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Do Parents Have to Excuse Members of the IEP Team?

by Wrightslaw

The bottom line is no.  If you do not agree, a required member of the IEP team may not be excused. If the school asks you to consent to excuse a member and you don’t agree, write a short polite letter to explain that you don’t consent because the individual has valuable information and insights to share with the team.

Do you know the required members of the IEP team? Submit your answer below – then read more about the excusal rule.

Who is not a required member of the IEP team?

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The Excusal Rule

The law includes two circumstances that allow a required team member to be excused from a meeting.

  1. If their area of expertise will not be discussed or modified during the meeting
  2. If their area will be discussed, they must submit a written report to the parent and school team members before the meeting

As a parent,

  1. you may agree with the school that the team member does not need to attend because their area will not be discussed
  2. you may, together with the school, consent to excuse this member whose area will be discussed and they must submit a report prior to the meeting

Both parental agreement and consent must be in writing.

20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(1)(C) and 34 CFR 300.321(e)

Required team members do not include related services providers or others who attend at the discretion of the parent.

This excusal rule allows for more flexibility of scheduling for meetings.  For the initial or annual IEP meeting, all team members should participate.  If a meeting is to review or revise a specific or limited issue, then fewer members may result in a more efficient meeting.

The Commentary says the excusal rules are safeguards to prevent parents from feeling “pressure” to excuse members and says the school cannot unilaterally excuse an IEP Team member. Check the Commentary,  p. 46673 –

Are there penalties for schools that routinely excuse IEP team members?

Yes.  Some school districts may abuse the excusal rule.  All districts are subject to the state’s monitoring and enforcement provisions. A school district that routinely excuses IEP team members from meetings is not in compliance with the law. Some schools have a staff member that manages excusals and addresses complaints of excessive excusals.

Bottom line  – schools should not routinely excuse team members. Do things right the first time. Rescheduling or reconvening meetings so that all members can participate in the IEP decision-making process is inconvenient for everyone.

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59 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Alissa 09/22/14 at 10:49 pm

    Can a parent request that principal not attend ard?

  • 2 Terry 08/10/14 at 6:41 pm

    My disabled child has missed one of the two years he has attended school, due to the fact the school refuses to listen to us about our child’s safety need the school refuses to meet. We have two years of documentation showing the school intentionally place our son life at risk by telling us everyone was trained to save his life. We of course found out the school lied to us and no one was in fact trained. We, the parents, will not have an IEP with the school if they invite a person who in our opinion, and documented opinion, is 99% of the problem. This person the school wants at the IEP Meeting is not required to be there. Because we have been lied to over and over by the school about the safety (which is very much life-threatening issues) we will be calling the shots until the school can start proving to us they can be trusted.

  • 3 Jenn 12/28/13 at 3:45 pm

    Here’s a new one: they reused an attendance signature page from a former IEP meeting for the new IEP they sent home.

  • 4 Christine 09/29/13 at 11:09 am

    Your articles and information are excellent. However an LEA is a required member who may or may not be the principal. So your poll question is somewhat inaccurate .

  • 5 Judi 09/24/13 at 2:25 pm

    How does an IEP team member know if their area of expertise will or will not be discussed at a meeting ahead of time? My daughter is gifted and talented as well as having Aspergers. She’s in a community work program that doesn’t fit with someone who is gifted. (She’s done things like wipe off tables and arrange retail merchandise.) We feel that a better placement would be in an office environment – like at our local SPCA. She has very poor social skills and they are looking to put her in an environment where she can practice social skills. Her career aspirations and abilities are that of a gifted student, but a gifted teacher isn’t invited to her IEP meetings so those areas aren’t looked at. I feel a gifted teacher should be required with a 2X exceptional student.

  • 6 Soleil 09/24/13 at 12:06 pm

    I have been refused the option of tape recording meetings. Does the team or an individual team member have that right?

  • 7 Rachel 09/24/13 at 11:15 am

    The principal is not required so long as an LEA representative is. An LEA reap does not have to be a school principal, but they must have the authority to commit resources.

