Does the Team Write Goals for Parents in the IEP?

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The school listed this goal/objective in my son’s IEP.

“Objective: The parent will direct all communication to the Principal. Parent is not allowed to call or talk to the special education teacher, other teachers, or teacher’s aide.”

Can this be listed as a “goal” in the IEP?

That isn’t an IEP “objective!”

Goals and objectives are for what the student will achieve, not what the parent will or will not do!

Instructional goals state:

  • what your child needs to learn
  • what action you want to see your child take
  • how you will measure your child’s progress toward the goal
  • what level of mastery to expect from your child

The IEP Team does not write goals to dictate, limit, or restrict actions of the parent.

20 U.S.C. Section 1414(d). Federal Regulations 34 C.F.R. Section 300.320. Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, page 99 and page 245.

The IEP team (that includes the parent) writes a goal into your child’s IEP because the team:

  • knows it is an important skill your child must learn
  • knows your child cannot accomplish the goal without specialized instruction

When you write a goal into the IEP, it is an instructional objective, not a method of discipline (or a method of communication for the parent).

Keep the Focus on Your Child

Focus on your son. Keep the focus of the IEP Team on your son.

You are the person primarily responsible for your son’s education.  You are his “case manager.” Do not feel that you must turn this decision making process over to someone else.

But, do not engage in a battle with the principal. Continue to work hard to maintain a collaborative relationship with the Team, the school, …and the principal.

Do your homework and your research.  Make sure you know about the process, the disability, evaluations, child development, curriculum, and goal writing so you can be an effective team member who works with the other members of the IEP team.

Make sure your contact log and all other documentation is up to date. It should include any discussion you have with the school or the principal. Use polite letters to the school to document what you have been told.

A Lesson in Writing IEP Goals by Dr. Ruth Heitin

Are These Good IEP Goals by Advocate Sue Whitney

Learn How to Write SMART Goals and IEPs

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd edition, SMART Goal tutorial , Chapter 12

  1. It’s unfortunate that some family-school relationships are so adversarial.
    Any educator who doesn’t understand the critical importance of good parent relations, not only for the student but for their career, is in need of help and doesn’t care about students.
    Parents are not “helping” their child by making enemies with educators. Even if they get the services they demand, win a lawsuit, etc. their child is screwed from then on. You child becomes the wonderful kid with the monstrous parents who won’t get special attention. No teacher, now or in the future, will take the extra steps to contact you about a special program that might help your kid, they won’t ask if you can come in to help plant seeds or talk about your career. The involvement will only be mandatory.

  2. On our daughters IEP there is 45minutes every day in CA for organizational/study skills, so we thought that she would be taught to organize her notes and learn to study. However we were not told that we needed a goal for this. The team knew what we wanted should they have told us we needed a goal? Our daughter still has this time allocated in her school day what should we do?

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