What is an IEP?
An IEP or Individualized Education Program is a legal document, required by US law, created for each child that requires special education in the American public school system.
It’s created by parents, teachers, special education providers and any other support staff that assist in the child’s education. The purpose of the IEP is to ensure the child’s education meets their needs and provides the best environment for them to thrive.
As well as setting out goals for the year, the document establishes any special accommodations or modifications that need to be made. For example, some children may require speech or occupational therapy.
What is an IEP meeting?
Schools are required by law to hold an IEP meeting annually. It’s a chance for parents, teachers and others involved in the child’s education to review the education being received and make changes if needed.
During the meeting, educators will inform the parents of the child’s progress over the last year. They will outline strengths and if the last meeting's objectives were met. Normally, the parents also provide feedback at this stage to let teachers know how they feel the year has gone.
The education team will then outline if they feel change is needed to the child’s IEP. For instance, the child’s disability might change as they grow and that needs to be accounted for.
It’s vital that both parents and the child’s education team work constructively in an IEP meeting. This document will put in place a plan that’s to last for the year and constant reviews caused by poor planning will likely have an adverse impact on the child.
In preparation for the meeting, it’s helpful for the person facilitating it to send a report of the child’s progress so everyone can review and come to the session prepared. A chair should also facilitate the discussion to ensure everyone is heard and people don’t talk over each other.
After the meeting, the document will be sent to all parties and should be reviewed before being signed off. Any action items should also be completed prior to the document being implemented.
How to arrange an IEP meeting
Finding a time for everyone to get together for such an important meeting is hard, but Doodle can help.
Group Poll makes it easy for educators and parents to meet. If you’re the organizer, choose the times you’d like to have your meeting and send it to the parents and academic staff you need. They’ll respond with their availability and you’ll have a meeting confirmed in minutes.
With a Doodle Professional Teams plan you can book all sorts of meetings on behalf of teachers. Our Hosts feature lets you book meetings on their behalf and then have it automatically appear in their schedule.
You can also add your favorite video conferencing tool, which will link automatically to any invites you send.
Doodle makes it easy for you to arrange any type of meeting. No more email ping pong, just more time for you to focus on the important things. Try it for free today.