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.

  1. If a copy of the IEP was not given to the parent on the date anticipated, do I need to convene another IEP meeting to review the goals?

    • If you were in agreement with the IEP and feel it is likely that the IEP reflects what was discussed in the meeting there’s probably not much reason to reconvene to review.

      What there is good cause to do is contact the person(s) who are responsible for dissemination of the document and ask ever so nicely if you can have your copy now. If you’ve had problems in the past consider a polite “wondering where my copy is” letter. If you have a good relationship a phone call might do.

      If you haven’t yet signed the IEP they will probably want you to do so. And even if you have, everyone affected/responsible needs their copy ASAP.

  2. If a parent is out of town and gives verbal permission to hold meeting without them in attendance…Is this verbal permission sufficient or must the ARD notice be signed by the parent?

  3. I had an IEP meeting on January 18th and my advocate is no longer able to help me so I requested to keep it open until February 17th. The school said they are only allowed 10 days after the meeting to keep it open. I am looking for another advocate but haven’t told them yet, I have been just trying to delay them. How long can a IEP stay open after a meeting?

  4. Can an IEP convene so that the District is not in violation of the annual or tri-annual due date for the purposes of conducting the meeting at a later date at the request of the parent?

    • Please give as much advise as possible regarding delaying an IEP due to parents inability to attend keeping in mind that the services the student is receiving will continue.

      • Parent participation in the IEP process is an important concept of IDEA. The Doug C v Hawaii court decision reminds schools of this. You can remind the school of this verbally & in writing when you ask for a postponement. Google parent participation on the wrightslaw homepage. This will give you advise on this topic. You can request to participate by phone or computer video. You can use the state dispute resolution processes to try to get an agreeable date, or to challenge any decision made when you are not present. Your state parent training and information center can give you advice.

  5. Can an IEP annual date be extended due to inclement weather if the parent signs a Written Agreement to extend the current IEP? We have tried to have the meeting since December 15, 2016; with snow days and winter break we have passed the annual date.

  6. If a parent states in email that they do not wish to hold an annual IEP, then when told about IDEA and parents tell school to choose a date that works best for them because the parents are unable to attend in person, but can over phone. If the school, in August, schedules and IEP for November, providing parents with reminders of upcoming meeting, can they all of sudden cancel? Parent requested 2 days prior meeting numerous documents based on previous year student behavior and for that cancel IEP. Parent is told Admin is working on documentation and additional dates provided (during school hour meeting) with reminder that there is no school on 2 dates and parents say that is the only 2 dates they are available before the meeting. What is the school to do? IEP will expire.

  7. can the school and IEP team refuse more than one IEP meting within a year? I know parents can request the meetings but does the school have to accommodate and attend more than one IEP within the 12 months?

  8. If I am understanding the landmark ruling Doug C. v. Hawaii correctly, if a parent cannot make it on time the IEP is invalid. Also, any IEP member, besides the parent may not be at the meeting and this can be approved by the parent at the meeting. So, even if the parent cannot attend the meeting and the IEP will become invalid before the meeting can take place, a stay put can go into effect and the student will continue to receive all services per their prior IEP until such a time that the parent can attend a meeting and sign into effect a new IEP. Is this correct?

    • I am a special education teacher. The IEP team must make three good faith attempts to hold the meeting with the parent there, sending Notice of Meeting each time. On the third meeting attempt, if the parent is not there, then the meeting can be held without the parent, and documentation affixed showing that attempts were made to have a meeting with the parent there. Parents may attend by phone, with documentation as to why the parent’s signature is not on the documents.

  9. Our IEP was set to expire on 9/9/15 however the school scheduled our IEP meeting for 9/8/15. My husband and I have concerns about goals and objectives especially Since evaluations show our students, a junior, is only proficient in math to a 6th grade level. Our student passed his OGT’s barely with a 410 in math and a 412 in writing. our intervention specialists have told us they are only there to monitor our students progress. The only recommended assistance offered was to put out student In a remedial math clas his senior year. I offered to sign an extension of last years IEP while we work on this years but was told that is no longer an option. The remainder of his IEP is about transitioning out of high school to either college or a job.

    • Additionally, my husband and the OT were unable to attend (OT was not invited) so I didn’t sign it and asked to discuss it with my husband. At that point hey said we would meet in 3 weeks. this was a draft IEP as it was prepared by the district prior to the meeting and only recieved a copy of it at 10pm the night before the meeting. We had no input in its creation. I have now been advised, by the district, that they plan to implement the draft IEP and if I disagree I will need to file for arbitration. we have had so many issues with the district being out of compliance in the past even last year. I’m in dire need of assistance at this point

  10. I know an IEP must be developed within 30 days of the evaluation. The issue I am having is that the parents have postponed several times and now we will be out of compliance according to the school district I work for. So, they have decided to hold the meeting without the parents then reschedule and present a complete IEP to them. I do not agree with this. what can I do to make it right.

