Here’s a helpful way to take meeting notes in your IEP meeting.
Usually what happens is someone’s assigned to take notes. They take notes for the whole meeting and then at the very end of the meeting is when the person reads the notes. Nothing wrong with that. But typically what happens if the meeting is longer, it takes a long time to read those notes back.
Number one, everybody’s tired, they want to be done, and so sometimes the notes don’t get the attention that they deserve. Secondly, people forget things. I repeatedly was falling into a challenge when it came to reading meeting notes, because I take incredibly great notes. So when we would read the notes back at the end of the meeting, I would want certain things to be inserted in the meeting notes that people had said. When I asked for them to be added to the meeting notes, invariably they would say, “Well, no, she didn’t say that.” And I said, “Oh yes, she did. I wrote it down word for word.” “No, no, no, no, no. She said this.” And so we’d have this whole discussion about “He said, she said,” and all the other kind of things.
So what I started doing was having interim meeting note summaries, and when the meeting starts and the person’s taking notes, whenever we finish discussing a certain topic. So if we’re talking about, let’s say curriculum and learning and how well the child’s doing with math, reading and writing, and the teacher discusses that and we have a conversation, and then we’re done with reading, math and writing and we’re going to start talking about social skills, I will stop. I will say, “Could we please read the notes for the section we just discussed?” so that then we can complete those notes. We don’t have to read them at the end, and we can just finalize that portion of it.
Many times, people really like the idea because they like the idea that they’re not going to have to read them all at the end of the meeting, because sometimes you run out of time. The other benefit is that since we just discussed reading, math and writing, if I want any changes made, I want anything additional that we discussed added to the meeting notes, it’s still fresh in everybody’s mind and they’re much more agreeable to add it to the notes.
Alrighty, have a great day. Bye-bye.
The IEP Advocate is your best shot at helping your child succeed in school (and life). We help parents get the school to approve and follow individual education plans (IEPs) for their children who are struggling in school. Even if the school is saying “no” to you, we’ll get them to say “yes” to us!