IEP meetings can be stressful. You may disagree with the services and supports the school district proposes or refuses to provide for your student during the meeting. It is inevitable that members of the IEP team will have different perspectives if there is no clear consensus regarding the type of special education services your child should receive.
Your local school district is required to hold at least one IEP meeting each school year for your student. Federal and state regulations provide detailed guidance on how the annual IEP meeting and any subsequent meeting(s) should be conducted. Parental participation is strongly encouraged to ensure all your student’s unique needs are addressed. Parental consent is required only for the Initial IEP meeting. If a parent does not sign a subsequent IEP, it will be implemented 15 days after the Parent received the IEP.
After the IEP meeting the school district must provide you with a written copy of the IEP including a summary of those services that will be mandated for your student in the IEP. If you are concerned about the supports and services in the IEP you must take swift action to protect your child’s rights after you receive the IEP.
How to Proceed After Your Annual IEP Meeting
First, you should express your disagreement with the proposed IEP during the IEP meeting. In fact, one of the most important things that a Parent can do during an IEP meeting is to speak up and express disagreement as clearly as possible. Request to have your concerns noted on the meeting minutes and/or within the IEP itself. There is an entire section devoted to Parental Concerns. You may write the concerns and send them to the case manager for inclusion in the IEP.
Second, you must review the IEP. After the IEP the school must provide you with a copy of the complete written IEP. 15 days after your receipt of the IEP, whether you sign it or not, whether you agree with it or not, the IEP will go into effect.
Third, if you disagree with the IEP you must immediately contact your case manager in writing with your concerns and or proposed changes. If the District disagrees with the proposed change, or if they do not respond, you must file for Due Process or Mediation within 15 days of receiving the written IEP by filing a Complaint.
Request Mediation or a Due Process Hearing by Filing a Complaint
The filing of the request for Mediation or Dur Process complaint will prevent the district from implementing the IEP. To request Mediation or a Due Process Hearing, you must put your request in writing and send it to the Department of Education and the school district within 15 days of receipt of the Prior Written Notice or the IEP.
Mediation and due process hearings resolve disagreements regarding the identification, evaluation, classification, educational placement, or other broader concerns related to your child’s free appropriate public education, before a Mediator or an Administrative Law Judge. While the disagreement is being resolved, your child’s current placement and services will remain the same. This is called a “stay put” or pendency.
Securing stay-put will provide your child with continual access to their current IEP program.
Please contact us to learn more about how we may be able to assist your child.
Helping Families Navigate Special Education
When your child is not receiving the appropriate supports and services, modifications, and accommodations, no matter where the services are being delivered, it has consequences.
Waiting until the next meeting may not be a viable option.
Here at Bercik Law we can help you advocate for your child with the Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) and the 504 Plan. Ensuring your child receives a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) is our mission.
The Individualized Educational Plan should be just that, individualized.
School Law Attorney
At Bercik Law, we have a school law attorney, William S Frazier, Esq.
Mr.Frazier brings that same level of care and focus to his clients when assisting them through the challenges of education for special needs students.
Depending on the family dynamics, needs of the child, and the expectations for the future, Mr. Frazier’s focus is to gain access to all the resources legally available for special needs families.