Parents Rights: Can We Set the IEP Meeting Date?

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“What rights do the parents have on setting the meeting dates? Can the teachers flat out refuse to meet on Friday afternoons?”

The special education regulations do not give hours for meetings.

So here are my questions to you-

Do you want the school personnel to view you in a positive light?

Do you understand that if the teachers view you positively, they will be more invested in your child?

Assume you are a teacher who has worked all week. You are tired. You have children and a family at home. You have other responsibilities. You may have a second job.

How would you view a parent who insisted that you stay for a meeting on Friday afternoon? How would you view a parent who viewed that as their right?

If you fight about that issue, you are very likely to lose this battle. You may alienate everyone who is in a position to help your child.

To be a successful and effective advocate, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the people on the other side of the table – people you want as allies, not enemies.

Meeting on Friday afternoon is NOT an issue you want to fight about.

You need to focus on getting your child a good educational program!

You are more likely to be successful if you are polite, businesslike, treat people with respect, and protect the parent-school relationship.

Read more about Protecting the Parent-School Relationship


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I know that it can be hard to use precious vacation time for an IEP, or to explain to a boss that you need a few hours off for family time — I know, I’ve done it. But, when asked by the district for my preferences, my reply is always that except for my teaching schedule (and I’ve even gotten someone else to cover for me), I will always make myself available.

This is how I demonstrate to the school that there is NOTHING on my calendar more important than meeting with them. Therefore, whatever time works best for everyone, I will make it make it work for me.

Frankly, this is the best way I know to demonstrate to everyone, my daughter included, that her education is my top priority. I always show up.