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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10/10/2008 8:42 pm

In our SE Pennsylvania school district I am provided with a draft copy of the IEP prior to the meeting. I am encouraged to read it and note any questions or changes I have. We go over this draft at the IEP conference and if there are no changes then those team members in attendance sign the IEP. Usually one team member is absent – the principal of the school – and I receive a copy of the IEP once all the signatures have been affixed. I’ve never had to wait longer than two days and I’ve never had to chase down a copy of the IEP for my records.

10/10/2008 11:30 am

In Iowa, schools are allowed to present parents with “draft” IEP’s at the initial IEP meeting. These “drafts” are fully complete with the placement decision already made, goals defined and services identified. It’s obvious the IEP Team has met without parents prior to the initial IEP meeting to develop this “draft.”

Parents are left having to defend themselves if they disagree with anything on the “draft” IEP, therefore; it’s really not a draft at all, but a finallized IEP. Parental input is actively discouraged.
It’s always several days before parents are given the final IEP and it always looks very much like the first “draft.”

10/09/2008 9:47 am

My school district in Massachusetts thinks they are far above the law, so it’s always important to make sure I document everything said and agreed upon by the TEAM. When I finally get a copy of the IEP (it can take MANY weeks) I always compare it word by word to any drafts or notes from myself and other TEAM members. I am very fortunate that the service delivery people teaching my daughter are all focused on providing my daughter with appropriate services even if their administrators are not. My daughter has the luxury of having a very cohesive team, minus the school district administration.

Thank you Wrights Law for helping me learn strategies to build an effective team for my child. I don’t think I could have been as successful as I have been without your guidance.

10/08/2008 1:27 am

I am a special education teacher. Our district has provided laptops to us so that changes can be made during the meeting and a clean copy can be provided to the parent at the meeting. Some parents don’t want to wait around the extra 5 minutes to get everything printed and copied. I don’t understand that as I am trying to make sure they have ALL the information that is in their child’s file.

10/05/2008 11:20 pm

How can I get them to include Music Therapy in my sons IEP? This is his means of communication. Their arguement is that they feel they do enough music in the class that it is not needed.

10/03/2008 11:18 pm

In our community just north of Los Angeles, our school district uses a computer program to complete the IEP during the meeting. At the end of the meeting, the IEP is read out loud so that the entire team can agree to it. The signature page actually has different places for noting attendance and agreement (I’m not sure that the school’s personnel truly understand this “fine” point), we’ve always been asked to sign noting our attendance, not our agreement.

I have had to make corrections to the IEP, and have been able to do so and gotten my copy back in a timely manner. A bigger concern I’ve had is that our daughter’s case manager was in charge of note taking during the IEP meetings — which kept her from participating. I had to make a formal request to have someone else take notes to change this.

10/03/2008 7:56 pm

We receive copy of IEP about 1 week prior to meeting date. I send IEP goals and objectives about 2 weeks prior to IEP date. My goals and objectives are then incorporated into a rough draft. I get the rough draft about 1 week prior to IEP. At IEP we go over the plan. If there are any changes we make them on the draft. I get final clean copy within 2 days of final meeting.

10/03/2008 9:30 am

In my town in New Jersey for the past 2 years it took over 5 months for me to get a copy of the IEP!!

10/03/2008 7:12 am

Being a SpEd teacher and parent of a special needs son, I have what I believe is a reasonable attitude regarding the ridiculous amount of paperwork that has to be processed and the urgency we parents feel regarding the school’s plan for educating our children. I’m more than willing to give a day or so after the IEP meeting to allow draft changes to be properly inserted/deleted. The feeling of resentment is never too distant in these relationships, anyway, so why not allow a little breathing room?

10/02/2008 11:57 pm

I have never at this point had to ask for a copy as it was waiting for me on the table at the IEP meeting. If for some reason I didn’t see a plan to work from I always have one that I bring just in case. I am lucky that I have such supportive Teacher’s

10/02/2008 2:56 pm

I had to learn the hard way about having the IEP change what was agreedupon during the meeting, causing me to call another meeting. Thankfully, I recorded the meeting and played the part back when the school tried to change the goal. I also learned that when you have an IEP meeting teleconferenced, have them fax you a copy before the meeting ends. The school is not happy about waiting around, but it cleared up several points that made the IEP look like I agreed with several key area’s where I clearly voiced my concerns. After a couple of meetings they realized I wanted a copy before the meetings ended, and a clean copy sometimes followed when I could not read the writing.

