Can our advocate observe my son in the classroom? The school denied my request and said, “only the parent can observe.”
Members of the IEP Team
The parents and school decide who they want to be on the IEP team, aside from the required members.
IDEA allows you to invite individuals who have knowledge or special expertise about your child to be part of the IEP team meeting.
You decide who meets these criteria.
You may invite related services providers, independent educational professionals, including consultants, advocates, and tutors to be part of the team.
You may invite a friend or family member.
There is no requirement that you may only invite professionals.
NO law prohibits people (other than school staff and the parent) from observing the child in the classroom.
Effective Team Members Need Information
To be an effective team member, your advocate or consultant or evaluator may need to do a classroom observation of your son.
Observations in the classroom and in other settings provide valuable information about your child’s ability to learn.
You will learn more about classroom observations for evaluation purposes in Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments.
Addressing the Problem
Was your request for observation a written request? Always make sure your requests, issues, and concerns are in writing.
If the school persists in this position, you need to write a polite letter to the school.
Use your letter to document:
- what you want to do
- what you were told by staff
Parent Observation in the Classroom
But does ‘parental involvement’ extend to parents coming into the school to observe their child in his or her school setting?
The answer is yes!
A parent’s right to observe his or her child during the school day is supported by federal law. This applies to all students, in regular and special education alike.