IEP FAQs: When Do I Get a Copy of the IEP?

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How long should a school have to get me a copy of the revised IEP after my son’s IEP meeting?

You should get a copy of your child’s IEP right away. There is no reason for any delay. Write a short polite letter to request a copy.

If the school wants to send you a “clean” copy” later, thank them, but make it clear that you want a copy of the original IEP before you leave the meeting. Ask that they send you the “clean copy” when it’s available. When you get the clean copy, compare it to the original.

What is the standard practice in your district?… Please vote in the poll

In my district, I receive a copy of the IEP

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09/30/2008 12:51 pm

We do get a copy right away but have learned to look at it very carefully before leaving. One year several pages regarding feeding therapy conveniently disappeared. We had to remind the principal that several people in the room (not district employees) had been present for the 20 min. discussion of those goals before she arranged a meeting to reinsert the pages. The bigger question is: are the goals actually being implemented? I discovered that my son’s goals of learning to use playground equipment, turn-taking, and other play-related social interactions during recess had been unilaterally replaced by a “walking program”. He never went outside and his aide walked him up and down the hallway. Shortly after telling me this his aide was replaced by someone who had “worked for the district a long time”.

09/30/2008 12:43 pm

In my district, in suburban Cincinnati, OH, since we start with an already developed “draft” IEP, many changes can occur. Rather than actually rethinking the way we handle the “draft” IEP process, we often have to ask the parent to wait until changes are made on the computer, so we have a “clean” IEP to keep. The turn around time for sending the “clean” IEP averages 2 days. But for parents who insist on having the signed IEP in hand when they leave, many of the staff can get changes done then and there! I encourage parents to not be nice and to get the IEP before they leave, but many will not assert that much. I will renew my efforts to get parents to be more assertive!

09/30/2008 11:29 am

I have 2 boys with autism in Macomb County, Michigan. I leave with a copy of the IEP in my hands.

09/30/2008 10:58 am

Our wonderful school district gives us a draft copy BEFORE the IEP meeting so we can review it and be prepared. We then get a copy when we leave the meeting with any changes noted. I also prepare a list of our goals for the boys and give it to the team members before the meeting, combining our personal goals at home, and the goals of my boys outside providers (OT, Speech, ABA). Everyone is on the same page and it makes for a very pleasant meeting where we talk about how wonderful the boys are!
Proud mom of Matthew and Ryan
Washington State

09/30/2008 10:47 am

Our school district uses outdated carbon paper copy IEP forms. Most school districts in Michigan have gone to computer forms. The use of carbon paper cory forms allows them to tear out a copy for you at the close of the IEP, however the form needs updating to reflect changes in special ed. law that have occured since the printing of the forms, and this has caused problems.

09/30/2008 10:45 am

In Ripon, California, it is very easy to get a copy of the IEP at the meeting. Sometimes they have it ready for us before the IEP meeting even starts. The problem is that it is not worth the paper it is printed on. The other problem is getting them to attach the parents concerns, BIPs, and other important information. Of course there are always errors all the way through the IEP and we spend the year going to 6 IEP meetings getting them fixed, but the IEP still isn’t worth anything because the Districts never offer what your child really needs. It all comes down to MONEY. Our district likes to spend it on due process instead of programs for the children.

09/30/2008 10:41 am

It usually takes several days to receive the IEP from my school but I never thought of this as unreasonable. Good point that there is no reason for it to take that long. Thank you!

09/30/2008 10:10 am

I am a Parent Advocate where I run into this issue quite frequently. Many districts come to the meeting with a DRAFT IEP, but then collect them after the meeting. Often parents do not receive their IEP for several days after the meeting, most have to call the district to ask, “When am I going to receive it?”

09/30/2008 10:02 am

I usually get a copy of the IEP with notes when I leave the meeting. It is hard to read. I usually have to request sometimes more than once a revised copy of the IEP and never get the IEP minutes that I request. Comments that I know were made in the meeting usually do not make it into the final IEP. OR the statements that were made or the dicussions that happened in the meeting with the entire IEP Team are recorded in the IEP in the schools favor. Or either the statements name the parents and have negative comments.

09/30/2008 10:02 am

At our last IEP meeting, they said they were having computer problems. When we got a copy of the IEP a few days later, it had NONE of the changes made to it. So the moral of the story is: don’t ever leave without your copy!!!!

09/30/2008 10:00 am

I am a parent of two children with LDs in Massachusetts. In
7 years my district has never given me the IEP draft after a meeting. In the past it could take two months before we had an IEP. In the past 4 years that has changed and I receive it within two weeks but the IEP is never correct there is always something missing that we agreed upon or the wording is too vague… So add another 2 weeks to the process.

09/30/2008 9:48 am

We live in Florida, and my 9 year old daughter has PKU, which is a metabolic disorder that can cause some learning disablilities, when we lived in Michigan she got resource time in school, and was doing pretty good. We moved to Florida and no one wants to help her, we have had one charter school refuse to take her and two public schools, she is in fourth grade, and has an IEP ( other health impaired) but is at 2nd grade level, she deserves to get an education. How do I go about getting what she needs and making these schools help her and keep her as a student.

Thank you

09/30/2008 9:42 am

We used to be a Xerox copy of the IEP at the end of the meeting. About a year ago everything was computerized and now it takes a couple of weeks to get a copy. And usually that copy has problems. We are also getting better at advocating, and we wonder if this is a delaying tactic.

09/30/2008 9:34 am

I just had to chase my son’s IEP paper work down. But I wasn’t surprised, after all it took 4 years from my Initial certified letter to the school district asking for testing and an IEP to receieve my request. Now that I have it in my hand I’m pulling him out of the goverment schooling system. I’m going to homeschool him just like I had to do with his 2 older sbilings.

09/30/2008 9:27 am

There is absolutely no reason why you should wait more than 15 minutes after the IEP meeting. This allows time to make copies for all interested parties. I find it very disturbing if you must wait to get the information longer than that amount of time. It gives the transcriber too much opportunity to add or delete information all parties agreeded to on the plan. I have been in IEP case conferences when it seemed like the members of the school team were a secret society; but also when everything was open and above board. As I am no longer in the classroom (I am going to school to be a counselor) this site has given me so many tools for my counselor tool box. I have always advocated for the student; I now feel better prepared with all of this information.

09/30/2008 9:17 am

During the ARC meeting, at my son’s school, the IEP is actually done on their computer, which projects on a screen for all to see. Once the ARC meeting is over, I immediately receive a copy.

I like the way the school does this, because it allows time for discussion and less writing.

09/30/2008 9:12 am

It’s difficult to get a copy of my son’s IEP from our school district soon after a Committee on Special Education meeting has taken place. It is about one month before the updated IEP, including meeting minutes and goal changes, is available and even then it is stamped “DRAFT” until the Board of Education approves it. I give 2 days prior notice that I will be making an audio recording of the meeting because the minutes have historically not included all of my objections & suggestions nor are the discussions that took place represented accurately – sometimes it is necessary for me to send a letter requesting corrections and inclusions be made to the IEP/meeting minutes. My district sends a letter sometimes stating that they do not recall the events as I do, despite my audio recording quotes, but attached my letter to the IEP as per FERPA.

09/30/2008 8:42 am

Saddleback Valley School District, Orange County, Calif. I write a letter (emailed and faxed) making a written request for the draft copy of the goals, reports, data sheets, 5 days in advance of an IEP. At the most recent IEP meetings, the Program Specialist has made changes on the fly – during the IEP meeting. So we leave with revised IEP. Our meetings last 3-4 hours, sometimes spanning two days. In the past we would have revised IEPs within 1-2 days.

09/30/2008 8:39 am

Our IEP experience is not normal in more than a few ways, even for our school district, which has a very sour reputation. I have not accepted an IEP in over 3 years. We are still negotiating, and now my son is 18, So we’re discussing how he can get the education and transition services he’s been asking for since freshman year of high school in a college setting with kids his age. So the concept of an actual working IEP is really foreign to me at this point.

09/30/2008 8:30 am

I write and circulate parent concerns in advance of the meeting. Other team members work on goals with my input before the meeting. If all is going well (i.e., my child is making adequate progress), we know that well before the meeting and the meeting itself becomes a non-event.

