Update: OSEP Letter to Anonymous, September 9, 2019.
Question: Is it best practice to withhold an educational report from the student, parent, guardian, a special education teacher,or another IEP Team member until the IEP or other meeting in which the results are going to be discussed is convened?
Is there a legal obligation or requirement for a service provider conducting an evaluation to provide the report to members of the IEP Team, specifically the parents, student, or the special education teacher, prior to any meeting in which the report will be discussed?
OSEP Response: Letter to Anonymous, 09/09/19
Although whether or not parents receive all evaluation reports prior to the meeting is a decision that is left to State and local officials and neither IDEA nor its implementing regulations establish a timeline – OSEP says…
It is important to ensure that parents have the information they need to participate meaningfully in IEP Team meetings, which may include reviewing their child’s records.
The public agency must comply with a parent’s request to inspect and review existing educational records, including an evaluation report, without unnecessary delay and before any meeting regarding an IEP, and in no case more than 45 days after the request has been made.
This includes the right to a response from the public agency to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of the records. 34C.F.R. § 300.613.
We note that some States have established procedures that require public agencies to provide parents with copies of assessment reports prior to the IEP Team meeting. [emphasis added]
You may wish to check with your State educational agency for any applicable procedures.
Re-edited from a post originally published 06/20/2008
Last month, we posted Independent Evaluations: Should parents provide a copy to the school? at https://www.wrightslaw.com/blog/independent-evaluations-should-parents-provide-a-copy-for-the-school/
That post elicited a number of comments before dropping off the sidebar. Recently, a school psychologist added comment about reasons why she did not provide parents with a copy of reports before IEP meetings. Her comment included inaccuracies so we decided to start a new thread on this topic.
As a school psychologist who serves over 2,000 students and writes over 120 reports a year, I have to say that in most cases in which I do not provide a copy of my report when such a report is requested, it is because it is not complete until the day (or shortly before) the meeting.
I would add that there is no legal mandate for such a report to be provided BEFORE the team meets.
On the other hand, by not providing the team with external reports with some time for perusal, you (the parent/client) risk those data being less than fully taken into account.
The relationship may not be a fully reciprocal one, but such is the nature of the beast.
Pete: The school psychologist stated that there is no legal mandate to provide the parent with a copy of the report before the meeting. This is not correct. If a parent requests a copy of the evaluation report before the IEP Meeting, there is a legal mandate to provide a copy.
The psycho-educational evaluation is an education record. See 34 CFR 300.613(a) which states that if a parent requests those records, “The agency must comply with a request without unnecessary delay and before any meeting regarding an IEP. . .” There is no wiggle room about this requirement – including poor time management practices by the school district. (The reg is located on page 272 in Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Ed.)
The question of parental entitlement to educational records before a meeting is also addressed in the Commentary to the Federal Special Education Regulations at page 46645 (bottom of second column through third column). The US Department of Education, responding to comments about the proposed special education regulations, and as a part of the issuance of the final Regs, stated:
”Comment: One commenter recommended that parents receive evaluation reports prior to an IEP Team meeting because the reports may have information that parents need to participate in making decisions about the IEP. The commenter stated that, if parents receive reports at meetings, rather than before the meetings, they cannot be active participants. Another commenter stated that parents should be provided with copies of documents related to the determination of eligibility at least five days prior to the eligibility determination meeting.
Discussion: The Act does not establish a timeline for providing a copy of the evaluation report or the documentation of determination of eligibility to the parents and we do not believe that a specific timeline should be included in the regulations because this is a matter that is best left to State and local discretion. It is, however, important to ensure that parents have the information they need to participate meaningfully in IEP Team meetings, which may include reviewing their child’s records. Section 300.613(a) requires a public agency to comply with a parent request to inspect and review existing education records, including an evaluation report, without unnecessary delay and before any meeting regarding an IEP, and in no case more than 45 days after the request has been made. This includes the right to a response from the public agency to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of records, consistent with § 300.613(b)(1).”
Note: The link to the Commentary is https://www.wrightslaw.com/idea/commentary.htm
Pam: As a psychotherapist, I was concerned about Z’s position, summarized as:
“The relationship may not be a fully reciprocal one, but such is the nature of the beast.”
