A Simple Way to Request an IEP That Works
There are many challenges in life. Requesting an IEP meeting should not be one of them.
In practice requesting an IEP should be as simple as “asking” when you’re face to face with your child’s teacher or on the phone with an administrator. They take down the note and plan to get the ball rolling…coordinating all parties involved to set up the meeting you requested. The problem is that we’re all human and sometimes life gets in the way of well-intentioned people. As soon as you leave or hang up the phone, another problem arises that they need to attend to and they might forget about the request or misplace your note.
How to request an IEP
So a simple way to request an IEP that works is to put your request in writing. Either in old-school letter format or an email. Either way you have a paper trail and date of your request. This is really important and I’ll tell you why in a second.
But first, now that you have a written request who do you send it to? The school secretary? The teacher? The Principle?
Who do you send the IEP request to?
Direct the letter to one of three people…the case manager, your school’s program specialist, or the school district director of special education. Sending your letter of request to one of these administrators will ensure your meeting is placed on the calendar. If you don’t know who these people are all you have to do is contact the school and ask. They’ll give you their name and contact information.
Now when you send the letter or email you have an official paper trail with the date of request. This is important because the IEP team must hold the IEP or respond within a certain amount of time or you may be able to file a compliance complaint to your local state department of education. In the state of California the IEP meeting must be held within 30 calendar days from the receipt of the request. But you will want to check with your local state department of education for your states rules regarding IEP requests.
Why would you request an IEP?
So now you know how to get an IEP. Why would you want to request an IEP meeting outside of your regularly scheduled annual IEP meeting? Besides any reasonable reason…below are a few reasons a parent may want to request an IEP meeting.
Reasons to request an IEP meeting:
- Check on child’s progress
- Concerned about child’s progress
- Child not meeting goals
- Want to change any part of IEP
- Add or remove service(s)
- New problem arises with child and want to address
- Clarification of previous IEP
- Transferring within a school district
As you can see, requesting an IEP is simple and putting your request in writing will ensure you at least get a response. So the next time you need to get an IEP just write an email or letter and send it to your Case Manager, the school’s Program Specialist or the school district Director of Special Education.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope this was helpful.
SPEDSA – Special Education Services and Advocacy
Founder and Advocate
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