So the topic of today is yes, you can have an IEP meeting as often as you want.
When your child qualifies for an IEP, the date that that IEP is put in place is called your annual review date. So every year, before that date, before that date comes up, the school has to have a meeting with you to update the IEP. They’re legally obligated to do that. So they will meet with you, they have to invite you to the meeting. The purpose is to review the IEP, the goals, all the information on the IEP, make sure it’s accurate, update the information so if your child hopefully has made progress, that can be updated, to look at the goals, to determine if the goals have been met. If they’ve been met, great. If they have not been met, why not. That needs to be discussed and considered. To write new goals. To address your concerns, so anything that you have concerns about. Maybe you want additional information added to the IEP. Maybe you want different goals added to the IEP. That’s the purpose of the annual review meeting.
Now, as I said, the school must have that meeting at least once a year to update the IEP. Now you, as a parent, can request an IEP meeting as often as you want. When my daughter was smaller and had an IEP, I had IEP meetings at the end of every nine week quarter. That was my way of keeping in touch with what was going on, and I could ask questions if I felt if she met the goals or was making progress. That was a way for me to know about it. If she met the goal, then we could talk as a team about a new goal to add. If I had questions, it was a great reason to have a meeting so that I could bring up my concerns and talk to the team about it. You can have one as often as you want.
You may not feel like you need a meeting and then something happens and you want to have a meeting, you want something changed or something added. You want a new goal. Maybe your child’s not making progress and you want more help, more service, you want somebody to work with her more often than they have been working with her. Maybe you’re concerned because he’s not getting the services he’s supposed to get on the IEP. Maybe they’ve been missing out on some therapy or some help with math. Whatever your concern is, you can have a meeting, all right.
To request a meeting all you do is you write an email to the principal. You can copy the staffing specialist if you want to. There’s nothing wrong with copying whomever you want. But we always send the meeting to the principal because that’s the person who’s in charge of the school. Then they can’t say somewhere down the line they didn’t know about it, they didn’t know about your request or any of that kind of stuff. This way they know about it, they can assign it to someone and have it done.
When you send your email out requesting an IEP meeting, I give people generally three days to respond back to me. If they don’t respond back to me, I’m making a phone call. Do not let this go on for 5, 6, 7 days or weeks. It’s professional courtesy, in my mind, that somebody should respond to me within three days at the most, and if they don’t, then I start calling them and I start emailing them to document that they’re not listening to my request.
So please follow up, don’t let it drag on, and have a great meeting. Take care.
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!