Why would a psychologist refuse to provide parents with the information they need to participate in educational decision-making for their child? Z’s rationale was two-fold:
(1) I have a large caseload so I don’t write evaluations until the last minute, and
(2) the law does not require me (the school) to provide parents with a copy of the evaluation report before a meeting.
Pete set the record straight on #2. (Note: We don’t know if Z is a man or woman so will refer to Z as “she”.)
I had more questions. Does Z know who the special education law is intended to benefit? Whose interests does Z serve? How does she view her professional role and responsibilities?
To find answers to my questions, I turned to the Principles for Professional Ethics published by the National Association of School Psychologists and available at – https://www.nasponline.org/assets/Documents/Standards%20and%20Certification/Standards/1_%20Ethical%20Principles.pdf
After reading the Principles, I wondered if Z knows that school psychologists are expected to act as advocates for children and parents. The statements quoted below are taken directly from NASP Principles for Professional Ethics.
Services to Children
“School psychologists provide effective services to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally.
School psychologists provide direct educational and mental health services for children and youth, as well as work with parents, educators, and other professionals to create supportive learning and social environments for all children.
School psychologists provide services to schools and families that enhance the competence and well-being of children, including promotion of effective and safe learning environments, prevention of academic and behavior problems, response to crises, and improvement of family–school collaboration.” (page 1)
Advocacy, Commitment to the Rights of Students
“School psychologists are committed to the application of their professional expertise for the purpose of promoting improvement in the quality of life for students, families, and school communities. This objective is pursued in ways that protect the dignity and rights of those involved.
School psychologists consider the interests and rights of children and youth to be their highest priority in decision making, and act as advocates for all students.
These assumptions necessitate that school psychologists ‘‘speak up’’ for the needs and rights of students even when it may be difficult to do so.
Furthermore, as school employees, school psychologists have a legal as well as an ethical obligation to take steps to protect all students from reasonably foreseeable risk of harm.” (page 2)
“School psychologists use their professional expertise to promote changes in schools and community service systems that will benefit children and other clients.
They advocate for school policies and practices that are in the best interests of children and that respect and protect the legal rights of students and parents.” (page 12)
“School psychologists have a special obligation to speak up for the rights and welfare of students and families, and to provide a voice to clients who cannot or do not wish to speak for themselves. Advocacy also occurs when school psychologists use their expertise in psychology and education to promote changes in schools, systems, and laws that will benefit schoolchildren, other students, and families.” (page 11)
Responsibilities to Families and Parent Support
“School psychologists encourage and promote parental participation in school decisions affecting their children.” (page 4)
“School psychologists work to correct school practices that are unjustly discriminatory or that deny students, parents, or others their legal rights. They take steps to foster a school climate that is safe, accepting, and respectful of all persons.”
School psychologists strive to ensure that all children have equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from school programs and that all students and families have access to and can benefit from school psychological services.” (page 6)
“School psychologists encourage and promote parental participation in designing interventions for their children. When appropriate, this includes linking interventions between the school and the home, tailoring parental involvement to the skills of the family, and helping parents gain the skills needed to help their children.
School psychologists discuss with parents the recommendations and plans for assisting their children. This discussion takes into account the ethnic/cultural values of the family and includes alternatives that may be available. Subsequent recommendations for program changes or additional services are discussed with parents, including any alternatives that may be available.
Parents are informed of sources of support available at school and in the community.” (page 8)
“School psychologists explain all professional services to clients in a clear, understandable manner.” (page 10)
Promoting Healthy School, Family, and Community Environments
“School psychologists use their expertise in psychology and education to promote school, family, and community environments that are safe and healthy for children.
School psychologists develop partnerships and networks with community service providers and agencies to provide seamless services to children and families.” (page 12)
Student Information, Record Keeping, Evaluations
“School psychologists ensure that parents have appropriate access to the psychological and educational records of their child.
Parents have a right to access any and all information that is used to make educational decisions about their child.” (page 8)
It seems that Z may be a product of school culture. “School culture” is a term for the beliefs shared by many educators, psychologists and school administrators. Learn about the incredible power of school culture in The Blame Game: Are Learning Problems the Kids’ Fault? The article is based on a fascinating study of school psychologists by Dr. Galen Alessi, a psychology professor at Western Michigan University. The study and article illustrate why so many parents have problems dealing with school personnel.