  • 8 brenda 09/24/13 at 11:03 am

    I’ve asked very respectfully for the replacement of a Parent Liaison (school district); and am being ignored. I have placed it in writing; and now I received an email saying both the new ESE Director and the PL that we do not like nor trust will be coming on the date we last agreed upon. The new ESE Director wanted me to change the formerly agreed upon date for the IEP meeting and I said NO, as that would disrupt the 6 Advocates that had already made arrangement to be there for over three weeks.
    The PL does not function as a help to the Parents; she is very biased, and has told us some things that were not true previously; as well as saying, since…has left…I’ll speak for the team…NO…you can’t have this; you don’t need that!
    Is not respecting my request in getting us a new PL or not allowing this PL to attend a State Complaint?

  • 9 CHERYL 09/24/13 at 9:12 am

    Even though their presence is not required, I think the principal of the school should be at the IEP meeting or the VP, so they know the child’s modifications and the parents’ concerns. They are often involved in the PTO and fundraising. Why not special ed? It seems like a no brainer to me.

  • 10 jackie 03/04/13 at 1:17 am

    Can a team member (RSP Teacher) excuse herself from the IEP meeting because she does not agree with your questions. The RSP Teacher could not answer our question so she removed herself from the IEP meeting. (She is my son’s RSP Teacher).and can the School academic counselor leave shortly after without requested she be excused.

  • 11 Pat 01/20/13 at 7:18 pm

    Can a school district deny a parent to bring a friend to a parent teacher conference of a seven year old special needs child?

  • 12 Jennifer 03/05/12 at 5:47 pm

    To Lelah–

    Whether your child is included in science and social studies for academics or for socialization, I say let her carry the textbook(s) at least. If she’s capable of following along looking at the pictures, she could get some exposure to new vocabulary. The goal is to make her school day like that of her peers whenever possible.

  • 13 Sharon L. 03/04/12 at 12:07 pm

    Lelah – That is a new one for me. If your daughter is in an inclusion academic class there is no reason they cannot accommodate her via the IEP, If a team meeting is needed to add more accommodations/modifications to make the inclusion class work by all means have that meeting. Socialization is good and she needs the academics as well.

  • 14 Sharon L. 03/04/12 at 12:19 am

    GiGi – I have found that when I let the IEP team know I am bringing a digital tape recorder to the IEP meeting not only is it easier for me to remember what was said later on & and I don’t have to take so many notes I find that the team acts more professionally. Make sure you let them know you are bringing a tape recorder. You may see quite a change in the tone of the meeting.

  • 15 Sharon L. 03/03/12 at 11:55 pm

    D. Orr – This happened to us as well and we did not understand it. We thought about taking it to a higher level but did not deciding instead that this was not a battle that we were going to pick with the school. We accepted the written document and moved on to items that were more important to us. I agree with you completely but the school does have the right to decide if an aid can attend or not as it is not required by law.

  • 16 GiGi 02/29/12 at 2:46 pm

    I wish we could get our principal excused from the IEP team. He is completely out of control. He believes that “Special Education Kids” are causing the demise of the public education system in America. He is hostile, condescending, an absolute bully! He openly does not like my child and is just horrible. Can we ask that the principal not be a part of the team? I would be thrilled if I never had to set eyes on that bully again!

  • 17 sheila 02/29/12 at 11:16 am

    does this also apply to 504 Plans??

  • 18 Dawn 02/29/12 at 10:18 am

    our school had an extra school psychologist show up unannounced to an IEP meeting.Then they changed his eligibility from Autism to EBD.This was done as an attempt to get him out of their school.I fought & he was able to remain in the same school.However it took them 2 1/2 years to get the EBD removed from his eligibility.If your school has switched psychologist without notifying you I would look at it as a red flag & ask what their motive is.I hate to say this, but, trust no one.I have learned to lose trust in special ed personnel who tell me they know what is best for my child.We as the parents, know what is truly best for our child.

  • 19 Dawn 02/29/12 at 10:08 am

    I am being told that my 8th grader has to attend the IEP meeting we are having to discuss him going into High School. I have always preferred to not have him in the meetings.Is it mandatory, as the school says, for him to attend? I have met his upcoming teacher & my motherly instincts are telling me to watch out.Especially since he is a football coach & not so nice tone of voice.My son is hypersensitive to tones of voices.I’m not sure how this teacher will be in the meeting & therefor not sure that my son should attend.

