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Summer School 2014
Parent Rights & Responsibilities in the IEP Process

As your child’s parent, you are a key member of the IEP team. You are not a spectator. You are an active participant.

IDEA gives you the power to make educational decisions for your child. Do not be afraid to use your power. Use it wisely. Don’t be afraid to take charge.

In this six part self-study series for Summer School 2014 you will learn to see your role in the IEP process as equally important as the educational professionals. You will learn:

  • about your active parent role as a member of your child’s IEP team
  • how to be an equal participant in IEP meetings
  • some simple but effective tools for taking and maintaining control
  • how to ask questions and make suggestions at IEP team meetings
  • how to be prepared to both collaborate and negotate with the IEP team

Part 1

Parent Participation in IEP Meetings
IEP Meeting

As the parent of a child with special educational needs, you represent your child’s interests. You are an essential part of the IEP process. Parents are and always have been members of the IEP team.

In the required members of the IEP team, IDEA 2004, Section 1414(d), parents are listed first.

In Part 1: Parent Participation in IEP Meetings, learn the law and regulations about your parental role in the IEP process.

Part 2

Identifying Problems, Clarifying Issues

As the parent member of your child’s IEP team, you are an equal participant in meetings. Parents are free to provide input into their child’s IEP through a written report if they so choose.

The keys to a successful IEP meeting are Parent school meeting

  • preparing
  • organizing information
  • knowing how to present requests

In Part 2: Identifying Problems, Clarifying Issues at IEP Meetings learn how to provide the school with a list of your concerns before the meeting.

Get your Homework Assignment #1, create and submit a Parent Agenda.

Part 3

Taking Control at IEP Meetings

parents at meeetingAt the IEP meeting, you negotiate with the school for services on your child's behalf.

When you seek win-win solutions to problems you can take control at IEP meeetings without playing hardball. When your team develops win-win solutions, the team members are committed to the success of their solutions.

In Part 3: Taking Control at IEP Meetings, learn to develop IEP solutions that allow you and the school district to get your needs and wants met. Learn what strategies to use. Find out how to ask questions and what questions to ask!

Part 4

Maintaining Control at IEP Meetings

IEP parent input formLearn how to make the IEP process work for your child with a simple tool to document:

  • your requests
  • school decisions made to accept or reject your requests
  • the reasons provided for these decisions

In Part 4: Maintaining Control at IEP Meetings, you can ownload and use a Parent IEP Attachment, a powerful tool that will help keep the IEP team on track.


Part 5

IEP Meeting StrategiesIEP Meeting

  • For some IEP teams saying NO is too easy.
  • Articulating an explanation of WHY? is tough.

Prior Written Notice (PWN) clearly states that parental requests must be accepted or rejected.

The IEP team must list the reasons for accepting or rejecting the parent's proposal.

Parents must build a record when you and the school disagree. Bringing out a PWN form can be a show stopper when skillfully used.

In Part 5: IEP Meeting Strategies learn how to effectively track your requests, the school's response, and document issues that were resolved or are still on the table.

Part 6

Asserting Your Parent Rights

Do Not Give Away Your Decision-Making Authority at IEP Meetings!

Parents are and always have been key members of the IEP team. Don't be a spectator.

Congratulations! You have completed Summer School 2014: Parent Rights & Responsibilities in the IEP Process!

You've learned that IDEA gives you the power to make educational decisions for your child and that you are a key member and active participant of the IEP team. You now have tools in your toolbox for making requests, communicating and collaborating effectively with the team, and representing your child's interests. Use these tools for taking and maintaining control at IEP Meetings.

Here's your Summer School 2014 Certificate

We appreciate your positive comments about the Special Ed Advocate summer series.

"This summer school series for parents you've been running in the newsletter is perfect for the parents I'm training at the Parent Information Center workshops. You haven't just told parents what to learn, you are telling them how to learn it and how to approach the learning.."

"Excellent job again Wrightslaw! I cannot underscore the extreme importance of maintaining an ongoing “flow” of documentation of all school activity pertaining to your student. I just love it when a school official says, 'I don’t have knowledge or evidence of the district’s approval of that service for your student'. I can respectfully reply… 'I am eager to assist the IEP team in any way I can. I have the verification document you need right here.'"

"I LOVE your site. I have never received an electronic issue that did not have an article that was personally applicable. I would very much like to do each step in the summer organization 'class'. With three young children with special needs- I can't miss organizational help!!"


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