How much notice?

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by Sagegrad, Sep 12, 2009.

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  1. Sagegrad

    Sagegrad New Member

    Does anyone know how much notice the schools are required to give for an IEP meeting? We requested an IEP meeting prior to school starting (over a month prior to school starting). A notice came home in my daughters backpack Friday (yesterday) for a Wed IEP meeting. Doesnt this seem like short notice?

  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    10 days notice is required
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    I think it can be as short as 5-day notice.

    HOWEVER, if the date/time is not convenient, you have the right to tell them it will have to be scheduled at a mutually agreeable time.

    Very important that this be done in writing. If not, don't be surprised to learn that they have the IEP meeting without you and IEP docs state that parents just didn't show up.

    Because I know that it is difficult to coordinate everyone's schedule, I try to be as flexible as possible when things like this come up as long as they are not treating me disrespectfully, e.g., "we said X date at Y time." There have been occassions when I just couldn't reschedule for their preference.
  4. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Holy Cow, I'm glad I don't live in Georgia. Unless your local school district has a rule that applies, the State Ed Code does not specify ANY time lines for notices related to IEP's that are not contained within the actual IDEA regulations. That means - NO requirement for notices for the kind of IEP meeting you're describing. The school district is required to be able to prove that they tried to get you to participate. That's it.

    The Ed Code language is totally focused on how IEP teams can go ahead and write/implement IEPs without parental involvement. Jeepers creepers.

    You might want to look this up for yourself. Go to

    and download the PDF for 160-4-7.06 and 160-4-7.09

    Tomorrow first thing I would shoot them back a certified letter saying when you want the meeting held (give them a range of dates or a list of specific dates and time frames to choose from that is at least 10 school days away). Tell them you want to receive copies of all reports, proposed baselines and goals, a proposed agenda and a list of people who will be in attendance 5 school days prior to the meeting date. And inform them that you plan to record the meeting - that should cover all the bases.

    If you can you might want to take a copy of the letter to the school principal, school psychologist, your child's main Special Education teacher and anyone else you know would normally be at the IEP meeting and give them the copy. Tell them how sorry you are that the district didn't get in touch with you so that you could coordinate your schedule with the other IEP team members (i.e. you're an important MEMBER of the team and should be treated that way). Since it's such short notice and you had to send your reply to the district the same way they communicate with you (i.e. by snail mail) you were sure they (the teacher, etc) would want to know right away about the need to re-schedule the meeting and the dates you are available. So you brought them a copy of your note.

    At the minimum I would try to drop the note off to the classroom teacher and principal since it is such short notice.

    Sweet as sugar to everyone. Say as little as possible about what will happen at the IEP meeting if you feel that's appropriate. You're just being professional and letting them know that the meeting needs to be re-scheduled. Do not offer excuses or reasons why you can't do the proposed date. You have "a previous engagement" is good enough if you feel that you must give a reason.

    If someone gets pushy, you can push back a little but not much. Think of these people as co-workers - difficult folks perhaps but you don't really want to make them even harder to work with by getting them mad at you over little things. Silence is good for this. The intrusive "why can't you reschedule your appointment?" question can simply be met by a stare held long enough to make the other person uncomfortably aware they have committed a faux pas.

    I would also call the Special Education program person for your school and let them know you are sending the letter about re-scheduling the meeting. Ask if they would like you to fax it to them if that is something that is easy for you to do. If so, be sure to print out a receipt from your fax machine showing the date/time/#pages sent so you have proof you faxed it. This is in addition to sending a certified letter.

    Alternate in addition to mailing is to take a copy of the letter down to the district offices and ask them to date stamp the letter as received right there in front of you before delivering it to the Special Education office.

    Remember the golden rule of IEP meetings: Always prepare and conduct the meeting as if you were going to due process. Dot the i's and cross the t's. The school district will - so must you.

    Good luck
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2009
  5. Sagegrad

    Sagegrad New Member

    Thank you for the replies. We spent the weekend reading, reading some more and preparing for the meeting. We will go with their scheduled meeting (this time) but wanted to know what our rights are for next time they pull this short notice thing.

  6. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    If you're going ahead, try to make sure you have everything they have to bring to the meeting - reports, proposed goals & baselines, agenda. And if it's at all possible record the meeting - this usually requires 24 hours written notice. Faxing them a short statement that you plan to record the meeting is generally enough plus leaving them a message.

    If you aren't recording because you don't have anything to use and can afford to spend $50ish go buy a cheap digital recorder that comes with software for your computer. Best money I ever spent.

    Good luck
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm no expert on this but I have always received a "notice of an IEP meeting" ahead of time which is in the format of a form where the parent checks to either attend, allow them to have the meeting without the parent's attendance, indication that the parent will be available by phone, or that the parent cannot attend at that time/date and would like the meeting rescheduled. That might not be law for them to do this but since this school district NEVER does anything regarding the iep that is not legally required, I assumed that it was law.

    But as Sheila noted, they have a tough time getting everyone on their end together for a meeting so I think it is best to accommodate their schedule if possible. That way, it doesn't look so bad when I start making my requests from them!
  8. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    The specifics vary by State. Some states (like GA) pretty much appear to have wholesale imported the IDEA federal regs into their State Ed Code. Others tinkered to some extent either to conform to existing State law that still fit within IDEA regs or to clarify - as in this case where IDEA left it open to the States to create (or not) their own time lines within broad general ones.
  9. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    When dealing with school districts, it can be important to take your Mommy hat off and put your Business hat on. As with any meeting, mutual respect and cooperation is the best bet.

    Walk softly but carry a big stick....

    Some of the IDEA federal regs overlap with FAPE and your State regs. And while it pains SEA's to acknowledge it, federal law supercedes state law every time.

    It's my understanding that an IEP meeting is also governed by Prior Written Notice, e.g., written notice of the meeting must be tendered to parent(s).
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