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It Is Back To School Time! Is Your Child's Current IEP Appropriate? Here are Some Quick Tips to Keep in Mind When Reviewing Your Child's Current IEP.
September 8, 2016
What options are available if a school district is not implementing your child's IEP? Some parents find themselves in the unfortunate situation of having fought for their child's educational rights and obtained appropriate services for their child, only to have the school subsequently fail to implement those services.
Parents who attend IEP meetings are generally looking to obtain something very simple for their child, an educational placement that is appropriate and will allow their child the opportunity to make substantive educational progress. However, the IEP process can be very stressful and confusing. What all parents should be aware of in preparing for an IEP meeting, is that the burden is on the school district to provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education ("FAPE") for all children. Not only must the educational placement be appropriate, but it also must be qualify as a clear written offer. (Union Sch. Dist, v Smith, (9th Cir. 1994), 15 F.3d 1519.)
Following an IEP meeting a parent may be left feeling as though some parts of the IEP are appropriate, while also believing that other parts of the IEP were not appropriately addressed. Can parents provide only partial consent to an IEP document, and if so, are school district's responsible for implementing the portions of the IEP that were consented to?
What is the standard for whether or not a school district has arrived at an IEP team meeting with a pre-determined offer of services?
The IDEA imposes upon the school district the duty to conduct a meaningful IEP meeting with parents. (W.G. v. Bd. of Trustees of Target Range Sch. Dist., 960 F.2d 1479, 1485 (9th Cir. 1992); Fuhrmann v. East Hanover Bd. of Educ., 993 F.2d 1031, 1036 (3d Cir. 1993)).
The first step in determining whether or not your child's current educational placement and program is appropriate, is to consider whether or not he/she is progressing within his current setting. Often times the first step that a School District will look to determine whether or not a particular student is progressing is by considering whether or not that student has met his/her annual goals. However, there is an even more fundamental place to start when determining whether or not a student is actually making appropriate progress.
Preparing for your child's IEP can be a stressful and anxiety creating experience, with this in mind we have a prepared a brief checklist of things to keep in mind during this process: