IEP FAQs: Can an IEP Meeting be Postponed?

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Is there anything in the law that would prevent me from asking that my child’s annual IEP be postponed? The current accommodations are either not working or are not being implemented as required by certain teachers. I would like to postpone it to enable time to obtain testing results and re-work some ideas on accommodations.

The special ed case worker states that an IEP meeting cannot be postponed! That seems ridiculous.

The law says the IEP needs to be reviewed at least annually, and more often if necessary.

The IEP Team can convene, and agree to re-convene after receiving the new testing results. There is no limit to the number of IEP meetings that may be needed to create an IEP that meets your child’s needs.

A parent or teacher can request that the IEP team meet to review and revise the IEP when new information is available about the child (i.e. when new evaluations have been conducted).

The history of Public Law 94-142, now IDEA, states that “there should be as many meetings a year as a child may need.”

This is from Appendix A to the IDEA regulations. There is no limit to the number of IEP meetings that may be needed to create an IEP that meets the child’s needs.

  • Write a letter to the school.
  • Describe your concerns about your child’s lack of progress and your fears about his future.
  • Request a meeting to revise his IEP after reviewing evaluation results.

Be careful about delaying too long.

The sooner you develop an appropriate IEP that is meeting your child’s needs, the better. This may take more than one meeting. The law certainly allows this.

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Kris

I waived the 10-day notice so our team could meet this week to complete an IEP revision that had been in progress since October. I was contacted, the day of the meeting, and asked if I had a list of my concerns, changes, etc. I responded that I did not and did not have time to type one up (we were just 2.5 hrs away from the meeting) and I was working. The Director immediately canceled the meeting. I wrote to let her know I was ready to meet – and needed to talk with the team – my request was completely ignored. I later learned that the notice that my input was needed was a link (not attachment) in an earlier email – I’d overlooked it. But did not note that the meeting would be canceled without my compliance. Is this legal?

Gia

I had requested an initial IEP domain mtg in Feb based on a new diagnosis. I was just able to get the formal diagnosis to the district and they are telling me that due to school shutdown, the mtg cannot be held until next school year & we must continue w/ 504 plan until then. There are no services being provided via the 504 so a mtg is useless. Can I push for the domain mtg instead of the 504 mtg? Located in Illinois.

L

Chuck

The federal dept. of education has made it clear that district’s Child find obligation continues despite school closures. You can reach out to your state dept. of education to determine what this means in your state.

bob

However, if face to face testing is required to determine if a child meets eligibility, then it will have to wait until school resumes.

Kathleen

Does a Florida school district have the legal right to request an early (5months early) annual IEP meeting for the convenience of the district so they will have less IEP meetings before their FTE date in October of next school year SY 20/21? There is no reason to have it early for the students. Goals have not been met, and there was not sufficient amount of time for goals to be met.

Kim

First, I want to thank the developers of this website for providing this information and answering our questions on IEP matters. Penny had asked if the school is still in compliance if the parent asks for a delay in the review of IEP until the beginning of the next school year. I am in the same predicament with my son’s IEP. The review was due to occur in March however, with the outbreak of COVID19 it was canceled. I have requested that the review of his IEP be delayed until the beginning of the school year for 2020/2021. My question is will his IEP be in jeopardy from a legal/compliance perspective if the review is delayed until next school year?

John

Hello Kim, I work for a school and can share how my district is handling it. We are holding virtual meetings if the parent agrees to do so. If the parent is unable to participate in a virtual meeting or does not wish to, the IEP will continue to be implemented beyond it’s duration date until normal meetings can resume.

Hope this helps.

Pat

Is it possible to postpone an ARD meeting? Back in February, I asked that my child be evaluated in February for formal achievement. Due to the Corona outbreak, this did not occrr. At this time all of his IEPS goals are way below his level. The team said that we had to have an ARD meeting, but I would like for the achievement to take place and then have an advocate offer suggestions for the IEP. The teachers have purposely made his IEP very easy so they do not have to put any effort to accomplish those goals.

Chuck

Pat, it could be, depending on the facts. Our education agency (TEA) is saying if timelines cannot be met, they are to document this & why. Meetings can be held virtually, but you want testing done before then. That is a reason for postponing a meeting. If you have not done so, put your concerns about the goals, & low expectations, & request for testing in writing to the principal & district special ed director. I work for the TX parent training & information project. Our staff person for your area can assist you. You can find that person at: http://www.prntexas.org

Penny

Is the school still in compliance if the parent asks to delay the IEP until Fall?

Penny

Is the school still in compliance if the parent doesn’t want to do review IEP during this “crazy” time?

Ronda

I missed my daughter’s annual iep meeting over the phone and the “team” had the meeting without me. I was told of this when my phone recharged and I asked could the meeting be rescheduled. Can they have a meeting without the parent?

Nancy

Are school districts required to hold annual IEP’s, Tri’s and initials during a declared state of emergency, i.e. the corona virus or can the IEP be held when school is back in session?
2) If the IEP is held what should be put for start of services date since we don’t know when school will resume.
Thank you
Nancy

Wrightslaw

On March 12 2020, the US Dept of Education published guidance about educational services to children with disabilities during the pandemic. In long-term absences (over 10 days), IEP teams need to meet to amend and/or revise IEPs and make “an individualized determination whether and to what extent compensatory services are needed … including to make up for any skills that may have been lost.” Links to these publications are in Coronavirus (COVID-19) Closed My Child’s School: Is the School Required to Make Up Missed Services?
in last week’s issue of The Special Ed Advocate. This newsletter is free so please subscribe.

The federal special education law (IDEA) says, “School meetings do not have to be face-to-face. IEP and placement meetings, mediation meetings, and due process (IEP) resolution sessions may be convened by conference calls or video conferences.” 20 USC § 1414(e). (see page 107 in Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition)

Anthony

When there is a state of emergency do IEP meetings still have to occur, like the one our country is currently facing? I have two IEPs that will fall within the duration set by our governor for schools closing due to the health epidemic.

Thank you for your time.

State of Michigan Special Education Teacher.

Chuck

If a school is not open, I do not see how the state or federal dept of education would expect meetings to be held. The question is how quickly they will say they must be held after classes resume. Educators, & parents need to monitor this at the state level.

Anne

Can the diagnostician just cancel the meeting on the day of the meeting because she has not finished testing? Seems at least unprofessional, the teachers didn’t even know.

Chuck

Depending on the circumstances, it is probably legal. It is unprofessional, & creates problems for a number of people including you.

TanyaB

The first IEP meeting of the year nothing happened because their system was down. Now I’m supposed to have one tomorrow but I got a note in my sons backpack today from his teacher saying it’s been canceled… don’t they have to give some kind of notice!?!

Chuck

Not for canceling, but you can request in writing for a written response on why it was canceled, & when it will be rescheduled, & how much notice you will be given. You can also state any concerns that you have about the IEP or services your child is receiving.

Doreen

Can the school cancel a IEP meeting

Bob

My son’s IEP meeting was in October and reconvened at the beginning of November, but ithe IEP t was not implemented until the end of November. When would be the next annual meeting? In October(when meeting started), early November(reconvened) or end of November (when it was implemented)?

Lori

Early November when the meeting reconvened and notice was provided to the parent. The annual date is not one year from the implementation date, but the actual meeting date where final decisions were made.

angela

Hello,
My child’s Annual IEP was delayed because I was not available. The due date was 4/26/19. I attended the IEP on 5/3/19. The new special education teacher CHANGED the date of the next Annual IEP date. The Date was 4/24/2020 and the teacher pushed it back to 5/2/2020.
I disagreed with the teacher, but the administrator told me that it is legal to change the next Annual IEP date.
Please tell me what Special Ed. Law has to say.
Thanks,
Angie

tasha

IEPs are good for one year so the new date reflects one year after the current meeting. Just like if you had the meeting early, you would change the date of the annual to the earlier date.

Julie

My daughters IEP has been open for 7 months, almost the entire school year. She has no new goals, no progress, and was supposed to have been with a new ipad all year. At what point is this excessive? They will not schedule an IEP.

Chuck

If you have not sent a written letter on this situation and a request for an IEP meeting to the district special ed director, do so. If you have, you can take this up the “chain of command” and/or to the state education agency. Your state parent training and information project can assist you. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

Marcus

Julie,

This is beyond excessive. She should have goals and should have been monitored to see if the goals need to change. The iPad should have been provided since that is in the IEP. Why are they not scheduling the IEP meeting. You as the parent have the right to request this meeting. If you have not done so write an email to the Super Intendant and Special Education Director to get to the bottom of what is going on.

Jason

I filed a state complaint against my daughter’s school district on the grounds of them not providing a progress report as often reports are provided to non-disabled students. I’m constantly asking for a report and don’t get anything until days or weeks later. The DOE accepted an alternate resolution from the district which includes providing the reports as required but the district continues to not provide reports until I hound them for one. When I ask the DOE how they are monitoring the district’s compliance they only tell me we’ll reach out to the district and work with them to address with my concern. There are additional concerns addressed in my compliant (data collection, FBA/PBIP), but it seems the DOE just made accomodations for the district with no accountabilty. Thoughts????

Chuck

I am a believer in paper trails. You can send them written updates, with copies to the special ed director, on what they are doing & not doing, and new complaints. You could try going up the chain of command at the DOE. You could try going to the district superintendent and school board, if you have not already done so. It also might help if other parents spoke up about the same or similar complaints.

Toni

I have done all of the above in my own situation and it’s the Special Services director that is denying my meeting and the Superintendent is blatantly ignoring me. I had to hire first an advocate just to get a meeting, then an attorney. They refused me a meeting because they refuse to discuss ESY services that were not mentioned in my IEP request. DOE explained that they needed proof of progression on their end and that they couldn’t deny a meeting on an unresolved issue but they did it anyway. The DOE also explained that they couldn’t intervene, they advise you to file complaints but they can’t make the district do anything. If there is a repercussion for non-compliance I was told they would not tell the parents what that is, only that it was addressed.

Kimberly

My child’s SPED never did an observation at all last year (which was required in the IEP) and his grades are
now mainly D’s below from last year & so far this year. All assessments have been redone except for OT which is soon. Weaknesses were found in more detail than past years.
So, we had an IEP and the school scheduled it for 3 hours. That was enough to get through the reports but not actually make any goals or recommendations. The school called time and then won’t reschedule to complete it for 5 weeks. I’m not ok with this, but is there anything I can do to force it sooner? (Legally or according to any time deadlines?

Chuck

Possibly, depending on your state rules. You can check with the state education agency, or your state parent training and information project. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

Rhonda

Can an ISD delay an IEP meeting due to Summer Break?

Chuck

Possibly, depending on your state rules. You can check with the state education agency, or your state parent training and information project. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

Carla

help please…..

can a school district hold a meeting that lasts only 2 hours when they know at the start it will likely take 4 to 5 hours to go over all reports, services, and goals?
can they seriously make us come in 3 to 5 times for 2 hours each time and take the whole year to set the iep?

Chuck

Taking several meetings to develop an IEP is not unusual, & is allowable. Taking most of the year to develop an IEP is not. Parents have the right to use the dispute resolution processes in cases like this.

Lisa

My husband and I always attend our daughters IEP but the date they chose doesn’t work for us and the IEP is due March 20th
Are we allowed to request to postpone it?

Chuck

Yes. If they say that they cannot, refer them to: Doug C v Hawaii, https://www.wrightslaw.com/law/art/dougc.hawaii.pwanalysis.htm

Marcus

Lisa you and your husband are allowed to postpone the meeting. The school may be hesitant now because the meeting is the week after. School likely does want to make sure her IEP is up to date. Write them a letter and list some days that you are available and make sure you that put on the paper that you want them to respond within a certain amount of time.

Diane

If a student is hospitalized and their annual review IEP meeting is due, does the school hold the meeting anyway without the student present?

Monique

I just found a student eligible for special education services in a Public School in NJ. I wrote the Initial IEP to reflect a Nov. 23rd , 2017 start date to June. 20th 2018 for an end date. The question is: Can an initial IEP written as a school year IEP or does it have to be an Annual IEP therefore offering an end date of Nov. 22, 2018?

Lucia

I need help. My Son was put on Special education since he was 6 for short term memory. His elementary years went very well, the teacher will keep contact with me about meetings and special accommodations. He was doing well until Middle school started. 6th grade was fairly ok, the school only scheduled a meeting until I asked but it was done. I was not present for it, because I had to work and they only gave me like a 2 day notice. The year ended and he was promoted to 7th grade. When that year started, he was always in detention or there was always a complaint about him. I came to the school to meet with one of his teachers and I was shocked to find out that she did not know my son needed special accommodations. I need help. My son has lost 3 years and the school is not willing to help me. any advice?

Chuck

You need to learn about the dispute resolution processes. Your state parent training & information center can assist you. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center

Mom Advocate

I’d start with your case manager. Email and inquire if the district has any timelines/policies they utilize internally when an IEP meeting is requested. If so, request a copy of the guidelines and refer to those guidelines in future correspondence.

Lori

I requested an emergency iep 5 months ago the school and the district is aware. However they will not schedule it the district can’t do anything and my sons school is a really big football school so I fortunately the school gets away with it I have a parent advocate but it just can’t be done who can I call

Chuck

You can make a complaint to the state education agency. Your state parent training & information center may be able to assist you. http://www.parentcenterhub.org/find-your-center