IEP FAQs: How Can I Correct Errors in the Record?

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I record all school meetings. At the last meeting, the team brought in a “note taker” for the first time. I requested a copy of these notes. When I reviewed them, they included incorrect and false statements, and information about events at previous meetings.What can I do to correct these notes and/or remove them from my son’s record?

The procedures about how IEPs are developed differ from state to state. There is no requirement in the federal law or federal regulations that an IEP include “minutes or deliberations or notes” so this is probably a local policy. If the school has minutes, notes, or other documentation from IEP meetings, these notes and minutes are part of your child’s record and available to you.

What should you do to set the record straight?

As a parent, you have to pick your battles. If the notes contain incorrect information, or do not include important information or discussions, you need to write a letter or statement to correct the record. Your letter should include examples of these errors and a request that the record be corrected. Explain that the meeting was recorded so it should not be difficult to correct the errors. Your letter will become part of your child’s education record.

Since you recorded the meeting, your recording is the best evidence of what was discussed and not discussed. You can provide the team with a copy of your recording to help them correct the errors. If the school has a copy of your recording, that will also become part of your child’s record. If you have a problem later that cannot be resolved informally, and you need to request a due process hearing, this documentation will be very useful as evidence. If you take these steps now, the district may abandon the idea of bringing a note-taker to your meetings in the future.

  1. Can changes be made to my son’s iep that was finalized a week ago without an amendment? The sped coordinator is claiming changes can be made without an amendment since it is a clerical error with an iep goal. I disagree and think the change is more than just clerical.

    • Good Morning Beth,
      I agree with you. I ask my case managers to close an IEP within 48 hours. If it’s still open I would say you could do it without a formal meeting if you agree. If it’s been finalized you have to have an amendment meeting, formally or informally. That is your choice.

  2. Dear all , I really need help here , my son’s IEP turning 5 meeting made a mistake, my son supposed is bilingual class 12:1:1 kindergarten , however, they put down as monolingual. Current school doesn’t haven’t monolingual class setting , only have bilingual 12:1:1 , Now he can’t get in right class . I ask the school if they can fix on his IEP, the school said they can’t , need to do re-evaluation and have meeting all over again ? I’m so frustrated … any recommendation here can help ? Many thanks

  3. I was not given a copy of my child’s IEP at the meeting. The case manager had me sign the signature page to prove I was at the meeting. She said I had to by law. She stated that his IEP would remain the same. She did not get a copy of the IEP to me for 2 months after the meeting. The page I signed was attached. After looking over the IEP closely months later I discovered that she wrote something about a Transfer of Rights and that Rights were Transferred. We never even discussed that at all. Is there anything I can do?

    • I suggest contacting the district special ed office for an explanation of this. When a child reaches a certain age they are considered an adult by the state, and all rights transfer to them, unless the parent goes to court to stop the transfer. This may be what they are referring to, but it should have been explained to you at the meeting.

  4. So you say that the amendment cannot be retroactive, but when you add the accommodations to an IEP that already has accommodations, that portion of the IEP uses the same dates of the original IEP to which the amendment is attached. This would make it seem like the amendment could be retroactive.

  5. The fact that there was a note taker doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. Someone in our meetings is always taking notes for the minutes. Have them read the notes aloud or let you review them before you sign the paperwork. You can also request changes after the fact. I’ve done so and it hasn’t been a big deal.

  6. In the future, you can bring a tape recorder, place it on the table, and inform everyone that you will be recording the meeting.

  7. In everyone of our IEP meetings there has always been a note taker. As stated from another comment I as the grandmother have noticed that several comments I have made were left out. My grandson is 6yrs. mainstreamed first grade – has already been suspended within his first month of school. Behavioral probs. main issue. Ped. Neuro. plus psychiatrist have sent scripts for ABA- speech. Was asked @ last meeting why was ABA needed? so far he has bitten 3 children… doesn’t have the behavioral therapy ….. have an advocate , small county school, just wants to send him home. Topped out on Readwell , Stanford tests also. Mom single parent -husband divorced her. Lol as my grandson says there is Nuffin in this town that will help him !!!!!!! tks

  8. Jill I would get an IEP meeting together with your niece to discuss the issues. It is difficult to lie if everyone is in the room and you can find out what is going on. If there is a behavior issue you can request a behavioral assessment from the school, be sure to sign their consent form after you formally request it in writing and within 60 days they should have the assessment done. You can request a DRAFT version ahead of time to review and talk to a professional about it if you want. If you do not agree you can have an outside professional perform an evaluation at the school’s expense. If it is determined that there is a behavior issue then a plan is put in place and added to the IEP. Once this is added the staff must follow the plan and your niece cannot be penalized for them not following it.

  9. Julie I always take a digital tape recorder to my IEP meetings. I tell the school ahead of time in case they want to tape the meetings as well. This way there is no doubt as to what people say. Usually the tone of the meeting is better and it goes faster and more efficiently. You will get less lying and false statements if the meeting is tape recorded. We have never had a refusal to do this. I always tell them I cannot take notes and discuss at the same time. This saves me from taking notes and maybe making a mistake.


    Could someone explain what insubordination means in the high school setting. My niece was told this week by a teacher that she was being insubordinate and almost got sent to the principal’s office. She has never been in trouble before. She has an IEP. My brother and his wife are trying to get her more help because she is failing in 2 classes. I am really worried about her. She describes an intervention specialist that yells all the time at her. My niece is only a freshman. When I was picking her up from school one afternoon, I heard this teacher talking to my niece. She did not know who I was so she just kept talking. She called her a “liar” and a “brat”. I am afraid my niece is being driven to “insubordination”. She is a very sweet, very quiet person. Does anyone know?