I talk to the staff “on the ground” with my daughter all the time: in person, via email and in notes back and forth. No one likes surprises. If I have a problem or they need to lead me to a difficult conclusion, we work it out before the meeting. That way, parents and teaching staff are on the same page at the meeting. Higher ups get a preview from staff so they are not surprised either and can send appropriate decision makers to the meeting.
This works for me.It would not work for parents who are not able to be in constant touch throughout the year

09/30/2008 8:13 am

Usually I do not sign at the IEP meeting because I do not know exactly what was written in it during the meeting. They print it up right after the meeting and gove me a copy. I ask for a few days to read it over and then I sign if it is OK. If it is not, I start making calls and ask for another ARD/IEP meeting (by email)in 10 days to revise the document.

09/30/2008 8:01 am

As per our current CT regs, LEA’s have five business days to get the final copy of the IEP to parents. Parents are NEVER given a copy of the IEP before they leave and IEP meeting. Our regs are currently in revision. Our state DOE wanted to leave out any directive or timeline as to when parents must receive the final copy of the IEP. There was huge public outcry over this; parents NEED this final copy ASAP and LEA’s NEED a specific directive (timeline) when this must be accomplished. The final revised regs are not out yet but I believe the timeline will remain 5 business days after an IEP meeting.

03/16/2017 2:03 pm
Reply to  Michelle

5 days is very fair to both parties. The federal law has a 5 day waiting period for decisions to go into effect, and this can be (and usually is to benefit the child) but does not have to waived. I am thankful that I can work with my school district instead of against them, like it sounds like so many people do. I work well with staff and they care about my child. We do not have the capability to print the ARD in the meeting, but it is not a big deal since we all work together.

09/30/2008 7:44 am

I am an RSP teacher and I make a copy of the IEP at the end of the meeting so that the parents can have it in their hands before they leave.
Unfortunately, I do not trust our school district and I am constantly advocating for my students and offer suffer the consequences from my superiors.
I always advise parents that they are the best advocates for their children.

09/30/2008 7:43 am

In Oklahoma, I always obtained a copy to anything and everything that was produced in a meeting to make decisions, during the meeting. I want a hard copy in front of me. The school is an institution, so they have access to a copy machine and someone in which to copy data. Parents are equal members of the IEP Team and the well-informed is one that has the data required to make the appropriate decisions. If a parent feels enforced then they can enforce the responsibilities of the district, via the IEP. If you sign your name, get a legible copy, immediately. For the district do so otherwise, is to negate the parents as an insignificant team member. When you ‘sign’ your John/Jane Doe on the dotted line…..write in that you will receive a copy of the document, immediately, or on the parent input document and attach it to the IEP.

09/30/2008 7:36 am

I have had to send a registered Letter to the Super to get a copy of my sons last IEP.

09/30/2008 7:32 am

We lived in Orange County, NY and in our school district we would recieve the IEP in draft for right after the meeting and the final copy 5-10 days later. Every request had to be written and it was to your benefit to document the phone calls by writing down the time, name of the person you talked to and the reason for your call.
We currently live in Wake County, NC and our son’s teacher leads the meeting. She fills out the draft version of the IEP and works with everyone very closely to see that his needs are met. We get the draft at the meeting and then within a week we get the final copy. What works to our benefit with our sons current IEP is that his teacher has a son of her own on the spectrum.

09/30/2008 7:28 am

Normally I get a copy of the IEP immediately. At our last IEP I asked (I asked at the meeting) for an additional plan to be developed with the district psychologist – I have yet to be informed as to the results of that (2 weeks). I love the idea of providing the thumb drive for a copy right then since the district is now doing everything via computer.

09/30/2008 7:23 am

When I had my son IEP in April 2008 at CPSE, I received a copy the day of his IEP meeting. I then make multiple copies myself and sent to the districit office for kindergarten placement in ensure that I could great a school that fitted his needs. Very important to stay on top of the eduacation and be a strong advocate for your child.

09/30/2008 7:12 am

In Syracuse it can take 3-6 weeks to get the IEP. When you ask about the timeline to receive the copy in the mail–they fudge the response and talk about how many others they need to get out.

09/30/2008 7:08 am

I have three children with Asperger’s and have seen it all from the school. Usually, I will get a “place card” at the end of the Team meeting. It has taken up to 2 months for me to get an IEP and that is after letters, phone calls, etc. Once in awhile I will get it within 10 days but this is rare. Next comes getting them to impliment the IEP. Another full time job.

09/30/2008 7:01 am

In my son’s school district the administration are favoring single mothers, autism and asberger’s mothers. The Director of Intervention Services is a single mother and a she is favoring all of the single mothers, especially the ones who send their child to a private school and coe back to the public school.

09/30/2008 6:53 am

In Maryland the problem is that they are now required to input the IEP into a computer program. It becomes a problem because there are only 1 or 2 persons at the IEP meeting who know how the program works, and they are still in the learning curve. The only thing I was able to get at the table at my last meeting was the first couple of pages, and I requested a copy of the signatures from the team attending on the front page. Even when I did received the “clean copy” about a week later, it was still full of incorrect or inaccurate information and was not complete.

09/30/2008 6:39 am

There were so many corrections to be made I had to wait 24 hours for the corrections and a copy to be made. It took us 1 1/2 hours to go over the IEP. It was her second and she is in PreK. She is a special needs, 5 year old with PDD/ADHD. We fought to keep her in the LRE and the result was to have an out of town Autism specialist be in contact with the teacher 15 minutes every week for any problems. The teacher is also trained in autism. We have the best of both worlds. She will need Speech/Language re-evaluation and they have 60 school days once the new IEP is singned to find an outside source to do that evaluation. We were very happy with this IEP and than Wright’s Law for all the help in preparing us.

09/30/2008 6:34 am

I often accompany parents to IEP meetings in Virginia. I find that teams, when asked, will xerox the revised IEP on the spot and give that copy to the parents. The problem the parents encounter is that it often is very difficult for them to get a “clean” copy. They need that clean copy to make certain that the changes were actually made on the final copy. David’s thumb drive idea (below) is great.

09/30/2008 6:25 am

Works a little differently in England. The IEP is very comprehensive and includes medical, social, speech, pschological appendixes in thier own right that support the Statement of Special Education Need = to U.S. IEP.

The IEP is much more whole person concept in the U.K. and not solely focused on access to education. Our SEN is about 40 pages in all.

You get a proposal and have two weeks to review and comment and send back. This goes back and forth until parent is compelety satisfied. The district is a partner with a parent to provide the school everything it needs to support unique child needs. I prefer the treat of special needs kids here in the U.K. as it is all about the child. Education is socialized here so cost is much lower.


09/30/2008 5:53 am

I actually receive a working copy of the IEP at least a week before so that I can go over it and suggest changes. After the meeting, the Intervention Specialist walks us out and stops at the copy machine and hands us a copy then mails us the corrected “Computer” copy when the changes have been made.

09/29/2008 10:10 pm

My personal experience in Texas, if you didn’t disagree to any of the goals and you accepted what they gave you at the ARD meeting you get a copy then/there. My experience is all of the IEP goals are drafted by the ISD prior to the meeting as they do not welcome parental involvement in the process. If you disagreed or wanted to add your goals, they will try to sell you on why their goals cover the same information in a vague way, so that they are not specific, just vague, if that’s the case, it can take a while to get them back.

09/29/2008 8:08 pm

In SC once you make a request that you would like to have a copy of the IEP meeting minutes along with your copy of the IEP, you should be able to leave the meeting with both of them,

We have even provided a thumb drive for the IEP team to save an electronic copy of the IEP, when their printer was down.

09/29/2008 3:11 pm

We usually get a handwritten fill in the blanks draft copy, but it can be hard to read. I usually have to send the IEP back at least twice [this past year three times] due to inaccuracies or other errors for corrections. I really have to use a fine-toothed comb to review anything sent by this case manager!

09/29/2008 2:56 pm

In NYC the team will hand you a copy of the IEP if everything has gone according to “plan”. If there are changes or additions that need to be made, they will send you a copy of the IEP within 10 business days. Naturally, there are often glitches, (the team forgets), and the IEP never arrives. In such a case, we go down to the district office in person and request the copy while we wait.

I have frequently found that the district will ignore letters or phone calls, and say they never received them. If you are standing in front of them, they usually want to get rid of you so you get the IEP relatively quickly.

Sharon 🙂

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