  • 20 Rawna 02/28/12 at 11:03 pm

    I am the IEP teacher in an offsite Transition program. We have no general ed in or near our building and none that would know our program or at students at this stage. I have been told I can routinely use the excusal form for Gen Ed and thus far, parents fully understand and agree. However, my question is when the student is working/training in the community though DVR and/or a job coach, why cannot that person sign as general ed? We have to put the minutes on the service matrix for the work training time down as general ed so why can’t these representatives count for the gen. ed person?They sign in other capacities, but I also don’t want to get caught up with ‘we always excuse the gen ed team member’ routinely issue….guidance please. Thanks

  • 21 Beth 02/28/12 at 8:34 pm

    I was wondering if the school psycologist who has been in every meeting for 5 years can be substituted with one who you never have
    met till a manifestation meeting. Then not be seen again. I feel the school did this so they could get the outcome they wanted which was to determine the incident was not a manifestation. I want to file for a due process hearing or maybe file a complaint. I was not told of the changeor knew of it till the meeting.

  • 22 Deb 02/28/12 at 6:09 pm

    We have a situation where the administrator is late, can the parents agree to start meeting without them or do we have to wait for administrator?

  • 23 Cathy 02/28/12 at 5:43 pm

    I would chose the Principal unless he is representing the School District. I want both the Special and Regular Education Teacher in attendance. Also, I want someone who can interpret all the evaluations. As a Parent, I AM the most important person sitting at the table. Personally, I like when the Principal attends the meetings. I want the Principal to see how his staff is conducting IEP meetings and how they behave during these meetings. So actually, in my own opinion, all the above are important members of the team. I also want someone there who works with my child everyday! (besides me)

  • 24 Ron S. 02/28/12 at 4:14 pm

    I make my own sign up sheet for the IEP meeting including both the sign in and sign out time and then send it as a letter of attachment to the IEP just to keep everyone honest. Do not forget to include the parents and anyone the parents bring with them.

  • 25 Lelah 02/28/12 at 1:04 pm

    My child has inclusion for subjects social studies and science. I just recently learned that she is not in that class for academics but more so for socialization. I agreed to have a SLP goal to be implemented for that classroom and now am having second thoughts. I received textbooks and workbooks for inclusion class but if my child is not in there for academics, then why issue textbooks? Can you help?

  • 26 Sheila B. 02/28/12 at 10:25 am

    Federal law doesn’t require an IEP meeting be delayed if the parents won’t attend. Parents must be invited.

    State law doesn’t require an IEP meeting be delayed if the parents won’t attend. It’s only recommended the parents be invited twice & cancel twice before having an IEP meeting w/o parents who won’t come.

    Since we the parents have specifically requested this meeting go on without us, I propose that to delay it is to take away the right provided by Federal law that by omission does not require parents to attend IEP meetings.

    To delay this IEP meeting by not accepting the parents’ clear wishes takes away from [Son’s] special education rights – by fact that the decisions made at such a meeting to further his education would be delayed & so result in loss of educational opportunity/deprivation of benefit.

  • 27 comconct 02/28/12 at 10:01 am

    This month the special program coordinator suddenly announced she was leaving in 5 minutes and shortly after the SPED director announced she was leaving in 15 minutes. When she left, everyone else got up and left me sitting there.
    The teacher is usually excused after the first 1/2 hour but they give her 5 minutes and then interrupt that conversation.
    The speech teacher never attended the first IEP meeting and I wasn’t told until the meeting started. Then the Team chair chair announced that she’s a SLP although she’d never worked with the child and had no report.
    This is a constant problem except for the time a DOE facilitator attended an IEP. Things were nice and orderly that day and no one got up to leave unless I signed the appropriate paper work.

  • 28 Sandra 02/28/12 at 9:10 am

    When an iep meeting is scheduled, shouldn’t all written reports be delivered to the parents at least five calendar days before the meetng, whether or not that team member will participate in the actual meeting in Maryland? Schools basically just have someone else at the meeting read/go over a report when the person who wrote it won’t be there for whatever reason. Parents are not asked about excusing anyone from the team. I”ve never seen or heard of a process to ask parents to excuse required members from attendance.

  • 29 D. Orr 02/28/12 at 9:07 am

    We made several requests to have the aid who is assigned to our son and provides the majority of his interention to attend our IEP meeting. We were denied this request by both the Special Education Teacher and the School Principal. They opted instead for the aid to make a written statement. We felt that it was very important that the person providing the intervention be in attendance. (We have never met this person.) We did not have any particular complaints towards this individual — we just felt that it was extremely important that we communicated face-to-face. We offered to reqrrange our schedules and attend at any time that was convenient for the aid to attend but our requests were denied.