I think the confusion to part of this lies in how meetings are set up. When looking at initial evaluations, those are shared at an MDT meeting PRIOR to the IEP. I have had parents contact me and I have met with them prior to MDT meetings in order for them to digest the information I am doing to be discussing. It also gives them time to formulate any questions they may have.
I try to finish part of my report prior to the MDT meeting, however, that does not always happen. They are always welcome to have a copy of what I have completed with a finalized copy to follow.
As a school psychologist and prior Early Intervention Service Coordinator, working with parents is essential to building relationships with the school. Essential to building trust between the parents and the school.
I am so sorry to read that folks think this is a matter of school district practice. Do not disregard the school psychologist’s honest comment on “finishing the night before”. This is the real reason why Special Education personnel may not routinely supply reports prior to the meeting. Special Educators are not victims of school practice, they are routinely working long hours, nights and weekends serving students and attempting to meet the requirements of the law. The Blame Game indeed. It may be more productive to ask why there is a serious decrease in university enrollment in Special Education professions.
Loved the article! Thanks!
I have two questions. My son has autism and we moved out of state. The new school requested an evaluation even though they had one by a psychologist, but when I asked to review the individual teachers evaluations, they refused stating “They do not share them with parents” But this year I was allowed to see them but not take copies. Also they did this testing during a time when my son was being bullied and almost tortured. I don’t feel this report is a true accurate report. There were also comments made that would not be considered professional input but mere opinions and some very bias. The school was aware of the issues but tested my child anyway. Is this ethically? Thanks for your suggestions.
Anything with your child’s name, student number, etc., is an educational record and you are entitled to have a copy. The next time they say you “cannot” have or refuse anything, ask for the written policy that supports that position. They will soon start backpedaling!
“Access” not a “copy.” Believe me, I have requested copies and haven’t gotten them. They gave me an hour (with a timer set) to look at a LOT of protocols and find out information. No copies.
Is the psycho-educational evaluation considered an education record if it has not been presented to the IEP team or in the students’ confidential file before the meeting?
IDEA does state is it not a requirement, but a curtesy to the parent and at the discression of the assessor. Is this not true?
I am a parent of a student with Audiology Processing Disorder, ADD, Heart Condition, Athsma, Hyper Mobility of Joints, Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome (AMPS) is an umbrella term for several pain disorders including but not limited to complex regional pain syndrome(CRPS), myofascial pain syndrome, neuropathic pain, psychogenic pain, reflex neurovascular dystrophy (RND), and reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD). I requested an IEP plan denied by School Psychologist Who proceeded to Insult one of my son Doctors. apparently there’s a personal hate feelings against him, I opened a Case with DOE Connecticut, Civil Rights and District informed. Requested IEP Drafts Prior to meetings and I was always ignored. Since 2014 my son is been targeted and victim of retaliation.
Gaudi, I’m confused – what is your question?
If there is any way the evaluation could be traced to the child, it is an educational record; that would even include handwritten notes that are similarly traceable. FERPA has good information about this. No, it IS a requirement if the parent requests it. The assessor’s work is work for hire, which means it is property of the school district, which in turn has an obligation to permit the parent to be fully informed prior to making any decisions regarding their child. The parent has the option of taking the evaluations to trusted third parties for explanation prior to the IEP meeting as well. Honestly, if a parent has read Pete’s books, especially FETA, that parent knows more than all the district personnel put together about special ed law.
If school district personnel have shared it with each other and it is not a sole person’s private notes, AND if it is personally identifiable to a particular child, by name, initials, ID number, SS number, or enough descriptive information that someone can tell who it is; then it is an education record.
As a parent, I feel something wrong with the entire process. I have a six year old, dignosed with autism, serviced by an IEP since the age of 3. At her first ever triennial IEP it is recommended she be completely exited/dismissed from all spec ed services based on psychoeducational assessment results. althogh she receives speech and language pull out services for language delay in her current IEP, in the assessment, she was alleged to be in the “very superior” range between the 92nd to 99th percentile in each various language area assessed. Yea right, might as well say “Once upon a time, in a land far far away…” I requested independent psychoed assessment, and was told no. District is now filing reverse due process. Statistically I have less than 20% chance of winning in due process, and daughter with autism will be dismissed.
Here’s a question I haven’t been able to find the answer to:
If a parent has a documented disability and the IEP team is aware of it, can that parent request evaluations in advance as a reasonable accommodation under ADA?
Thank you! I love your work and appreciate what you do for the special needs community. Couldn’t survive without your advice.
I am not sure about your question. An evaluation is not an accommodation. I believe the question is whether the child can receive accommodations under a 504 plan until the initial IEP meeting will be held? For this question, I would say yes since under ADA it is only required to have a diagnosed disability to qualify.
Yes, you can. In fact, you can request a meeting with the school psychologist to review those results prior to the team meeting, taped meetings, etc., whatever is needed to allow you to have INFORMED participation. Don’t take no for an answer, and be quick to file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights if they refuse to provide accommodations for you.
In response to 32Z…just love love love your legal-ese. So much verbage-flinging, I do wonder if you’ve ask yourself, “do these parent’s even possess the intellect to understand what I’m saying?” (FYI, we do). What expectations do you have of the teams you work with? Do you expect your ‘teams’ to actively work together or would you be ok with individuals doing their own thing while they kept you in the dark? I may sound brash but really now, wouldn’t it become rather devisive if you were the LAST one to know what was going on? What if they never let you in on what’s going on? Don’t mean to lambaste you, lovey, but I do take umbrage to this fact: many parents are purposely excised from the ‘team’ early on in their child’s IEP evaluation process. Perhaps oversight or poor time management? I think not.
We requested an evaluation at the end of the school year. The meeting to review the assessment was sched 9/10, but I would be out of town. I requested a postponement in writing explaining why I could not attend. The SE person called me back saying they HAD to have the mtg w/in 30 days. I stated my email was a legal document, I was requesting the date change, that would satisfy as a hold harmless releasing the school/district from the 30 day requirement. She offered to convene the 9/10 meeting but table it since we would not be there. I stated NO UNLESS T IS TAPED. She stated that might be against their rules, but I clarified, IF WE ARE NOT THERE NO MEETING! At our eval review, yesterday, they presented us with the minutes of the mtg they DID have 9/10, against our wishes. Is that even legal? I was not aware they went ahead w/it.
In our last IEP meeting we requested copies of the regular ed bus route (length), so we could compare it to the special ed bus route length to ensure that the special ed bus route wasn’t longer than the regular ed bus route. They have scheduled another IEP meeting, so I am assuming that they now have both bus routes documented. Since the IEP meeting isn’t for 2 weeks, do I have legal standing to request the routes now? They aren’t technically part of his educational record.
For all parents whose district has refused them access to their child’s records, including evals, the FERPA regulations, in addition to state and fed regs, guarantee your rights to see anything that is personally-identifiable to your child. When I had this problem, I wrote the sped dir and said if I didn’t receive what I was requesting within. 5 business days I would file a formal complaint with the state. State complaints are not hard to file and they complied from then on.
If they give you a report the day before or the day of the IEP you have the right to reschedule or postpone the IEP meeting until you have had a chance to review the report.
I don’t mean to defend the psychologist, but if the report hasn’t yet been created, then how is it part of the educational record that the parents have access to?
OF COURSE parents should have access to all information that will be used in decision making, but is the psychologist legally required to share a report that does not yet exist? Ethically required, sure.
I just wish teachers had the legal right to request draft copies of evaluations before IEPs so we could thoroughly take them into account before the meeting rather than working “on the fly”. We’re not allowed to… because of concerns that we will either question the results and/or discuss and seek collaboration with parents prior to the meeting. Neither teachers nor parents are supposed to know what’s in the diagnostic evaluations until, at the first viewing of it, they can hear it interpreted by a qualified diagnostician, so that there won’t be, ahem, misunderstandings about the content of the report. Also, I’m sure that if parents started regularly requesting copies of IEP drafts, we’d be told to jot ideas in notebooks and not enter anything until the meetings. Sigh.
It is important to note that psychological reports contain sensitive information that parents should receive WITH a qualified interpretation. Best practice would be to MEET with parents prior to the meeting and discuss evaluation results. This allow parents to be fully prepared at the IEP meeting, but does not leave the report open to non-professional and possibly inaccurate interpretation.
Can a child with an IEP be home schooled when the child refuses to go to school?
BW Did you request the IEP meeting in writing? This usually helps. When asking for evaluations and/or IEP’s before the meeting make sure you request a DRAFT version. They should know that is all you are looking for so you are prepared. They should accommodate you. If not then go to the meeting & have them go through it there. It will take awhile & explain that if you had a DRAFT IEP or eval you would be prepared to get the IEP written/revised ( I cannot tell where you are at in the process). You do not have to sign anything. You can request to take the eval or IEP home without the final sign off sheet to re-read it to be sure it is what you want or to have a professional look at it & offer suggestions. If they do none of the above they should put it in writing. I don’t understand why they would not want to give you the documents.
This is so overwhelming! We started the process in Sept and have yet to even have our IEP meeting (middle of Jan now). The school and district have decided that legal timelines are not very important. I recently requested assessments given to me before the IEP meeting (in writing) and was denied. The school district special education department said that (California) they are only required to give me school records before the IEP meeting and “technically” the current assessments are not school record until we hold an official meeting.
I’ve even asked the school pscychologist to provide me with the actual names of the assessments given so I can research the tests (as per your book- do my research and understand the numbers/data). She ignored my request.
The public school system is failing my child, and no one seems to care.
Leketa – Just go to the board office and request the IEP. They may need you to put it in writing and perhaps pay for the copies (5 or 10 cents per copy) but it should be very simple. Find out what the summer hours are.
I really need a copy of my son’s IEP report. I don’t know how to get it before school starts back. I need to put him in a private school. Please help asap.
Anne – This may seem a ‘lame’ response and already thought of but if they do not have a hard copy to offer then emailing the soft copy should be very simple, correct?
First time in 15 years…paperless school psych report…she reads from her computer and says…”everything looks good” for a child with autism…I requested a hard copy three days before the IEP, since i knew school psych never has a hard copy…she arrived with no paper copy for parent… how can I convince her to print out her report…I offered printer and paper!!!
Tom – Good for you. You stuck to your guns. Also remember that when a school says “no” you need to request that they put that in writing in a “prior written notice” . They would ‘ve probably sent you the DRAFT documents at that point because they would not want to put something like that in writing.
When I requested the assessment reports sent to me before my son’s IEP meeting, the case manager and the school district program supervisor said no. They said there was no such a law in the state of California requiring them to do such a thing. I quoted exactly what I learned from Special Education Law, 2nd edition, page 272, and also Ca Code Sec.56504 …
They said they had school consultants advising them that there was no obligation under fed and state law to provide parents with assessment results before the IEP meeting.
I then made copies of the statutes and put the request in writings, stating that I needed the results before the IEP meeting to participate meaningfully with the team at the meeting. If not, I will cancel the meeting. Period.
Guess what, a week before the IEP meeting, I received all the reports I wanted.
Question- maybe someone can help? I have requested the full tests and scores that the school SLP used to evaluate my child. I did receive a summary report, but requested the full report b/c my child was diagnosed with Aspergers. He scored in the 30th percentile (average) which thanks to the info on Wrightslaw about bell curve I now understand how they have determined that he is average. From the summary provided it is also evident that his scores are “scattered,” as it was reported that he could not answer any who, what, why, etc questions, or answer logical questions, or inferential questions, etc, etc. I’ve asked for the full tests several times, and in writing, but they tell me this is “not standard.” Do they have to give me the full test results or am I only entitled to a copy of a summary?
My daughter was reevaluated for therapies Nov. 15. On Jan. 15 I requested a copy of the evaluations to review before a Jan. 27 meeting. I was initially denied access. The next day they called and said I could review the educational file, but the new evaluation reports were not in her educational record and would not be in her record before Jan. 27. I was told I would not receive a copy of these evaluations at the Jan. 27 meeting, and that the school had 20 days before having to provide me with a copy. What is the time frame a school must follow when introducing new information into a student’s educational record?
Very few advocates know about this. Pete and Pam gave the readers the moral obligation of a school psychologist…what they should do when facing the two choices.
Thank you, Pete and Pam.
I hope I can translate this into Vietnamese and send it to the local newspaper “Nguoi Viet” in Orange County, California.
A related question. What happens if the district refuses to pay for an IEE after the parents disagree and it also refuses to take the parents to hearing to justify its evaluation. There is a gap of 30 months between the time the district’s eval was completed and the formal request for an IEE. District claims there is a 2 year statute of limitations within which parents must request an IEE. The parents filed a complaint (not a request for a dp hearing), but after minimal (at best) investigation, the state bureau of special education found no violation on the district’s part. Am I losing it? What do we do now?
Our district has refused to provide draft IEP’s in advance of the meeting, stating that state regs make that illegal (MA). When I quoted the above regulation, they are willing to provide a copy of the IEP the morning of a 10:30 IEP meeting. Is there anything which states what is a sufficient amount of time for parental review? Thanks.
I need a reference for getting three things
copy of the IEP
speech and language eval
IEP already occurred 2-26-09 and mods and accoms 3-12.
Psychologist made no contact with me and verbally stated she disagreed with diagnoses. She met with my child 2 days before the IEP. She also attempted to change his classification.
Can you please tell me if there is a time frame for the IEP team to review the evals once completed? We have given the school district from Oct. 08 until Jan 09 to even begin the process and now they have delayed the scheduling of the meeting to review.
You’ll find information about copying test protocols on this page. https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/ferpa.index.htm
You did not say what state you were in. I’m not sure of your state regulations and cannot say what they are “required” to do or not do. (You will also want to use your best advocacy strategies and polite negotiating skills when discussing what you are “entitled to” with the school.)
You may find helpful information/wording in this article about a CA court decision (which is now on appeal).
Test Protocols and Parents Rights – to Copies.
NASP Communique 34-1, 2005. http://www.nasponline.org/publications/cq/cq341protocols.aspx
Letter from Director, Family Policy Compliance Office, (September 13, 2005) from the FERPA Online Library. http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/library/carrollisd091305.html
“Both FERPA and Part B provide that an educational agency or institution (under FERPA) and a participating agency (under Part B) must respond to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of education records. 34 CFR 99.10(c); 34 CFR 300.562(b)(1). Accordingly, if an educational agency or institution or participating agency maintains a copy of a student’s test answer sheet, then it must provide the parent with an explanation and interpretation of the record, which could involve showing the parent the test question booklet, reading the questions to the parent, or providing an interpretation for the responses in some other manner adequate to inform the parent.”
I have a question that I hope you can answer soon, either in the next newsletter or a quick email. While they are required to give us a copy of the summary of the evaluation, are they also required to allow us to see the actual test that was performed? The school gave several tests and gave me summaries such as the Peabody was given and scored at 114 (85-115 average range). I asked to see what type of questions were in the Peabody and they refuse to let me see the actual test. Similar explanations for ADOS Module 3 and ASDS, stated that did he not meet the criteria but I wanted to see “how” this test is given. Am I entitled to see the actual tests if I request them or am I only entitled to see the summary of the results?
The standardized tests used would no longer be standardized if all parents were give copies of the test questions, etc.
Thank you for publishing this! It is always so enlightening to look at how all the credentials from various areas effect each other. As a parent educator, I encourage parents to simply refuse to make any decisions at the report meeting if the school did not provide the information in advance. They need to let the school know that they do not feel that they are able to fully participate in decision making on the document due to the excessive information that they have just received and have yet to digest. I also believe it is disrespectful for school staff to assume that they can utilize the full legal time line (60 days federally and many states), for their work, leaving no extra days for the parent comprehension of information before the team must determine eligibility. Pretty cut and dried. Parent Participation must be respected!
When I have asked that an IEP or other meeting be rescheduled, due to lack of information or schedule conflicts, especially with my daughter’s psychologist (we only get 5 days notice of IEP meetings in NY – and that’s from the postmark date), I am told that the meeting will have to be scheduled for after all other IEP meetings already scheduled in the district. This has put the IEP meeting into the summer when many of the participants are not available, especially the teachers. Meetings are limited to 30 minutes.
Also, in the 10 years in which my daughter has had an IEP, we have NEVER signed or been asked to sign it. We typically meet in the late spring and receive a copy of the “final” document in late August just before school begins. The IEP team, minus us (the parents) already have determined the majority of the contents.
