Organizing the File: Session 3
Tracking Your Child's Educational History

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In This Issue ...

Circulation: 89,848
ISSN: 1538-320
July 31, 2012

file bindersThis week you will begin to tackle the mountain of paperwork generated by the special education system.

Do you have bags, boxes and folders full of miscellaneous documents and records?

It's time to organize!

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate you will learn the steps for correctly organizing, dating, and filing documents in your child's special education file. Find out what to do... and what NOT to do.

Please don't hesitate to forward this issue to other friends, families, or colleagues.

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books, documents and paperwork

Gather All Documents

After you request your records, mail will begin to roll in. As you gather facts and information, be prepared to organize your documents.

  • Sort reports chronologically.
  • Begin by organizing all documents by year.
writing on documents

How to Date Your Documents

Step 1: Date your documents. There are some important rules you must follow when you write the date on everything.

Learn what information to include and how to handle duplicate documents.

Tip: Stop! Do not read your child's reports now. Find out why...


Three-Ring Binder: Rules

  • Format horizontally. Hole punch on the top edge.
  • Do not destroy signatures or dates when you hole punch.
  • File all documents in chronological order - oldest document on top, newest document at the end.
  • Do not put documents in clear plastic envelopes.
  • Do not file documents by category.

Learn why your file system will fail if you do not follow these rules of our parent-tested system.

family using tablet
Success Story: What Organizing the File Can Do!

Debbie wanted a change of placement for her son. The school refused.

How did Debbie Get the School to Change her Son's Program and Placement?

She organized her son's file - to include supporting documents from evaluations, test scores, clear requests made in writing, notes from taped IEP meetings, copies of all her letters, and more.


Summer School Session 3: Homework Checklist


  1. Gather all documents. Sort chronologically.


  2. Learn the rules for dating and filing documents.


  3. Date all your documents correctly.

  4. File documents in your 3-ring binder.

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Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright Wrightslaw: All About IEPs

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