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The School Won’t Let Me Add Input to My Child’s IEP

08/27/09
by Wrightslaw

I wrote a “parent IEP attachment” and asked that it be included with my child’s IEP. The special education coordinator refused. She said my input could not be attached to the IEP because of school policy.

Can they do this? Is this written in the law? How can I deal with this?

Of course not. Nothing in the statute or regulations prevents you from adding input to your child’s IEP. Just the opposite.

As the parent member of your child’s IEP team, you are an equal participant in meetings. You provide essential information about your child’s strengths, weaknesses, and needs. You also share concerns about your child’s special education program.

Schools must do all they can to ensure that parents participate in the IEP process. The law is very clear that parents have the right to participate in the meeting where their child’s IEP is developed.

Prior Written Notice (20 U.S.C. section 1415(b)(3)) clearly states that concerns and requests made by the parents must be accepted or rejected — and that the IEP team must list the reasons for accepting or rejecting the parent’s proposal.34 CFR Section 300.503

Judy Bonnell devised a simple form with these columns: (Click form to enlarge)

  • Proposal
  • Accepted
  • Rejected
  • Reason Accepted or Rejected
  • Start Date
  • Responsible Person

If your request is accepted, add a notation on the form that states who is in charge of initiating the proposal and the start date.

As a parent member of the team, see to it that the other IEP team members state their reasons for accepting or rejecting each proposal. Then add this information to the form.

Here is a sample of Judy’s Prior Written Notice Form — a great example of KISS!

Download the Prior Written Notice Form as a pdf document.
http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/tips/Judy_IEP_Attachment.pdf

Judy’s website, Special Needs and Special Gifts, includes many excellent articles and tips for parents and advocates.
http://www.specialneedsadvocate.com/

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10 Comments on "The School Won’t Let Me Add Input to My Child’s IEP"


Katy
04/18/2011

Here’s another tip: When you sign the IEP, write, next to your signature: “Signature not valid unless parent statement dated _______ is attached to this IEP.”

melissa
04/18/2011

I tried using the form in this article – District Admin refused to sign off on denials in meeting. She said she had as many rights as I have and she would not sign. This of course because they twist the facts/request later in PWN if provided. District ADmin has also denied my request for an Attachment multiple times citing they are only required to consider my concerns not necessarily document them. I cited IDEA regarding IEP needs to address parental concerns but they didn’t care. State Office of Education said nothing in IDEA requiring IEP Attachment so not required.

While I appreciate your suggestions – they don’t always work and it’s sad that parents would have to file Due Process or an OCR complaint to get such a simple thing resolved. Any suggestions for people like me who continue to run into roadblocks.

Katy
04/18/2011

“She said my input could not be attached to the IEP because of school policy.”

I can’t stand it when administrators say that!

Policy vs. Law — If school district employees tell you that something you request for your child is “against district Policy,” ask for that policy in writing. District employees sometimes confuse procedures – which are non-binding practices the district is accustomed to following – with policies, which must be approved by the Board of Education and must conform with special education laws.
Odds are, when you ask to see the Policy in writing, they won’t be able to give it to you, because no such policy actually exists.