    • Pete says that all special education staff who conduct IEP meetings should be familiar with this landmark ruling about IEP meetings and parental participation. Read Doug C. v. Hawaii. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Court said failing to include the parent at the IEP meeting violated the procedural requirement of IDEA and invalidated the IEP.

      • Another issue at school.
        A student’s IEP is Due May 17th, however the parents requested a re-evaluation to be done. The evaluation was completed and the meeting was held May 14th. The IEP was not conducted at the same meeting due to various reasons. The IEP meeting was agreed on at the re-evaluation meeting to have an IEP meeting on May 26th. Does this put us out of compliance for the yearly IEP meeting? We did discuss the IEP and what it will consist of at the re-evaluation meeting.
        Tired of the lies that school administrators tell parents and teachers about the laws. Because of my advocacy for my students, I usually end up in hot water.

  11. Good Afternoon,
    I work for a school district in Oregon. I am concerned. Is it legal for a district to make a child’s file inactive to meet a timeline. Meaning an evaluation has to be performed with in 45 days. When we are not able to perform one in this time line we make the child’s file in active until the evaluation. Is this legal?

  12. I just had my son’s iep. I found out yesterday from someone else, he was supposed to have testing done last year. When I asked for it to be done, I was told again, it is not needed. I said I wanted the iep tabled until the testing was done. They told me his iep was done and there was nothing I could do about it. When I said I would not sign it, they said I did not have to sign it.

    • If the SpEd team have enough data to be certain the student still qualifies for the classification s/he already has, for example, s/he is still performing low enough below grade level that s/he obviously still has a discrepancy between capability and performance, or progress monitoring shows they are not responding to interventions, the team can choose not to do the testing. That is legal.

      • You are correct to an extent. The parent has to agree that further assessment is not needed. They should have provided a document to the parent explaining that they had enough data and information to establish eligibility, goals, etc., and that form should include an area where the parent agrees or disagrees and wants an assessment. An IEP team can tell the parent they don’t need testing data, but in the end it’s the parents decision.

  13. My child has an IEP meeting set up on 3/21/14. This is the exact date that it was done in 2013. I recently found out that the school is not following his IEP, and they are not using the accommodations outlined in his IEP. I need more time to consult with an educational advocate or attorney. Can I request to push back the IEP date?

    • Pushing the meeting back will put the IEP out of compliance. Better to meet, tell them you have concerns and request another meeting very soon, when you feel you can have the info you need. It is legal to have more than one IEP per year, but not legal to not have one within a year.

  14. My son moved to public schools in TX from a school for dyslexia. We created an IEP in 6th grade. He has done fairly well I have not had reason to call any meetings. He has received accomodations for testing. He enetered 9th grade and he is struggling. I have received nothing over the past rew years on his IEP or goals, I am concerned. Furthermore, this school has what is called “content mastery” a room that students can go to for help but they must leave the classroom to do so. Some instructors make a mockery of this and my son is way to embarrassed to attend. Any advice on my first steps to get him back on the right tract. He was diagnosed ADHD, APD, dyscalcia and dysgraphia

    • Contact the SpEd Director at the school. Ask them to check whether your son’s file is in compliance, as you have not had a meeting in years. Legally, you should have been invited to a meeting at least once a year whether you felt a need or not, at which you would have been informed about your son’s present levels of performance, etc. You should not be the one who instigates the meetings. Also, by law, every three years you should be contacted about a re-evaluation. The team can decide to re-evaluate, or they can decide they have adequate data to be certain your son still qualifies for the classification he is in and decide not to evaluate. But either way, they should hold an Eligibility Meeting which you are notified about, and there is a document you should sign at that meeting.

  15. >>personnel required to attend the meeting didn’t attend<<

    Than anything developed at the IEP is invalid, no need to go further.

    "In addition…[…..]" everything you said after that is ILLEGAL. Contact your State Department of Education and they will help you out.

  16. Yesterday, I attended my son’s IEP meeting. They requested a meeting last Thursday because my son’s IEP expires 9-5-13. No one had their information prepared before the meeting so I didn’t receive a pre draft. During the meeting, personnel required to attend the meeting didn’t attend. In addition, my son’s goals, baselines and methods for evaluation were not complete. They gave me less than 24 hours to sign the IEP. But, they are requesting that I remove my son’s Behavior Intervention Plan without reassessing. Furthermore, they’re trying to force me to change his eligibility without proper assessments and threatening to remove his eligibility completely.

