet without you. The IEP team can proceed without a parent in attendance if:The parent/guardian has been provided an Invitation to Conference form within a reasonable amount of time (defined as seven to 10 calendar days) prior to the IEP meeting, and, a second Invitation to Conference form has been issued and:The parent/guardian has not responded to the invitations or;The parent/guardian has responded given the IEP team permission to meet without him or her or;The parent/guardian has declined to attend or reschedule the meeting or;The parent/guardian agreed to attend but canceled or does not show up on the day of the meeting.
15 Additional Information: For additional information please visit the Parent Resources link on the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction website: