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IEP FAQs: When Do I Get a Copy of the IEP?

by Wrightslaw

How long should a school have to get me a copy of the revised IEP after my son’s IEP meeting?

You should get a copy of your child’s IEP right away. There is no reason for any delay. Write a short polite letter to request a copy.

If the school wants to send you a “clean” copy” later, thank them, but make it clear that you want a copy of the original IEP before you leave the meeting. Ask that they send you the “clean copy” when it’s available. When you get the clean copy, compare it to the original.

What is the standard practice in your district?… Please vote in the poll

In my district, I receive a copy of the IEP

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182 Comments on "IEP FAQs: When Do I Get a Copy of the IEP?"

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10/01/2008 10:15 am

Texas: Use to be within 1-2 days — if I made changes; Same day if I make no changes.

After studying (and becoming “knowledgeable”) WrightsLaw — never leave meeting without it — PERIOD.

10/01/2008 8:48 am

Never sign an IEP at the meeting unless you agree 100% with everything in the IEP. Also, number the pages and initial them. If you ever go to due process, some school districts will remove pages or change the pages at a later time. ALWAYS, have all interventions and related services included in IEP – SD’s intentionally omit the services in the IEP and the minutes. I have had the SD change records, luckily I have several copies of all documentation.

10/01/2008 8:42 am

In our district you recieve a “draft IEP” at the meeting that has been written before you arrive. Because of that it often feels like you are not contributing to the plan but hearing about what has been planned.

10/01/2008 6:15 am

It is easy to get a copy of an IEP with the IU in our district. Have only delt with pre-school at this point.

09/30/2008 10:27 pm

My school district is a total loss in our lives. I may have left the meeting with a copy of the IEP (notes, cross outs and changes on it), and to ask for a clean copy would have been cause for a huge delay. Even when instructed to fill out amendments and get them to me for signature it was not done…….then they could come back and say that what was agreed on never happened. There’s one supervisor that’s considered to be the SATAN of all SpED people and this person is disliked by all parents.

09/30/2008 9:59 pm

With the various timeframes given in this blog, my question is at what point does the child’s teachers get a copy of the IEP?

Having the electronic version allows you to email the IEP to the teachers who leave as soon as they sign the document that they have just committed to memory.

This also allows them to have quick access to it in the event that their memory isn’t working so well.

09/30/2008 8:42 pm

As an ECSE teacher, I prefer to make a copy of the IEP and give it to the parents at the end of the meeting. Sometimes meetings run long, and I have back-to-back meetings. In those cases, I ask the parents if I may send the copy of the IEP home the next school day with their child.

09/30/2008 7:14 pm

We get a draft IEP before the meeting and I always send in goals/objectives from our standpoint as parents and from our son’s standpoint … although they always seem to appreciate the things I send in, they never, in part or whole, make it onto the IEP but I always give a copy of them to the teacher on the first or second day of school the next year anyway.
When we leave the IEP meeting we have an updated draft copy in hand, and get the clean copy for our signatures within a couple of days. We do not… Read more »

09/30/2008 7:09 pm

I have been given one before I leave the school or if I do not have time to wait then I am able to pick it up when I return to get JK It is very important to go over and over it because mistakes are made. Currently we have a great team but it has taken alot of patience and understanding from both sides. It seems to get better when they realized that YOU WILL be involved and that THEY HAVE to work with you. A parent has to be willing to dedicate their time… Read more »

09/30/2008 6:53 pm

I have been told 2x at IEP meetings that School Board approval was needed before I could receive a copy of my son’s IEP. Both times there was a change in placement recommendations.

09/30/2008 6:30 pm

I am a special ed teacher/case manager. The county I am in now in GA (as do many other counties) requires that I give a copy when the meeting is over of the final version of the IEP. We do have a computer program (I’ve done them by hand too, though!) and so it is relatively easy to make the changes in the meeting and print them off for the parent. This allows us to take a draft in to the meeting and get the parent’s input (which should be going on prior to the meeting as well!)… Read more »

09/30/2008 5:25 pm

We are teaching our parents in the Northern California Area to get the copy at the meeting, they don’t have to have it signed by them if they don’t understand what they have read and to give themselves time to soak it in before they sign it (99.9%). IF there is some things they do agree with and understand or services are clear to them of course sign it, with stipulations that its not all agreed upon but I am consenting to X services.

09/30/2008 4:55 pm

After several attempts in writing my attorney had to request it, and the IEP was received the day before our hearing!

09/30/2008 4:54 pm

I have moved several times in the course of my children’s schooling, including changing states three times. I have always recieved the IEP the day of the meeting, either immediately or coming home (in a sealed envelope) with my child at the end of that day.

09/30/2008 4:28 pm

They will take conference notes, but the notes do not reflect the truth of what was said. They change times for services without discussing it with us. My child is non-verbal, we cannot get anyone to give her an augmentive communication assessment. They give her devices that she cannot access.

09/30/2008 2:13 pm

In our district in MO, it usually takes 2-3 weeks to get a ‘clean’ copy of the IEP. I am handed a draft at the IEP meeting and I write everything on this draft. Then since I don’t get a copy of the draft before the meeting, I always have to take it home to ‘discuss with my husband to be sure he agrees with everything discussed.’ Last Spring it took 7 IEP meetings to get a final copy done because things discussed and agreed to weren’t included and I had detailed notes on what was agreed… Read more »

09/30/2008 2:13 pm

If the district brings a “draft” copy of your child’s IEP – you should already have a copy of it. By law, it should have been provided to you in advance. Therefore, once the IEP is discussed and finalized and everyone present has signed. They should make a copy for every team member. You should not leave that meeting without a copy of every evaluation, note from teacher, etc. that is discussed during that meeting. It is your child’s right!!

09/30/2008 1:34 pm

I do not leave any meeting with out a copy of what ever has been discussed. It is very hard to advocate well with out a good papertrail to refresh my understanding.

09/30/2008 1:26 pm

At our Son’s IEP meeting we go over the IEP. If we need to add anything to the IEP, notes are added to put in the IEP Draft copy. After the meeting we receive a copy of the IEP. In a day or so the updated copy is submitted to us. I have had a good experience in receiving the IEP. I do appreciate Wrightslaw. The information has really helped me to prepare for IEP meetings. In preparing in advance you can implement what your child needs to meet their educational needs… Read more »

09/30/2008 1:07 pm

I’m in Va and have found since showing up at my IEP meetings with some of my law library on IDEA and my tape recorder generally results in having all documentation delivered right there and then or same day- either at the meeting or home in a backpack. When I requested a blank copy in advance, I had a draft copy instead delivered in two days. It was not at all appropriate or very useful but it was a start. I left my draft IEP meeting with a copy of the pending unapproved document. My team knows I mean business… Read more »

09/30/2008 12:51 pm

We do get a copy right away but have learned to look at it very carefully before leaving. One year several pages regarding feeding therapy conveniently disappeared. We had to remind the principal that several people in the room (not district employees) had been present for the 20 min. discussion of those goals before she arranged a meeting to reinsert the pages. The bigger question is: are the goals actually being implemented? I discovered that my son’s goals of learning to use playground equipment, turn-taking, and other play-related social interactions during recess had been unilaterally… Read more »

09/30/2008 12:43 pm

In my district, in suburban Cincinnati, OH, since we start with an already developed “draft” IEP, many changes can occur. Rather than actually rethinking the way we handle the “draft” IEP process, we often have to ask the parent to wait until changes are made on the computer, so we have a “clean” IEP to keep. The turn around time for sending the “clean” IEP averages 2 days. But for parents who insist on having the signed IEP in hand when they leave, many of the staff can get changes done then and there! I encourage… Read more »

09/30/2008 11:29 am

I have 2 boys with autism in Macomb County, Michigan. I leave with a copy of the IEP in my hands.

09/30/2008 10:58 am

Our wonderful school district gives us a draft copy BEFORE the IEP meeting so we can review it and be prepared. We then get a copy when we leave the meeting with any changes noted. I also prepare a list of our goals for the boys and give it to the team members before the meeting, combining our personal goals at home, and the goals of my boys outside providers (OT, Speech, ABA). Everyone is on the same page and it makes for a very pleasant meeting where we talk about how wonderful the boys are! … Read more »

09/30/2008 10:47 am

Our school district uses outdated carbon paper copy IEP forms. Most school districts in Michigan have gone to computer forms. The use of carbon paper cory forms allows them to tear out a copy for you at the close of the IEP, however the form needs updating to reflect changes in special ed. law that have occured since the printing of the forms, and this has caused problems.

09/30/2008 10:45 am

In Ripon, California, it is very easy to get a copy of the IEP at the meeting. Sometimes they have it ready for us before the IEP meeting even starts. The problem is that it is not worth the paper it is printed on. The other problem is getting them to attach the parents concerns, BIPs, and other important information. Of course there are always errors all the way through the IEP and we spend the year going to 6 IEP meetings getting them fixed, but the IEP still isn’t worth anything because the Districts never offer what your child… Read more »

09/30/2008 10:41 am

It usually takes several days to receive the IEP from my school but I never thought of this as unreasonable. Good point that there is no reason for it to take that long. Thank you!