  17. Jennie – Of course you can postpone & explain that you did not have enough time to review the DRAFT & feel unprepared. Put it in writing that you received it one day before at the end of the day & politely request a new date. Do this every time & they will get the message that they cannot mess with you. I used to have this done to me & always asked for a new date. They eventually gave us a DRAFT IEP 5 days before the meeting. This gave us plenty of time to review it & respond to it with our ideas before the meeting which then allowed us to get the meeting completed much quicker.

  18. We asked for my sons goals ahead of time so that we could adequately prepare for our IEP. We were told that they didn’t have them the morning before our date. We were given them at the end of the school day, the day before the IEP. The goals are hard to understand and unclear as to how they will be measured. We are feeling very overwhelmed trying to prepare in such a short time. Can we postpone the meeting if we are already at the end of the one month extension of the annual date?

  19. Annual ARD at a halt, there were no disagreements, only valid discussions hashing out the goals/objs and then the school abruptly stopped the annual ARD (while district attorney present). Parents did not agree to Stop. We just want our child’s annual IEP completed and the district wants the State to mediate. We do not want to mediate.

  20. Get an advocate! my son’s school turned around and stopped giving us the run around when we had a professional step in. It was nice to have someone knowledgeable on our side of the table. We ended up meeting 4 times last year, and our son finally got what he needed. We’re in CO and went through Success By Design Education, but i’m sure you can find an advocate in your area by a google search. Be sure to ask about experience and background! hope this helps!

  21. Extending the Annual IEP Mtg for five days at parent’s request? Is this legal or will we be out of compliance even if the parents sign a waiver to extend the current IEP?

  22. My daughter’s school wants to take me to mediation because they say I’ve asked for too many meetings to re-develop the IEP. I have had 7 meetings within a school year and the delays are that the school does not want to add any of my evals I’ve had done, nor do they want to add any of my input to the present levels of performance. I know there is no limit to the number of IEP meetings I can call, so is the school harassing me or are they trying to shut me up?

    • Kris, I have worked with families and school districts where we have met monthly and bi- monthly all year. Evaluations and including outside information is sometimes not met with grace. That includes myself. The people who are knowledgeable about the child should be included in all meetings. There is a parental input section in CO IEPs and the ability to attach other records you would like considered by the IEP team. The information you provide should be discussed but that does not mean outside evals etc drive instruction nor is the information contained mandated by any law to be woven in the IEP.

  23. Adrianna in ak – An IEP must be done on a yearly basis. You as the parent need to be proactive. The date of an IEP is the next years last date possible before going out of compliance. A month before the date start contacting the school district . I have heard this before with some NY school districts. My district that I live in will make a time that I can attend as well as the school I work in. Parents are part of the team, they need to be their. Hope this helps. Also, Many parents forget and do not show up.

    • Yes, highlight in red the day on the calendar one month before the date one year after the last IEP meeting, and contact the school. Make sure they are working on your child’s next IEP meeting and tell them you are expecting to review the draft IEP before the meeting happens.
      Teachers are human and heavy-laden. Often they struggle to get everything done by the deadline. If you make this contact kindly, it will be a help to them in re-ordering their priorities to get to your child’s IEP in a timely manner. But you need to be proactive too.

  24. Maria – You may have to hire an attorney but you can start by reconvening an IEP meeting and request evidence of their statements. Also review the last IEP and show the difference from the one you have. Perhaps there is a misunderstanding. Once you find out what is going on you can either fix it together or if there is a real issue that the school is not telling the truth and they will not work with you the attorney may be your only choice.



    I would start with a polite letter indicating that it does not appear you and the school are defining or interpreting the situation in the same manner. You will need documentation to back up your understanding, whether this is about IEP compliance, academic achievement, or behavior concerns. Emails, communication log, test scores, homework samples would be examples of documentation.

    After you have laid this out in writing, you can request another meeting to discuss how the IEP can be amended/corrected/written to better reflect the PLOP or what has transpired.

    Have you signed the IEP in question? It is possible to sign indicating that you agree with certain portions so that some services can be provided, but make it clear that you do not yet agree with x, y, and z portions.

  26. On the last iep review the school wrote statements in the iep that are not true about my childs plan. Do I have to go due process to make them change what they wrote?

