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Notice of IEP Team Meeting - Participants


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Joined: Feb 16, 2012
Posts: 6
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Posted Feb 16, 2012 at 8:03:43 PM
Subject: Notice of IEP Team Meeting - Participants

On a "Notice of IEP Team Meeting" is the school required to provide a listing of specific personnel that will attend? In the past when we received a meeting notice specific school personnel were listed by both name and title. This year we have moved to a new school and the school is only listing title not actual names, for example our current notice list include:

IEP Chair
Speech/Language Pathologist
Other Participant
Psychologist
General Education Teacher
Special Education Teacher
Counselor
Occupational Therapist
Care Giver

No names are provided. When I questioned this I was told it was due to a new system being used. I have researched the system (Online-Iep) and there is no such limitation (was able to find a demo and documentation). After a quick review of the law I don't think that listing title only is in the spirit of the law. According to IDEA 2004 Section 300.322 "(i) Indicate the purpose, time, and location of the meeting and who will be in attendance;". I read "who" to be specific to a person but not sure if I have this right? I do feel I should have a right to know specifically who will be attending on behalf of the school and find their listing of "Other Participant" particularly troubling.

Any input would be appreciated!

Thanks!

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eoffg
Joined Sep 28, 2011
Posts: 100

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Posted:Feb 17, 2012 4:51:04 AM

It raises a question about why they wont provide the names of the IEP Team?
Whether they have even defined who is on the Team?
Will they just grab anyone who happens to walk past at the time of the meeting?
One major part of IEP's, is to keep a paper record of everything, but you wont have a record of who is actually at the meeting?
So that they could change the participants at a following meeting, and you couldn't prove it?
It really makes one wonder why they don't wont to provide them?
When you attend the meeting, maybe you could have a sheet of paper with all of the positions listed on it, which you could have them hand around and get them to write their name under their role.
So that you could use this as an attendance record for each meeting?
But as for the 'Other Participant'?
Would they be happy for you to simply advice them that you would be bringing an Other Participant?

Without the names, you can't look into the participants, before the meeting?
I just rather share your concern, where given that they informed that it is their 'new system'?
Why wouldn't they want to simply tell you 'who' will be at the Meeting?
I also consider the situation where your child might have major problems with one of the 'participants', such as the Counselor or the specific Special Ed Teacher?
Where it would be better to know this before hand, and then you could contact them and discuss this, and then maybe they can find an alternative?
What would actually be so difficult with providing the names?
But with this simple act, and given that this seems to be the first IEP Meeting with them?
It is not a good starting point in the Team building process.

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DRHD
Joined Apr 29, 2008
Posts: 135

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Posted:Feb 17, 2012 9:35:41 AM

Concerneddad,

I read your posting and I wish to provide you with some feedback. Please note the following:

1) On the "trustmeter" I don't think the school division gave it their best effort by not disclosing the actual names of those persons who will be in atendance at your child's IEP meeting. This is only reasonable and I would support the input provided by the posting of "eoffg".

2) Automated IEP programs go from one extreme to the other in providing the required level of forms for use by school divisions. Some of these programs are so proprietary that they will only print what the template has and there is no editing capability. Hence, I would accept the response from the teacher that described the IEP online system as a factor in this lack of disclosure.

3) I believe you have interpreted Congressional intent accurately in that Congress had intended for parents to know "who" and "what position " they hold to serve as a participant in an IEP meeting. However, the IDEA does not prescribe or require the "who" as it does only the "what". IDEA will defer to the States to determine the prescribing rules for participation guidelines. The long and short of it is that there will be a wide variation of how this will be done. The one factor that cannot be overlooked is informing the parent of what required participants will be in attendance at any meeting. It therefore becomes a "best practice" issue for school divisions to name persons and the -position they hold as it would pertain to the child. Your greatest concern is whether the persons in attendance know your child and his special needs and can address your concerns if any are expressed. A school division may have named the correct "positons" to be in attendance at the meeting but if they cannot provide the parent substantive information about the child then this is a very slippery slope for the school division. This will deny you of meaningful parental participation in your child's IEP. This is a compliance issue.

4) Finally, I would very much appreciate your letting us know how the outcome of your meeting.

DRHD
[Modified by: DRHD on February 17, 2012 09:39 AM]

[Modified by: DRHD on February 17, 2012 09:40 AM]

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concerneddad
Joined Feb 16, 2012
Posts: 6

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Posted:Feb 22, 2012 11:33:23 AM

Thanks for the input! I did look at the IDEA law and noted:

According to IDEA 2004 Sec. 300.322 Parent participation.

(a) Public agency responsibility-general. Each public agency must take steps to ensure that one or both of the parents of a child with a disability are present at each IEP Team meeting or are afforded the opportunity to participate, including--
(1) Notifying parents of the meeting early enough to ensure that they will have an opportunity to attend; and
(2) Scheduling the meeting at a mutually agreed on time and place.
(b) Information provided to parents.
(1) The notice required under paragraph (a)(1) of this section must--
(i) Indicate the purpose, time, and location of the meeting and who will be in attendance; and
(ii) Inform the parents of the provisions in Sec. 300.321(a)(6) and (c) (relating to the participation of other individuals on the IEP Team who have knowledge or special expertise about the child), and Sec. 300.321(f) (relating to the participation of the Part C service coordinator or other representatives of the Part C system at the initial IEP Team meeting for a child previously served under Part C of the Act).

The Maryland law uses almost identical wording "Who will be in attendance".

So all that said thus far I have had a good relationship with the school and good results in our meeting to date. But I was concerned that the notice was vague and doesn't allow me to have reasonable expectations in terms of who will be in attendance. So I don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill but I feel it is reasonable for the school to provide a listing of intended participants.

As I mentioned I did some research on their system and there is no limitation in terms of including personnel by name (other than effort). Even if there was a technical reason there is no reason the invitation could not be supplemented by writing in the names.

Anyway for the time being I will continue to focus on getting my son what he needs to be successful and watch this issue carefully.

Thanks again for the input!

[Modified by: concerneddad on February 22, 2012 11:35 AM]

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concerneddad
Joined Feb 16, 2012
Posts: 6

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Posted:Mar 01, 2012 10:06:52 AM

Just a quick follow up... We had the IEP meeting in question and all went well. After presenting the data we agreed to draft up new goals and consider placement at the next meeting, which will be in less than two weeks. We received the new notice of meeting and the staff had written the names in next to the roles on the form as we asked. I had a nice discussion with the Vice Principle, who runs the meetings and expressed my concerns and she was happy to accommodate our request. While I did need to be a bit persistent I appreciate the school working with us and feel we have a solid team at this point.

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DRHD
Joined Apr 29, 2008
Posts: 135

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Posted:Mar 01, 2012 11:05:41 AM

Concerneddad,

The outcome of your meetings and discussions would appear to be a very positive. Well done! I am very glad things worked out for you and particularly your child.

There are some lessons learned from your experience that are applicable to both parents and school division personnel. Please note what I perceive to be my guiding thoughts:

1) IDEA, although a law conceived with the greatest of Congressional intent, has evolved with unanticipated outcomes. It is a law that sets up frequent adversarial barriers to effective good faith communications, collaboration, and plain ol' common sense between parents and schools.

2) Parents and school division personnel more than often assume positions of rigidity and fall short of making a complex process quite simple by just working hard to effectively communicate concerns.

3) Parents also need to understand that school personnel are as much an advocate for a parents child as the parent and both sides need to "lay down their swords" and simply build bridges of trust and confidence.

4) It has been my experience that parents, school personnel, and advocates fall into impass when the law is taken out of context and applied to a given circumstance. The irony of all this is that IDEA has been subjected to varying levels of interpretation by the federal agencies themselves, the courts, and those within the various school districts and states. Rationality and common sense should always prevail by doing things right for the right reasons.

5) At the end of the day and after everyone has espoused their knowledge of what is or is not within the intent of the law or regulation, reasonable outcomes emerge because reasonable people made proper choices for all the right reasons. The child is always the benefactor of these good faith decisions. Schools, programs, and services are always about and for children and not for parents or school personnel.

Best wishes and continued positive outcomes for your child.

DRHD
[Modified by: DRHD on March 01, 2012 11:08 AM]

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