    Doe the school have the authority to disregard our request?

    Thank you!

  • 30 GGIRL 11/27/11 at 5:59 pm

    I have a question. Earlier this year we went to my child’s IEP meeting. The only people present at the meeting were the parents, two intervention specialists and three of my child’s teachers. No district representative attended. We signed the IEP and got an official copy from the school two weeks later.

    A friend told me that the school has IEP meetings without a principal or district representative present, and then has the principal sign the IEP the next day. I went back and checked my child’s IEP .. lo and behold, there was the principal’s signature! She did not attend the meeting! They did the same thing with another IEP one year ago. A teacher did not attend because she could not get a substitute to cover for her, and when I received the IEP, she had signed it.

    Can I do anything about this?

  • 31 Sharon L. 11/22/11 at 9:01 pm

    Tim – Yes they have this right. Perhaps another teacher can take her place or the special ed director can take her place. You can bring a digital tape recorder to the meeting and tell the team you are doing so. This often helps keep people more honest and more professional acting. Maybe this could be an alternative.

  • 32 Tim 11/22/11 at 6:00 pm

    We are having an IEP mtg. for a student in our high school. She has asked that a staff member of Sp.Ed not attend the meeting as she is uncomfortable with her presence at the meeting. Does the student have this right. Pls answer soon…
    Thanks Tim

  • 33 Gina V 07/08/10 at 12:23 pm

    I’m not sure if it’s the absolute correct answer, but it happened to me ONCE. So now I make sure I am the last person to sign the attendance form. I then take the liberty to draw a line through each area where there was no one present (including the duplicate signature place for me and where my son would sign. Since no one EVER signs as the school district representative (sometimes she is there but signs as her other title) I make a notation in my notes of the same & draw a line through the space.

    If they are not there then they cannot sign, the better evidence I have is that I now tape the meetings. If I end up in due process, mediation or court then they can explain to the ALJ how they managed to sign attendance when they were not present.

  • 34 Marcia 07/08/10 at 9:23 am

    In my son’s school district the special ed teacher is the only one at the meeting. At the end of the meeting the special ed teacher takes the participation form to the principal and classroom teacher and they sign it. He has been in special ed for 4 years and this is how the meetings have gone. I really wanted to talk to an administrator this year but was not given the opportunity. I don’t understand how they can sign the forms that say they participated in the meeting when they did not.

  • 35 jane 07/04/10 at 11:24 am

    on the mttc test it asked who had to be at the iep meeting by law was the correct answer the social worker or the school counselor?

  • 36 Christine T 06/30/10 at 9:51 am

    Parents should also realize that they have a right not to sign that IEP on the day of the meeting. They also have a right to make additions and deletions to their child’s program as they see fit. Being a parent of a special education student and a special educator, you are your child’s best advocate. Educate yourself on your child’s abilities and weaknesses. Be most concerned that there are strategies listed within the I.E.P. to facilitate your child’s academic, social, and behavioral success.

  • 37 Adrianna 06/30/10 at 9:47 am

    The Principal does not have to be present. The parent must sign a consent FOR EXCUSAL, AFTER the Administration receives a request for an LEA, OT, PT, SPEC ED TEACHER, REG EDU TEACHER. Basically anyone who has “DIRECT INPUT” into the IEP must have the parent’s written consent of approval to be excused. The school district used the High Shool Principal this year for my daughter’s LEA! The LEA must be part of the Administration and a Principal is not.

  • 38 Elizabeth 06/29/10 at 10:36 pm

    We are required by the district to give a three day notice of anyone attending the IEP meetings for our child. However, the county has people show up during the meetings not on the list. We have the head of special ed services, county lawyers, and excessive county representatives without prior notification. What can we do? It seems the rules do not apply for the county that they set forth for the parents. Luckily, I teach in another system so I have access to information.

  • 39 Gloria 06/29/10 at 6:07 pm

    I am writing to ask if E-IEP’s are legal. Here in Illinois the School District of 299 has switched over to electronic IEP’s without informing the parents of students with disabilities.

    I completed approximately 10 IEP’s for parents that many did not attend the IEP meeting. However, our State of Illinois is up for GRABS. We don’t have an honest Mayor or Governor at this time. So, can you please tell me if Electronic IEP are legal?

