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New School Year – New IEP: Steps for a Successful Start

IEP AdvocateSchool is about to start and your child’s IEP should already be in place for this upcoming school year. Following are some steps you can take to ensure the school year gets off to a great start for you and your child:

1. Review the IEP again. Does it need tweaking after seeing your child’s development and learning over the summer? Although, the IEP is reviewed once a year, you can, at any time, request a team meeting to discuss concerns, updates, and possible alterations to goals and services that may now be appropriate. Make your request in writing.

2. Talk with your child’s new teachers. During the first two weeks of school, ask for a conference to sit down and educate the new teacher about your child, who they are, how they shine, what frustrates them and what motivates them. Share your child’s story with his or her teacher. Don’t rely on the IEP to do this for you.

3. Update the school as to any changes in medications.

4. Pay close attention to the work coming home with your during the first month of school. Does your child seem to be making progress? Is he or she falling behind in any areas? Is the IEP being followed? Check in with his or her teacher.

5. Buy a big folder that can hold your child’s class work that is brought home throughout the year. Having examples of specific areas of your child’s strengths and weaknesses will make explaining them to the IEP team easier for you and will also allow you to more readily monitor progress.

6. Always remember:

  • You are your child’s voice and advocate
  • Make all requests in writing and keep records of all communications with the school
  • You, as a parent, have the right to attend all IEP meetings. Doug C. v. State of Hawaii Department of Education, No. 12-15079, (9th Cir. June 13, 2013)

If you need assistance in advocating for your child’s educational rights, Jeyaram & Associates can help. Our attorneys have first hand experience with the IEP process and advocating for children’s educational rights. Contact: Kimberly Sheridan at ksheridan@jeylaw.com  or 678-708-4700.

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