  11. I wanted to go back to review Team Meeting minutes. The team chair told me that they have a new policy where all team meeting minutes are destroyed. They take the stance that these are “personal notes”. However they are taken on a blue formalized form, with the student’s name at the top. More than one person often takes the minutes at a given meeting. For 7 meetings that I received copies of minutes for, they have all been destroyed in my daughter’s file. There are some meetings that I really need to see the discussion. Isn’t this in violation of FERPA, if the minutes have the student’s name, are written by multiple people, shared with others than the writer…?

    • Julie, you may request any notes taken during an IEP meeting. And schools are legally bound to give you copies.

  12. I have two questions.

    If you take notes on a sped student, just for your self reference a teacher. Is it important to put those notes in the students file.

    If a student is getting ready to graduate and you would like to help student with life skills and bring in agencies to guide this student, before you set these meeting up the teacher may need to enclose information from a students IEP. can you do this or will a permission waiver from parents need to be in place before any information is disclosed.

  13. Marianne, a good advocacy tool is to always have the meeting minutes read back for accuracy, and not to leave the meeting without copies of them. I offer to wait or make the copies because “I know they are so busy”.

    I also write a very nice thank you notes after the meetings. I thank them for taking the time out of their day to meet with me, then document everything that was said and done “to make sure I understand,” and tell them how much I hope they enjoyed the goodies I brought…….. I ALWAYS FEED THEM!!

    Call me crazy but it works, — something about “breaking bread” together! I know this does not really help with the problem you have “at hand,” but this can help you in the future. Becoming a parent advocate is an evolution! We learn from what has happened and change how we do things in order to become more effective advocates.

  14. You could send a letter stating that you are concerned your concerns and perspectives were misunderstood. State what it says in the notes. Then give a better explanation of your viewpoint. You can always ask to convene another meeting to ensure all parties involved understand what you consider to be the source of your child’s difficulties.

  15. How do I have misleading and inaccurate information changed from the notes of an mtg to discuss the need for testing and iep eligibility. I did not have a note taker and the mtg was not recorded. Since they allege I made the statements, would they have to prove that I made the statements? Is it my word against theirs? Their statements make it look like I blame the teachers and hometeaching tutors for my daughter’s issues. During the mtg I repeated several times that her problems are related to executive functioning skills.

  16. My son’s school gave me his Qrt 2 IEP progress report (goals & measures) and it was not the original page used w/ in his IEP for the 1st Qtrly report. The previous copy given to me read he did not meet his goals back in May and the current IEP progress report given to me stated substantial progress for the previous report (5/09) My question – is there a policy & procedure that is state mandated on how discrepancies are to be documented in the Child’s IEP or confidential SE file? The schools resolution is replacing the wrong version w/ the correct version as if nothing every happened. Not too mention they stated on one he did not meet his goals & then on the current that he did. I want the discrepancy to reflect w/ in his IEP & all his files they keep. What should I do?

  17. Can an IEP meeting be void if the school invited an extra psychologist without notifying the parents first? Our son’s eligibility was changed during this meeting. We didn’t even have to sign the eligibility form.

  18. JoAnn

    When at the crossroads of 504 and IEP, the wisest IDEA is always turn right onto IEP.

    See #47 Wrightslaw post under Community Helpline

  19. There is something called 504 that you can go through if a child who needs to remain in IEP tests out. I don’t know much about it but am at these crossroads myself as my son will be reevaluated next month and I expect him to test out. He has been in IEP since 2001/3rd grade and is now in 10th. He barely passes some classes but makes A’ and B’s in others and I have to constantly stay on the teachers and complain to head of the IEP. If he has a good inclusion/teacher, he does well. If not or if his needs aren’t being met, he does poorly. Good Luck!

  20. My daughter has an IEP for Emotional Disability, the school district labeled her with this because of past issues. Her dad and i are okay with this – she needs the service, she is doing well on the math and reading goals in her IEP. However she was also supposed to receive counseling by a staff member. She has not received this for over a year.

    I have an IEP meeting coming up soon. The district drafted an IEP that does not include counseling. They said that they can’t put it in her IEP if they don’t have the service available. Can they just take things off her IEP without her dad or my permission? I know they want to test her. She will test out because she is doing well with the service … what now?

  21. We asked our district to “correct” misleading documentation used to report false information to the Office of Civil Rights. This information allowed the district to justify denial of a FAPE for my child.

    The school district’s attorney cc’d me in her response, about 24 months after the initial request, to our attorney. Obviously the names have been removed to protect the school district and their position.

    See direct quote below.

    “As I mentioned when we talked, I cannot agree to all of the substantive revisions that the Names have requested, based on my concerns about how such a document, which would indicate agreement to the Names’ stance on various issues, could adversely impact the District’s position”.

    There is apparently a limit to how much truth the school district’s attorney will allow to be communicated if the district’s “position” is in jeopardy.

    Sometimes, simply asking for a specific correction in writing will yield enough documentation to validate your concern.

  22. We had to correct errors in our son’s IEP this year. It took about three [two uncertified and one certified return receipt] letters and another IEP meeting to get our point across. You have to be persistent and use the US Postal Service, and certified, return receipt letters usually tells ’em you mean business!

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