CHANGING IEP MEETINGS- MAKING IEP DECISIONS
I canceled an IEP meeting last tuesday because the school refused to send a copy of records to an advocate, they held the meeting anyway with my ex, we had a meeting for 9:00am on 12-4-08 and received an e-mail that the meeting had to be changed untill 3:15, did they did not tell me why but i think its because my ex couldn’t make it till then. Why can he change the meeting but not me he has never shown any interest in these meetings until he told me he was going to fight for custody, he signed a statement saying my son has emotional disturbance, the school wants to send my son to another school but they have no reason to, they say they can’t provide services he needs. Who chooses the school and can a school make a diagnosis like this? I live in ohio and there are no advocates available to me without paying for them, I am partially disabled.
1 Z states that the psychologist has 45 days from the signed consent days to complete the eval…that is not so. 1 Z has 30 days to complete the assessment and on the 45th day the COMPLETED IEP must be in the hands of the parents, readied for their signature. 603 CMR 28.06 (2) (e)
Special education is always a bit of a juggling act and I know that many of the team members I work with are in such demand that they spend their evenings and weekends completing reports. With time at such a premium, if reports are not complete at the time of the IEP, would it be possible to have a phone conversation with the stakeholders prior to the meeting at the very least to explain test results, so that everyone has the general information prior to the meeting? So that parents have a chance to come to grips with the information they are being presented with? So that casemanagers have an opportunity to think about what goals would then be appropriate? One of the most difficult aspects of my job is helping parents through a difficult diagnosis or dealing with results of tests that they didn’t expect…having a “heads up” makes the process less daunting.
Wow! A lot of topics are included in this thread. Just shows that Special Education is always a complex situation. As Parents, we frequently find ourselves behind, because we are not used to doing or not doing something because there is or is not an “extant” law requiring us to do it. When it comes to our kids, we just do what is needed, when it is needed. Sometimes, that means we work with people who have previously treated us very disrespectfully. Sometimes it means we put behind us the fact that we have been given incorrect information that delayed access to the services our child needs. So when someone tells us that they will not do something to help us because the law does not require her to do so, please forgive us when we get just a bit irritated.
I do have a technique I have used only once. I have never had to use it again. I had asked for the report before the meeting and got the “it’s not complete/typed/proofread” reason why I could not have it. So I came to the meeting and got the report. I waited until the meeting had started and introductions were done and then I asked that we wait a bit while I read the report. As I read, as people started to talk, I would stop and ask them to please hold all conversation, as the information they had was so important to me and I didn’t want to miss any of it. Then I would continue to read. As I reached the end of the report, I said that we would need to table the meeting, as I had questions to resolve and consideration to give to this important report. I added that it was unfortunate that I was not able to get the information earlier, as I would then have been able to discuss the issues with them, but…
I only had to do that once. I always got the information I needed well in advance of the meeting after that.
So I must say that I’ve found the maelstrom around this issue interesting to say the least:
1.) I have been elucidated around the the federal regs regarding a “reasonable” time line for providing copies of required data. I would add that in my state there is no extant statute requiring the dissemination of such info before the team meets, and I would add that in consultation with our lead psychologist I have discovered that there is no written or unwritten policy to do so. That is not to say that it is not best practice or could not be construed as mandatory under federal regs. Just more gasoline for the flames.
2.) I take a degree of umbrage to the assumption that since one cannot produce documents (let’s use a psychoeducational report for our example) before a meeting that the cause is a “lack of time management,” especially since in my state we are on a 45 day time line to complete an evaluation after consent is signed. The implication ergo is one that functionally lowers those days even further in which to complete an evaluation- produce a produce (the report).
3.) Lastly I find this pointing to NASP precepts especially vis-a-vis stakeholder advocacy to have missed the point just a bit in that my original point was not that I as a professional am distancing myself from my fiduciary and legal mandate to work for kids, but to explain the mechanics of why some paperwork may not exist for vast periods before the meeting. I am a broad role psychologist who is called upon to engage in counseling, consultation, and a host of other activities (also related to stakeholder advocacy) in addition to assessment. I (and my teams) work to reasonably accommodate a myriad of stakeholders.
4.) Bottom line: When data is available before the meeting, I work hard to provide that data. All extant data of mine is always open for review by parents. Having said this, reducing the timeline for evaluations even further impinges on my ability to be thorough, complete, and (often) more typo-free. 🙂
Let the lambasting begin!