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musicmeg222 03-23-2019 08:57 PM

Random questions about special education
I just started a sped position and haven't attended any meetings yet to become more comfortable with the process and procedures. I have some upcoming IEP meetings and would like to be as prepared as possible. Does the IEP need to be completed before the meeting, or should I take notes and use those to complete the IEP afterward? I will double check with the other sped teachers at my school as well. Also, I'm guessing it's best to bring paper (or notebook, so it's more organized) to the meetings, so I can take notes?

Is the sped teacher normally the one who keeps the signature attendance log and submits it with the IEP or does it depend on those attending? In my student's IEPs, it mentions the names and positions of those who attended, but no signature is included. Are signatures required or just a list of names that can be added to the IEP?

I'm hopefully going to meet with my mentor again, so I can ask a million questions about lesson planning, teaching, and IEPs/meetings, but I figured I would ask here too. Is there ANY other information I should remember or keep in mind during/after IEP meetings? Anything I need to make sure to take notes on that must be included in the IEP? Any helpful tips or suggestions? Thanks for the help! <!--girl2--><!--girl1-->

checkerjane 03-23-2019 09:14 PM

If itís an annual meeting, then yes. If itís an initial, the first meeting is to gather info and also have paperwork ready to get parent consent to test. After the kiddo is tested, and youíre on the same page as the parents and teacher(s) as far as services go, the IEP is written and presented at another meeting. All that being said, I think some of that process may depend on the school.

My IEPs have signature lines on the IEP. I have a separate form that everyone in attendance signs, which is called a Record of Access. It just records who was there and their purpose for looking at the kidís IEP and other educational info.

Good luck!

GoodEnough85 03-24-2019 06:12 AM

Most of it depends on the school
but most likely everything will be filled out as a Draft copy before the meeting. You should make your notes directly on the draft. Your school may require you to turn that Draft copy in as well. (You can keep your own copy of it though.) The meeting is a collaboration though so there may be changes in the Draft.

Mark any changes or errors you find as you go. After the meeting, you enter the changes, fix the errors and add any parent concerns mentioned.

In my district, I keep the attendance signature page and turn it with the Draft after the IEP is all completed and correct and ready to be finalized. (We have a list of people involved/invited at the front and signature page at the back. Our signature page only indicates attendance with no option to agree/disagree. Some schools do have that.) After I turn the Draft copy and signatures in to my SpEd Director, she will look it over, tidy up anywhere as needed, check for compliance and finalize it.

Her secretary makes the copies of the finalized report and mails one out to the parents. I get a paper copy for me and each GenEd or other teachers the student has. I will need to use my plan time to ensure each teacher has a copy of the IEP and collect their signatures on a Receipt of IEP page. I also then turn that into the SpEd Director's secretary too.

In my old District, the SpEd Director's secretary returned a single clean copy of the finalized report to me and I was responsible for making all the copies, mailing one to the parents and distributing them as above.

Don't be surprised if you are expected to lead the IEP meeting yourself from the outset. You might try to sit in on the meetings of your colleagues before your first one in your caseload. It will help you see the flow of the meetings and how things are worded. We move pretty quickly as we like to keep the meetings at about 45-60 minutes when possible.

As you complete multiple IEPs, it is tempting to make their goals the same or super similar to make it easier to make lesson plans. RESIST that urge as some SpEd online programs check for that and will penalize your district. It is no longer an Individualized Education Plan if the students have identical goals.

Get used to the idea that your students may have different assignments/lessons at the same time. I remember you posted about this in a separate thread here. You may need to have some review/independent work so that you can do a lesson with one/small group first and then approach another group separately. SpEd is not about being fair, it is about giving each student what they need.

Good luck.

Haley23 03-24-2019 10:41 AM

You really need to just ask the people at your school as the process is different everywhere. At my first school, they didn't let us fill in much of the IEP prior to the meeting because they considered it "pre-determining" without the parent present. I was allowed to fill in present levels and everything else was supposed to be decided at the meeting, with the IEP to be completed and sent home afterwards. In my current district, each section is to be completed prior to the meeting. Parent input is added in during the meeting and the IEP is required to be finalized and sent home at the end of the meeting.

At my first school, I was expected to run all of the meetings. In my current school, if it's an annual I'll run it but if it's an initial or tri the psych is there and she often wants to facilitate. I still have to do a lot of talking as I'm the one talking about the goals, levels, etc. I personally would never have time in an IEP meeting to take pencil/paper notes, nor would this be required at my school. If we were adding in notes, we'd add them directly to the IEP. If this is an expectation at your school, I'm guessing there would be a designated note taker. I can't imagine one person leading the meeting and taking notes the whole time.

The pp had a good idea about sitting in on someone else's IEP first if you can. It will make a lot more sense if you can see the process in person. Even if no one else has any scheduled before your first meeting, I'd still recommend sitting in on someone else's to make sure you're doing future meetings correctly. IME each district has their own little "rules" that are set in stone for them. At the very least, if you're not able to observe another meeting first, you need to have another sped teacher at the school go over the process with you and at least have someone sitting in on your first meeting to make sure you don't miss anything.

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