  • 40 Carla 06/29/10 at 3:56 pm

    As a first-year teacher I was bullied by the school administrators. My first IEP meeting of the year occurred before classes even started, and I placed in the position of having to make a decision that went against what the principal and vice principal had originally told the parent. After reviewing the student’s file and speaking in depth with the parent, I determined that the parent was absolutely correct in what she was requesting and made my decision to her favor. From that point forward I was targeted by the administrators, and things quite quickly became unbearable. At all meetings I requested the presence of a district official from the special education department. Because of this the principal refused to attend my meetings, even when her presence her was needed. Special ed. is not easy for anyone involved, but kids are worth it.

  • 41 Pat 06/29/10 at 3:46 pm

    If a team member is present and leaves the meeting or comes later in the meeting does their limited time need to recorded somewhere. Do parents have same excusal rule for team members leaving a meeting ?

  • 42 Ashley 06/29/10 at 11:45 am

    Administrators from the school where the IEP meeting is taking place regularly attend meetings as “the authority figure” at the meeting. They believe that their responsibilites include being the final say on items of contention. This is extremely inappropriate. Stand firm on your position and always bring a friend, advocate, family member, etc. to attend meetings with you. They can take notes and be an additional set of ears for these issues. As a representative in special education for parents and legal quardians of children on an IEP, I tend to be invited to meetings whose school have such strong authority figures. These administrators especially like to excuse teachers for such things as lunch, bus dismissal etc. Don’t be bullied by them. Reschedule the meeting if you are unsuccesful in obtaining a resolution to this matter. Good luck!

  • 43 Carri 06/29/10 at 11:15 am

    I actually filed a complaint with the Oregon Department of Education for Non-compliance on June 23, 2010. I was tired of the runaround that the School District was giving us and not complying with the IEP’s.
    We moved here from Montana in September 2009 and they didn’t hold an IEP acceptance meeting until FEBRUARY 2010!!!
    Well, actually, they tried to hold an IEP meeting in November 2009 without us, THE PARENTS, can you believe that one?!?!?!
    Then, in January, they actually gave me a letter to sign that stated a letter of “Exception Circumstances as to why the IEP was Delayed”. Uhhh, NO, I wasn’t going to sign this and cover up all of their lies, etc.
    As of right now, they have assigned an Investigator as of June 25, 2010 and the School District has until July 12, 2010 to answer the 6 violations on the complaint.

  • 44 Ellen 06/29/10 at 7:19 am

    The answer is the principal. He is not a required member of the IEP team, unless he is also the LEA for his school.

  • 45 kyung 05/23/10 at 4:57 pm

    one IEP we had, the principal said we need to adjourn the meeting since she had to attend another meeting, but our meeting was not over & not agreeable. If she could not leave, the meeting had to adjourn, so what other option did we have? BTW, that IEP was 3rd or 4th meeting to resolve the same issues.

  • 46 Kat 04/15/10 at 2:40 pm

    As a parent and former Special Education teacher the other issue that I saw was ‘required’ ARD personnel would not actually attend the meeting but sign the ARD paperwork as if they did.

    Now, having both ‘inside’ knowledge and ‘parental’ knowledge serves me quite well BUT it puts the administration at my son’s school ‘on edge’.

    The best advice that I have EVER received regarding ARDS and IEP team meetings is as a parent YOUR primary interest is YOUR child…do NOT let the school or any representative of the school pressure you into agreeing with ANYTHING. YOU DO NOT HAVE to sign the ARD paperwork the day of the ARD! You can request a copy of the paperwork and a ‘waiting period’ to review the information, gather more documentation or consult with other professionals.

    Do not forget…you are there for YOUR child!

  • 47 Wrightslaw 04/14/10 at 4:42 pm

    Paul: A regular education teacher IS a required member of the team. IDEA says so. Check your law book. Also, check the wording. If you have never had a regular ed teacher at the IEP meeting – it’s time to find out why and document your concerns in a polite letter to the school. A representative of the school district is also required (but not necessarily the principal). You’ll find the requirements for team members at 20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(1)(B)

  • 48 Wrightslaw 04/14/10 at 4:39 pm

    Annie: Kim B is correct – as a parent, you may invite anyone you would like to attend the IEP meeting, including those who you feel have special knowledge and expertise about your child. If you want to be sure of your parental rights, check your law book. 20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(1)(B) – it’s right there. Take a copy to the meeting with you.