09/30/2008 10:10 am

I am a Parent Advocate where I run into this issue quite frequently. Many districts come to the meeting with a DRAFT IEP, but then collect them after the meeting. Often parents do not receive their IEP for several days after the meeting, most have to call the district to ask, “When am I going to receive it?”

09/30/2008 10:02 am

I usually get a copy of the IEP with notes when I leave the meeting. It is hard to read. I usually have to request sometimes more than once a revised copy of the IEP and never get the IEP minutes that I request. Comments that I know were made in the meeting usually do not make it into the final IEP. OR the statements that were made or the dicussions that happened in the meeting with the entire IEP Team are recorded in the IEP in the schools favor. Or either the statements name… Read more »

09/30/2008 10:02 am

At our last IEP meeting, they said they were having computer problems. When we got a copy of the IEP a few days later, it had NONE of the changes made to it. So the moral of the story is: don’t ever leave without your copy!!!!

09/30/2008 10:00 am

I am a parent of two children with LDs in Massachusetts. In
7 years my district has never given me the IEP draft after a meeting. In the past it could take two months before we had an IEP. In the past 4 years that has changed and I receive it within two weeks but the IEP is never correct there is always something missing that we agreed upon or the wording is too vague… So add another 2 weeks to the process.

09/30/2008 9:48 am

We live in Florida, and my 9 year old daughter has PKU, which is a metabolic disorder that can cause some learning disablilities, when we lived in Michigan she got resource time in school, and was doing pretty good. We moved to Florida and no one wants to help her, we have had one charter school refuse to take her and two public schools, she is in fourth grade, and has an IEP ( other health impaired) but is at 2nd grade level, she deserves to get an education. How do I go about getting what… Read more »

09/30/2008 9:42 am

We used to be a Xerox copy of the IEP at the end of the meeting. About a year ago everything was computerized and now it takes a couple of weeks to get a copy. And usually that copy has problems. We are also getting better at advocating, and we wonder if this is a delaying tactic.

09/30/2008 9:34 am

I just had to chase my son’s IEP paper work down. But I wasn’t surprised, after all it took 4 years from my Initial certified letter to the school district asking for testing and an IEP to receieve my request. Now that I have it in my hand I’m pulling him out of the goverment schooling system. I’m going to homeschool him just like I had to do with his 2 older sbilings.

09/30/2008 9:27 am

There is absolutely no reason why you should wait more than 15 minutes after the IEP meeting. This allows time to make copies for all interested parties. I find it very disturbing if you must wait to get the information longer than that amount of time. It gives the transcriber too much opportunity to add or delete information all parties agreeded to on the plan. I have been in IEP case conferences when it seemed like the members of the school team were a secret society; but also when everything was open and above board. … Read more »

09/30/2008 9:17 am

During the ARC meeting, at my son’s school, the IEP is actually done on their computer, which projects on a screen for all to see. Once the ARC meeting is over, I immediately receive a copy.

I like the way the school does this, because it allows time for discussion and less writing.

09/30/2008 9:12 am

It’s difficult to get a copy of my son’s IEP from our school district soon after a Committee on Special Education meeting has taken place. It is about one month before the updated IEP, including meeting minutes and goal changes, is available and even then it is stamped “DRAFT” until the Board of Education approves it. I give 2 days prior notice that I will be making an audio recording of the meeting because the minutes have historically not included all of my objections & suggestions nor are the discussions that took place represented accurately – sometimes it is… Read more »

09/30/2008 8:42 am

Saddleback Valley School District, Orange County, Calif. I write a letter (emailed and faxed) making a written request for the draft copy of the goals, reports, data sheets, 5 days in advance of an IEP. At the most recent IEP meetings, the Program Specialist has made changes on the fly – during the IEP meeting. So we leave with revised IEP. Our meetings last 3-4 hours, sometimes spanning two days. In the past we would have revised IEPs within 1-2 days.

09/30/2008 8:39 am

Our IEP experience is not normal in more than a few ways, even for our school district, which has a very sour reputation. I have not accepted an IEP in over 3 years. We are still negotiating, and now my son is 18, So we’re discussing how he can get the education and transition services he’s been asking for since freshman year of high school in a college setting with kids his age. So the concept of an actual working IEP is really foreign to me at this point.

09/30/2008 8:30 am

I write and circulate parent concerns in advance of the meeting. Other team members work on goals with my input before the meeting. If all is going well (i.e., my child is making adequate progress), we know that well before the meeting and the meeting itself becomes a non-event.

I talk to the staff “on the ground” with my daughter all the time: in person, via email and in notes back and forth. No one likes surprises. If I have a problem or they need to lead me to a difficult conclusion, we work… Read more »