So often once the IEP meeting is over, we put the file away and don’t think much about it again until the next year unless something goes wrong, of course. While I know it can be such a relief to make it through the meeting that we are ready to move on once we walk out the door or leave the Zoom meeting, there are three important steps to take after the IEP meeting.
Note: It might be tempting to skip these steps, but don’t! They will assure that the next year will move smoothly and your child will get everything they need!
Step 1: Go through the IEP again.
This may seem redundant after you’ve just spent time going over every little piece of the document, but it’s important to make sure it is complete and that you actually understand it all.
It can be very difficult to take in all of the information presented in an IEP meeting. Oftentimes there are many people sharing information at the same time, using language that isn’t familiar, and all of it happens really quickly! After the meeting, it is always a good idea to go through the IEP document and any notes you’ve taken.
You’ll want to check for the following:
- All of the personal information is correct.
- The present levels represent what was presented at the meeting.
- You understand and are comfortable with the IEP goals.
- Services are included and correct.
If there is anything that just doesn’t seem right or that you don’t understand, make sure to reach out to the team for some clarification.
Step 2: Calendar Up!
Before you file the IEP away, take a few minutes to put important dates in your calendar for the upcoming year, as they relate to your child’s IEP. Living in the world of special education can be overwhelming when it comes to keeping track of dates and timelines. Make it easier on yourself by scheduling those dates for the entire year.
Dates to consider:
- The next IEP Meeting. That could be a follow-up IEP or the next annual IEP.
- Any informal meetings that were agreed to by the team.
- Dates you will receive updates on the IEP goals.
- Anything else that has a timeline.
By having these on your calendar well in advance, you’ll be less likely to miss a meeting or have to reschedule.
Step 3: Send a follow-up email to the team
Let’s face it – we are all so busy and it’s easy to skip over this step. A follow-up email is a chance for you to thank the team for their time, document any follow-up actions that were discussed, and ask any questions you may have.
Some examples of what this email might include:
- thanking staff for their time.
- any items that require follow up.
- any questions you have.
- any disagreements you have.
…and anything else you deem appropriate.
After the IEP Meeting
By taking the time now to complete these steps, know that you will be saving yourself time and frustration as you move into the year ahead.
P.S. IEPs can be overwhelming but you don’t have to do it alone. Check out IEPs Untangled and get the support you deserve to become your child’s best advocate.