  • 49 Kim B. 04/14/10 at 12:05 pm

    I am a special education teacher and as far as I know, anyone who the parent would like to invite to the meeting can attend the meeting. It is the parents child that is being discussed and if the student is seeing a counselor then they are welcome at the meeting also. Sometimes the counselor may know the child better than anyone else and will have some very valuable input. I have had counselors at several of my IEP meetings.

  • 50 Kim B. 04/14/10 at 11:54 am

    I chose the principal as the one that did not have to be a part of the team but unless a school or district representative is present then I feel that the principal would have to part of the team also. I picked principal because they have the least interaction with the student but if there is a problem during the meeting then they should be the one that has to deal with this issue unless the special educator can resolve the problem. Most IEP meeting run smoothly and go off without a hitch but occasionally one might have an issue. I wasn’t sure who to pick because it seemed that they all have a role in the child’s IEP so they should all be part of the team. Why wasn’t all of the above are part of the team a choice?

  • 51 Paul 04/13/10 at 10:18 pm

    I chose a regular education teacher only because a student might not have one. Mine does and I have requested that they show up and have yet had it happen, and it is the principal who always walks out of our IEP’s and this last time he did not even show up or I was going to require him to stay he is the one responsible for making sure the IEP is followed how can he do that if he doesn’t know what it is?

  • 52 Tex 04/13/10 at 8:14 pm

    Is it allowed by law to have a non special ed certified teacher giving the daily one on one instruction as well as assessments to determine PLAFFs even if there is a token special ed teacher in the room at the same time?

  • 53 Annie 04/13/10 at 11:58 am

    I invited the school counselor to my son’s IEP meeting. He is very comfortable with her and I feel that she understands my son’s needs. She was told by the principal that she did not need to attend. I really wanted her there and want her there for future meetings. I was told that she is not part of the special Education Team. Can someone please advise me on this situation. Thanks!!!

  • 54 Philip 04/13/10 at 9:14 am

    I think the key is there needs to be a school representative that can commit to services. ,When there is a more complicated situation regarding services, not a parent seen as difficult because they advocate for their child, then an administrator from the building or district level may be needed.

  • 55 Mary 04/11/10 at 1:12 am

    My son was being dual enrolled for math at the public school while also enrolled in a nonpublic special ed school. He had been treated very badly on the previous attempt at reintegration. To review reports and finalize services at the public school, we had a meeting in July. They requested that I excuse the general ed teacher, but I did not. A general ed math teacher came. He and the principal ranted at me for an hour, saying that my son did not belong in the class that we were requesting. And he stated that he would not allow an audio recorder in his classroom, a key accommodation that had been written in the notes section during the annual IEP meeting. I was glad that this arose during an IEP meeting, and not in classroom.

  • 56 Debra 04/08/10 at 9:01 pm

    Our district sends their Director of Special Education Services to IEPs of parents that they consider “difficult”. (The ones who exercise their right to file compliance complaints or have been to due process with them” I’m still looking for the language in the law that allows this to occur.
    My kids’ IEPs usually have about 10 people there. I used to bring food but I stopped. I can’t go broke feeding them all day.

  • 57 Wrightslaw 04/08/10 at 4:13 pm

    Well done, Janet. The statute does not say the principal is a required member of the IEP team. When in doubt, look it up in your law book. You were right. A representative of the local educational agency could be a special education director, if they meet the requirements in the statute. So we couldn’t include “all of the above” in the choices – because “principal” is not correct. Thanks for taking the quiz.

  • 58 Janet 04/08/10 at 3:09 pm

    I think that all of the named individuals are required members of the team…it would not allow me to vote without “picking one”. I guess it wouldn’t have to be a principal if there was another administrator present (e.g. special education coordinator, etc.). The choices should have included “all of the above are required members of the team”.

  • 59 Jan A. 04/08/10 at 2:39 pm

    Our school district tries this all the time & we will get to the meeting & they will hand the family a written report with new goals & progress reports. They will give the family no notice ahead of time to say whether you want that person present or not.
    We now ask the team leader ahead of time if all staff will be present & if they do not know then we ask her for a roll call of staff that will be present or let her know we will not be attending any meeting that all staff are not present.
    Also be prepared for the next little game where the staff will show up just long enough to be present & leave before the team can interact with this staff person. I am not sure which problem is worse.