10/01/2008 9:32 pm

Even though my district gives me a copy of the IEP immediately, it is usually lacking all of the information covered or the items that I have asked to be included. There seems to be a slant in the direction of the favor to the sped ed department and usually to the disadvantage of my child.

10/01/2008 9:05 pm

I usually get a copy of the IEP within a week, but I think its reasonable . They usually have to make “corrections”.

10/01/2008 8:10 pm

In our district you receive your IEP in two mailing with no explaination as to how to put everything together. The IEP is handwritten in cursive and getting it corrected is extremely rare.

I have used the wonderful letters from Wrightslaw as a guide to get corrections made. It is interesting all I have accomplished is making people really mad that I am documenting.

10/01/2008 7:24 pm

IEPs copies are given out right after we complete the meeting. Teacher send out a rough draft copy of the IEPs before the meeting so we can see what their thoughts and and how they tried to incorporate the info. we give them on our parent and student questionnaires. We then meet and discuss any changes we as team (meaning teachers and parents) need to make. I then leave with a copy that day even if we have written all over it. I have never had a problem.

10/01/2008 5:13 pm

Because of the Teacher changing every year its like starting over each year! Why do have a hard time keeping Special Education Teachers?

10/01/2008 2:05 pm

They provided me with a draft in advance of the IEP meeting and began services prior to the meeting for my kindergarten student. It is an excellent IEP.

10/01/2008 11:59 am

We did get a copy of the IEP at the end of the meeting, the “plan” has gone accordingly to the “SD” my son failed to read the IEP over night. He should have ask more informed questions to help his daughter and possibly get a better understanding of the programs at P. I (son’s dad) went to many workshops I was not prepared what happened, it is the “SD” and only the “SD” that set’s tune of the “game”. There is no family involvement. (dissappionted) I will insist of a better relationship next year. Dieter

10/01/2008 11:55 am

My son has been on a stay-put IEP since November 2007. The district has refused to respond to my request for mediation. We did meet 3 weeks ago and spent 2 1/2 hours going over all aspects of the IEP I rejected. I was told I would recieve a new version in 2 weeks. The entire process is so frustrating!

10/01/2008 10:15 am

Texas: Use to be within 1-2 days — if I made changes; Same day if I make no changes.

After studying (and becoming “knowledgeable”) WrightsLaw — never leave meeting without it — PERIOD.

10/01/2008 8:48 am

Never sign an IEP at the meeting unless you agree 100% with everything in the IEP. Also, number the pages and initial them. If you ever go to due process, some school districts will remove pages or change the pages at a later time. ALWAYS, have all interventions and related services included in IEP – SD’s intentionally omit the services in the IEP and the minutes. I have had the SD change records, luckily I have several copies of all documentation.

10/01/2008 8:42 am

In our district you recieve a “draft IEP” at the meeting that has been written before you arrive. Because of that it often feels like you are not contributing to the plan but hearing about what has been planned.

10/01/2008 6:15 am

It is easy to get a copy of an IEP with the IU in our district. Have only delt with pre-school at this point.

09/30/2008 10:27 pm

My school district is a total loss in our lives. I may have left the meeting with a copy of the IEP (notes, cross outs and changes on it), and to ask for a clean copy would have been cause for a huge delay. Even when instructed to fill out amendments and get them to me for signature it was not done…….then they could come back and say that what was agreed on never happened. There’s one supervisor that’s considered to be the SATAN of all SpED people and this person is disliked by all parents.

09/30/2008 9:59 pm

With the various timeframes given in this blog, my question is at what point does the child’s teachers get a copy of the IEP?

Having the electronic version allows you to email the IEP to the teachers who leave as soon as they sign the document that they have just committed to memory.

This also allows them to have quick access to it in the event that their memory isn’t working so well.

09/30/2008 8:42 pm

As an ECSE teacher, I prefer to make a copy of the IEP and give it to the parents at the end of the meeting. Sometimes meetings run long, and I have back-to-back meetings. In those cases, I ask the parents if I may send the copy of the IEP home the next school day with their child.

09/30/2008 7:14 pm

We get a draft IEP before the meeting and I always send in goals/objectives from our standpoint as parents and from our son’s standpoint … although they always seem to appreciate the things I send in, they never, in part or whole, make it onto the IEP but I always give a copy of them to the teacher on the first or second day of school the next year anyway.
When we leave the IEP meeting we have an updated draft copy in hand, and get the clean copy for our signatures within a couple of days. We do not sign at the meeting because I want the chance to review and ruminate what is written.
I’ll admit I am viewed as one of “those” parents (with the eye-roll of course) but as our interactions have grown at the school outside the IEP process, it is beginning to be a more positive thing to be one of “those” parents …

09/30/2008 7:09 pm

I have been given one before I leave the school or if I do not have time to wait then I am able to pick it up when I return to get JK It is very important to go over and over it because mistakes are made. Currently we have a great team but it has taken alot of patience and understanding from both sides. It seems to get better when they realized that YOU WILL be involved and that THEY HAVE to work with you. A parent has to be willing to dedicate their time and lots of it

09/30/2008 6:53 pm

I have been told 2x at IEP meetings that School Board approval was needed before I could receive a copy of my son’s IEP. Both times there was a change in placement recommendations.

09/30/2008 6:30 pm

I am a special ed teacher/case manager. The county I am in now in GA (as do many other counties) requires that I give a copy when the meeting is over of the final version of the IEP. We do have a computer program (I’ve done them by hand too, though!) and so it is relatively easy to make the changes in the meeting and print them off for the parent. This allows us to take a draft in to the meeting and get the parent’s input (which should be going on prior to the meeting as well!) and fix it there. The problem I find is that it is hard to proof a document when everyone is waiting to go, especially if it has run long! I do believe that the IEP is like a contract and that no one should leave without a copy (or for other team members than parents, access to a copy) of what they, as a team member, agreed to!

09/30/2008 5:25 pm

We are teaching our parents in the Northern California Area to get the copy at the meeting, they don’t have to have it signed by them if they don’t understand what they have read and to give themselves time to soak it in before they sign it (99.9%). IF there is some things they do agree with and understand or services are clear to them of course sign it, with stipulations that its not all agreed upon but I am consenting to X services.

09/30/2008 4:55 pm

After several attempts in writing my attorney had to request it, and the IEP was received the day before our hearing!

09/30/2008 4:54 pm

I have moved several times in the course of my children’s schooling, including changing states three times. I have always recieved the IEP the day of the meeting, either immediately or coming home (in a sealed envelope) with my child at the end of that day.

09/30/2008 4:28 pm

They will take conference notes, but the notes do not reflect the truth of what was said. They change times for services without discussing it with us. My child is non-verbal, we cannot get anyone to give her an augmentive communication assessment. They give her devices that she cannot access.

09/30/2008 2:13 pm

In our district in MO, it usually takes 2-3 weeks to get a ‘clean’ copy of the IEP. I am handed a draft at the IEP meeting and I write everything on this draft. Then since I don’t get a copy of the draft before the meeting, I always have to take it home to ‘discuss with my husband to be sure he agrees with everything discussed.’ Last Spring it took 7 IEP meetings to get a final copy done because things discussed and agreed to weren’t included and I had detailed notes on what was agreed to, who agreed, and who was responsible for the changes.

09/30/2008 2:13 pm

If the district brings a “draft” copy of your child’s IEP – you should already have a copy of it. By law, it should have been provided to you in advance. Therefore, once the IEP is discussed and finalized and everyone present has signed. They should make a copy for every team member. You should not leave that meeting without a copy of every evaluation, note from teacher, etc. that is discussed during that meeting. It is your child’s right!!

09/30/2008 1:34 pm

I do not leave any meeting with out a copy of what ever has been discussed. It is very hard to advocate well with out a good papertrail to refresh my understanding.

09/30/2008 1:26 pm

At our Son’s IEP meeting we go over the IEP. If we need to add anything to the IEP, notes are added to put in the IEP Draft copy. After the meeting we receive a copy of the IEP. In a day or so the updated copy is submitted to us. I have had a good experience in receiving the IEP. I do appreciate Wrightslaw. The information has really helped me to prepare for IEP meetings. In preparing in advance you can implement what your child needs to meet their educational needs fully. Thanks

09/30/2008 1:07 pm

I’m in Va and have found since showing up at my IEP meetings with some of my law library on IDEA and my tape recorder generally results in having all documentation delivered right there and then or same day- either at the meeting or home in a backpack. When I requested a blank copy in advance, I had a draft copy instead delivered in two days. It was not at all appropriate or very useful but it was a start. I left my draft IEP meeting with a copy of the pending unapproved document. My team knows I mean business and have educated myself and they respond accordingly, at least so far.