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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04/27/2013 5:10 am

I recently had an IEP for my child. Due to blatant illegal moves by the school’s clinical diagnostician in the prior year, I felt forced to get a private assessment for my autistic son and to hire an advocate.
At the meeting I was assured I would get a clean copy of his IEP in my son’s bookbag which I have yet to receive. It has been well over a week since the meeti g and I have yet to get a copy. I feel this is i. Retaliation for bringing an advocate with me to the meeting. Is this legal?

Sharon L.
03/29/2013 3:58 pm

Call the board office and ask when you can come in to get a copy of your child’s IEP. If they tell you great if not followup with a letter and then escalate it up the ladder, principal, superintendent, etc if you have to. There should be no issue to get your copy. They probably just forgot.

03/21/2013 1:58 pm

I havent received my sons iep its been at least 6 7 months and i have asked for it a number of times

02/08/2013 11:40 pm

I work for Pasadena Unified School District. I print out the IEP, go to the front office and make a copy of the signature page to attach to the IEP, and thank the parent for coming. I do not want to cause undo stress on parents.

01/24/2013 12:12 pm


I need to get a copy of my sisters IEP from nys from 1974-1980, does anyone know if IEP’s are archived, if they are where can I start to look?

Thank you very much..

09/07/2012 7:56 pm

We receive our IEP at the very, very, end(I mean walking out the door end) of our IEP. The printer is in another room and you guessed it – they always slip in something different without me knowing. Everyone is gone when I receive my IEP. Next time I am going to initial each and every page. Anyone have any suggestions that I might use? This is in the state of Illinois.

08/21/2012 2:55 am

I had my daughter evaluated last year 2011 and did not get her IEP until now AUGUST 23 , 2012 and now my daughter is detained in the same grade again . should i get a lawyer

Thank -You

05/02/2012 12:54 pm

It has been over 3 months and I still have not received an iep for my son what do I do next?

Please help???

04/06/2012 2:11 pm

I recently had an IEP at my child’s school. when I asked for a copy she responded they have never given a copy to a parent before hand. They went to make me a copy, and it made the process easier for me to understand. I have a continued meeting next week and I again had to ask for a copy. I wish law makers would include a copy of an IEP to the parents in the CFR at least 5 days before the meeting. It would give parents a chance to have an understanding of what is being said, “prior to the meeting” to ask better questions and make better suggestions.

03/16/2012 10:55 am

I’ve often had to email 2-3 requests/reminders in order to obtain copies of my child’s IEPs. I carbon copy the attorney from my state Disability Rights Network on this to keep her updated on the difficulties I am having with getting the copies. She has had to help advocate several times in order to get copies for me.

02/19/2012 2:34 pm

The IEP was supposed to be revised; as it was basically BLANK. It also included unnecessary and INCORRECT medical information! Anyway, upon request[s] over the past year, I just this past week received a copy… and nothing was different!

01/13/2012 1:10 pm


What should I do? If you desire a public school, here is what I would do.

1. Enroll child in school.
2. Request child to be evaluated, giving in writing all you know about suspected disability of child.
3. Request copy of evaluation prior to IEP meeting.
4. Attend IEP meeting, fully prepared.
5. Question what program child will be in during IEP meeting.
6. End of meeting, request copy of IEP immediately, or copy of whatever notes taken for the IEP.
7. Receive copy of IEP then, or later.
9. When received copy of clean IEP, ensure you agree with: program; services offered meet needs of your disabled child; placement of child, LRE, and all other things of sensitivity to you about your child.

01/13/2012 12:59 pm


Any school district has the obligation to ensure all students within that district, that are disabled and needs special education and other related services has to ensure an IEP is made annually for all special education children within their district.

The private school should be the one to hold the IEP meeting for that child, however, if the private school doesn’t, then the school district has to ensure an IEP is in place for each and every special education student within that district, period.

Do not believe all that all district personnel “tell” you. Request everything the district so informs you in every conversation. If they are right, they will inform you. If they know they are wrong, you will never receive a documented response from them pertaining to that subject. Guaranteed, or they are so ignorant.

01/13/2012 12:53 pm


Most recording devices on answering phone machines, are relatively easy to operate. Just follow the instructions within the operations instructions to set up. Usually all one has to do is to press a button to initiate a recording session.

But, again, learn about recording others legally first, before you do so, because in others states, that could be a violation of one’s rights as well.

01/13/2012 12:44 pm


A telephone answering machine of worth, has a microphone that will pick up voices and other noises in the background while talking to someone on the phone. Their conversation is also recorded as they are speaking.

In Michigan, as others have stated, there only has to be one communicator of the conversation that knows the conversation is being recorded — you.

In Michigan, you do not have to inform your conversation is being recorded, but as a courtesy I always told them. Then, later, that evidence gets to a hearing or court, the other person cannot say I was never told the conversation was being recorded. The tape or disk is within the proof and the pudding.

Yes, by all means check with state authorities to see if recording someone without their knowledge is legal. If not legal, then that evidence will be thrown.

01/13/2012 12:26 pm

Eileen, that a school has to request to the school board is only a local policy. The federal and state laws guarantee that when you request a copy of an IEP, however, “upon request” means right away. Some judges, however, interpret that “right away” to mean up to two months.

Many school districts will provide parents copies of their children’s IEP up until they are 18 years old, or if the 18 year old student authorizes parents to receive that IEP, right away.

01/10/2012 2:03 am

Our school dist told us that they didn’t even need to offer the student with a FAPE or IEP with a description of the program they were offering, since my child was enrolled in private school. I told them I was interested in enrolling my child in public school if I knew what the district was offering? The district had already found my child eligible for special education, but refused to offer an IEP unless I enrolled my child in their program before, I knew what they were offering. CDE the state enforcement told us the district did not nave to offer an IEP since she was enrolled in private school. What do I do?

01/05/2012 6:25 pm

Veronica – re: recording phone conversations:

Check your state law. In my state only one party has to be aware that the recording is being made. Another good way to document conversations is through letters. I write a thank you note, in which I thank them for talking with me, and then say something like, I want to make sure I understand what we talked about, then document what was said. At the end of my letter, after I have told them how much I appreciate everything they do and continue to do, I say something like, “This is the conversation as I remember it, if you remember it differently, please let me know by………”

01/05/2012 5:53 pm

I am hesitant to record conversations–though I understand the frustrations in working with school districts who are not in compliance. I guess that it may put a parent in a difficult situation if recording devices are used. I was asked if I wanted to use a recording device by the advocate before a PPT started and I said, “no.”. I did not want to put the staff in a difficult position and everything worked out quite well. Everyone has to work out their own individual situations–recording someone can have legal implications so know the law before you record.

01/05/2012 12:38 pm

Randy – How does the recording phone work? When you speak to someone at school – do you always tell them first that you are recording the call and everything they say? I doubt they would talk to me then, they get very defensive about stuff like this.

I checked in my state and you have to have consent from everyone before you can record. It must be different in your state. Do states have different laws about this?

01/04/2012 12:48 pm


Here is a tip. Get a phone that records your conversations with the school district, and the next time, you, “upon request”, an IEP, and you do not receive it immediately, then the school is in violation.

Let me see, one of the biggest reasons for the “upon request” is so that districts cannot change the IEP without your knowledge. By law “upon request) dictates the IEP must be given immediately. 34 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 300.

If you made a complaint to the state DOE, you would probably win, as this is a federal mandate. If you don’t win, there is always mediation and due process hearing. Any administrative judge would have to find in your favor, or he is partial to that school district. I should know this, because I have won several complaints as this before.

01/04/2012 12:41 pm

You stated that the new teacher “changed her IEP”. Did you give written authority for them to do that? If not, she was in violation, and if they did in effect “change” the IEP and instituted the new IEP, taking the required service away (without written authorization), then for that period, she was not being provided a “free appropriate public education”.

However, if they restarted the old service back immediately, no harm, no fowl. Henceforth, personally, I would not give the authority to the school to do anything, but institute an IEP that you can agree on.

01/04/2012 12:28 pm

Mare B.

The Individual Disabilities Education Act (federal) and 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at Part 300; the American Disabilities Act and the implementing regulations also at 34 CFR Part ? Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and implementing Regulations at 34 CFR Part ?

01/04/2012 12:23 pm

137 Tina,

So what if Music Therapy is not certified in California. He is wrong according to 34 CFR Part 300.

There can be no changes to an IEP, other than through another IEP meeting, without your written consent, so I would be very careful not to sign anything that an attorney has not read for you.

The federal laws states that all services that will benefit a child that needs special education and ancillary services. Music therapy, as you have shown is needed, as indicative of her improving within the last two months.

01/04/2012 12:11 pm

Immediately — due to the fact I have won several state complaints re the school district denied me a copy for a client at the IEP meeting, when the original IEP had already been completed during the IEP meeting. Would have been a carbon copy of the original.

They (school) learned the hard way. Won 27 complaints against this district for one child, but ended up helping hundreds when I field a retaliation complain also (won), and a federal Office of Civil Rights Complaint against the whole ISD.

11/12/2011 9:01 pm

I have a daughter with special needs. I fought for a year to get Music Therapy for my daughter. I finally approved it and got it added to her IEP. She has only had it for two months and I already see a huge progress. music therapy is helping her meet her goals. NOW we get a new director and he tells me he is taking music therapy off her IEP. He said that Music therapy is not certified in the state of california so that allows him to discontinue her music therapy without my consent and signiture. Can they take it out with out me signing the IEP agreeing to stop services? he said even if we go to due process i wont win because “music therapy is not certified in the state of california. PLEASE HELP

11/10/2011 12:44 am

We are at a new Charter school, they finally reviewed her IEP on October 7th and changed one thing. On her 1st quarter report card the newly hired ESE teacher checked that she had mastered 2 of her goals. I was surprised by this and asked for the data to support her comment. It turns out she was looking at an IEP that was in place 2 years ago. So today, November 9th, I received a copy of her new IEP that was amended on October 7th!!!

Shane S.
10/11/2011 10:23 am

Our “current” plan has still not been received by us more than 5 weeks later. It was supposedly given to our son over 2 weeks ago to bring to us. But either he forgot to bring it home or was not given to him.

09/18/2011 12:28 am

I had to send a email advising a Public Charter school and the City Public School headquarters office an email asking why I did not get a copy of said IEP at the meeting. they never do provide me with a copy stating it must come from somewhere else. I am very disappointed with the IEP process in this City Public School system. My feeling is that they are only interested in stating a child has many special needs, but do not want to deliver the service. My son actually regressed with an IEP and the school board personnel told me that is the process and passed him to the 3rd grade. Not to mention my son has autism. I would advise anyone with a child with special needs to move out of this Public School district.

Marc B
08/24/2011 5:52 pm

I hope someone can help me. I need to know what qualifications the psychologist must have in order to do the actual evaluation used to design the IEP. I’m in Texas if that makes a difference. I was told the doctor had to be an LSSP and then someone else talked about when that became law, TEA “grandfathered” in the doctors who had already been doing them. I just want the actual legal answer so a refer3ence to a book would be great too! Thanks.

06/06/2011 5:00 pm

Cse held May 2,2011. I have requested a draft copy of the IEP as they told me the IEP was not formalized yet. Whatever formalized means. It is June 6th. I still do not have a copy. I called NYSED and they said that they would contact the school for me. The school was out of compliance because Asst Tech that was approved in Jan is still not in place. I have filed a complaint with the state. The Jan IEP took six weeks, numerous calls and two letters before I received a copy. We are having another CSE in mid- June about the technology. I wanted to go through the IEP before the next meeting.

05/03/2011 5:46 pm

I usually end up waiting over two weeks. I would like to have it earlier, but I will give them around 2 weeks (14 days, including weekends) before I call and ask them what their progress is. I was not provided with an IEP at the meeting, but have a copy of the draft (which I got at the meeting, not before the meeting. I’m in Arizona, and I would say my school district has a very good special ed program, but my school tends to push the limits with how long they make me wait. As far as I know, there is no defined wait time here, so I just give them a nudge now and then to let them know that I’m waiting.

05/03/2011 3:04 pm

Okay. I had an IEP done as a child. My school does not have it. Neither does my mother. So apparently…we never received one. My question to yall is, How do I get a copy of my IEP if my school nor my mother has a copy of it, nor have ever had it? I really need to know this info asap…so I can get into school..I applied for college and I cannot get in with out it….Please someone help me with this….Thank you so much!

karen j
05/02/2011 1:06 pm

My sons IEP team met in annual review last year and nothing difinitive was decided, it was anyone’s guess what the IEP would actually read when it was finalized. Then somewhere around the last week in August I received the “final IEP” for September. It had no idea what goals would be on it, the District decided that independent of us.

Sharon L.
04/09/2011 10:40 am

When Do I Get a Copy of the IEP? by Tracy

IT is nice of you to do that. I had to remind the school many times for many things. Remember the existing IEP still stands until they get the new one signed. They are the ones who are out of compliance and I guess do not care about that. It’s a shame.

If it really hinders your child’s progress you can send a letter each time they pass the mark and save it. You can file a complaint with the state but if it does not hurt you than I would just continue to remind them and save your energy for battles with the school over other important issues.

04/06/2011 10:18 am

My school exceeds the 45 day rule every year. I call to remind that they passed it, and when it shows up in my mailbox, it’s always wrong so I have to call them again and then it takes longer to get it corrected

03/07/2011 6:10 pm

I had to make two phone call and write a letter. Received it a month later and to add insult to injury it has a two month delayed start time? Jan 11th meeting and changes don’t go into effect until March 1st.

01/26/2011 12:08 pm

At the school where I work, the parent is not given a copy of the IEP at the meeting. If the parent does not attend, and the meeting is held anyway, a copy is not mailed home to the parent right away. It is held until and IEP review committee can look over the IEP and then it is made official in our SER record keeping system. Sometimes this whole process can take as long as a month before the IEP facilitator returns the IEp to the homeroom teacher/case manager for a copy to be made and sent home to parents.

I work in pupil appraisal at my school, but have had several teachers ask me why copies were not being given to parents or mailed home immediately.

Please respond.

01/19/2011 4:07 am

is there any way that as a child myself having special learning needs and after have had an i.e.p how can i obtain such a record, and am i elegable for any services as an adult now for the purpose of bettering my life…? please help.

Sharon L.
11/07/2010 8:44 pm

Denice, This sounds like a DRAFT version of the IEP. We have received copies of the IEP without the signature page. Once we are satisfied we get together with the team and sign it or discuss any issues. This is typical of the school. I am not sure why they do it but it works out. Once you get the signatures you will receive a copy of the final official IEP.