  27. The age old problem with special education–no one listens to the parent or child. And yet, it is the parent’s sole responsibility to flag concern that our child is not progressing? Worse yet, the “IEP Team” doesn’t even review the child’s records before an “IEP” meeting? I would write a letter to the Superintendent & School Board which details your concerns. Gather up all of you child’s test scores and even school papers in chronological order. Give them as much factual info in a 1 page summary. Detail what you would like to see happen to help your child progress. Ask for an Independent Education Evaluation IN WRITING to the same district leaders. Send it certified, or get them to stamp/sign that they rec’d it & get them to make a copy for you. Sp. education is not supposed to be a babysitter! Our children are there to learn.

  28. Love your answer, but would add that the meeting should not be delayed past the IEP annual date. Yes, the parent can make it clear that another IEP meeting will need to be held if more information becomes available, but he/she also needs to know that the school would be held accountable if the meeting date is missed.

  29. How many days does the district have to respond to a parental request for an IEP meeting? After responding, how mant days to districts have to actually schedule a date? Is there an allowance of extra time given to districts in the summer months?

  30. The school district in Fairbanks, AK., mandates the annual IEP meeting be held on a certain date and the parent cannot postpone the meeting. In fact, they will hold the meeting WITHOUT THE PARENT PRESENT AND COMPLETE THE IEP WITHOUT THE PARENT PRESENT! This is something I have been fighting for 12 years. Even with the new laws, (which have yet to be fully implemented in Fairbanks, Alaska), they will NOT POSTPONE ANY IEP MEETING PAST A CERTAIN DATE, EVEN IF THEY ONLY GIVE THE PARENT ONE DAY NOTICE AND NO IDEA OF WHAT THEY WILL BE DISCUSSING! THIS IS WHAT I AM BATTLING NOW AND TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, THEY HIRED A NEW SUPERENTENDANT WHO HAS NO KNOWLEDGE OF SPECIAL EDUCATION!

  31. Barbara—it is my understanding that until consensus is reached, the child’s current IEP remains status quo. Therefore, if your child had participation in ESY in his current IEP (not the proposed IEP that you are meeting on), then he continues to receive that service. If the school district says otherwise, and your son missed ESY, then you have legitimate grounds for a complaint and compensatory services.

  32. My district has a habit of dragging Annual IEPs out over months & months, especially for older students with Autism who may have a lot of services & accoms & mods needed on their IEP. They have a rule where they won’t let an IEP meeting go longer than two hours, so this means an annual IEP may last six months or more, by the time they get everyone present who needs to be there. This results in services being delayed that can’t be recaptured, such as ESY services. If the IEP isn’t finished until fall, even if it started in the Spring, by the time it is finished the opportunity for ESY that year is gone. Also, if training, support & services to staff are required, or assistive tech for the student, this results in a delay in these things being provided. Is there any law that requires districts to complete an IEP in a reasonable time?

  33. If you meet to reconvene at a later date, what happens to the IEP that is currently in effect, or say just ending, example ends on Oct 31st, but your 3 year eval isn’t due until Dec 15th….can you extend the old IEP, until new information is received from the eval process to create a new IEP that better meets the educational needs of the student?

  34. The school district sent me a letter for an IEP meeting to take place on October 1, 2009 and I just received the letter September 26, 2009. I had already informed the CST that I wanted a conference with the teachers scheduled for Oct. 5 before I had an IEP meeting to see the progress my child is making in his school. Can the district have an IEP so soon? I thought I had 15 days to respond. I would to bring someone with me and I need time to schedule. Is this allowed by law?

  35. Good information, but when the IEP is not being followed and the ‘IEP’ team does NOT exist , how do you respectfully ask that the IEP be reviewed @ the beginning of the school year instead of the end of the year because you, the parent doesnt feel the child is being reviewed properly and the parent needs more time

  36. Everything I keep reading refers to the “IEP team”, exactly who is on it? Isn’t the parent considered a member of the IEP team, or is that too much to hope for?

  37. Can the school board cancel the Eligability meeting once everyone is there because we showed up with our lawyer? They received a phone notifacation the day prior. Everyone refused to speak after he identified himself. Said we needed to get in touch with the school board lawyer. Also, does the 60 days for the eligability period continue to go on since we were present and ready to proceed?

  38. Get good assessments. Get a good neuropsych if needed. I find they’re better trained and thus more equipped to really put a finger on what’s wrong with the way things are.

    Then get a good educational Special Ed Atty.

    If you need to have an aide or personal Classroom Assistant then let it be. It doesn’t matter what they call the person. If it works, do it. There should be no argument about something that is working.

  39. Parent Cancel IEP?

    If parents resolve a issue of a ‘Aide” by hiring a Personal C.A, can we cancel a IEP meeting? They are collecting work-samples for 5 days to see if he needs a para for the remaining 6wks of school.The PCA offered to help him with class-work to.

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