New and Needing IEP help!


New Member
Hi all,

I'm new - name is Michelle and my difficult child is 9.5 years old ADHD/ODD. He is just finishing up his 12 day of non consecutive suspension THIS year (as in 2007, not school year). I think we have 5-8 more days if you count the first half of the school year.

I've been learning and researching like crazy for the past week. difficult child has an IEP for speech/language only and we have a meeting scheduled for 5/18 to add the ADHD. School told me I couldn't include the ODD but I've since learned this isn't true. After about 30 hours of studying the laws I've found they are in violation in SOOOO many areas it's ridulous. I told them last week we were over 10 cumulative days of suspension and they told me it has to be consecutive. WRONG! I sited the law section and haven't heard a word since. :smile:

I requested a full copy of difficult child's file. I got a few IEP's, one report card for each year (not including any from this year), a test that was done in Kindergarten, and the last three discipline reports - all from 2007. And that's it! Does anyone know what the requirements are for school files? I can't imagine that they are allowed to toss discipline reports for the current school year...are they? I'm fine with them not being in there when he moves up to middle school or another school but can they really pick and choose WHEN to remove them? And shouldn't those letters be signed?

I have notes all over the place that I need to start organizing. I am leaning towards letting the IEP team know in advance what I'm going to be asking for. Anyone suggest doing this or should I wait until the meeting? My thought process is that they might be more cooperative if I don't catch them off guard. I honestly think they are completely ignorant of the laws - this is a charter school.

I'll stop there before I lose everyone! THANKS so much in advance for any advice and help!!!


Dear Michelle,

Welcome to our world! I'm glad you found us--sorry you need us.

Since your difficult child is in a Charter school, based on my experience, they probably ARE clueless about the law. However, ignorance is not an excuse or a defense. I know you have already done a lot of research, but you might want to take a look at the Archives of Sp Ed 101--there are many good discussions there of various problematic aspects of the Special Education process.

There are clear specifications for what is allowed to be in school records in The Buckley Amendment (common name for FERPA--Family Education Rights to Privacy Act). There are two types of files: "Permanent" records are quite limited. What you are looking for should be retained in the temporary files that exists while the student is in school. All relevant information should be there. If the school does not have records of reasons for disciplinary action, then they are REALLY ill-informed and do not have a good attorney on retainer.

Three important things: you are a full member of the IEP team; the invariant order to do things lawfully is to write the IEP first and THEN decide the LRE placement NOT the other way around; AND send all mail to the school CERTIFIED. Finally, start (and maintain) a really good filing system so you have a complete record of your difficult child's school experiences; their responses, etc.

It is OK to send your ideas ahead of time. It is not legal for them to write the IEP beforehand, however. If you are going to send your suggestions, I would ask them for theirs. Also, if any testing has been done, you need to see it BEFORE the meeting because there is not much worse than taking meeting time to read results of evaluations (that should have been sent to you anyway.) If the school won't comply with your wishes, then I would not send "courtesy" drafts to them.



New Member

Your knowledge is so valuable...I'll be digging into those archives in the next day or so. I wish I didn't have to pay so much attention to the "paying" job these next two weeks so I had more time to get ready! Thank you for the welcome and I'm glad I found you too!

I prepared a letter for tomorrow asking for the rest of difficult child's discipline records from prior to 2007 - there is NOTHING in there before that date! My memory isn't so bad to not remember the several suspensions and many "come get him" calls from the first half of this school year.

I got the IEP notice in the mail over the weekend. AT the bottom it says there should be three attachments. I only got one so I am also politely asking for the other two. It's a "state" form - or appears to be - so I believe I should be getting them!

Thanks again - I'm sure I'm going to be busy!


Hi Michelle

Some school district are fond of draft IEPs. There's a little blip in the Part II of the regs regarding "draft" IEPs parents may need to be aware of.

From :

"With respect to a draft IEP, we
encourage public agency staff to come to
an IEP Team meeting prepared to
discuss evaluation findings and
preliminary recommendations.
Likewise, parents have the right to bring
questions, concerns, and preliminary
recommendations to the IEP Team
meeting as part of a full discussion of
the child’s needs and the services to be
provided to meet those needs. We do
not encourage public agencies to
prepare a draft IEP prior to the IEP Team
meeting, particularly if doing so would
inhibit a full discussion of the child’s
needs. However, if a public agency
develops a draft IEP prior to the IEP
Team meeting, the agency should make
it clear to the parents at the outset of the
meeting that the services proposed by
the agency are preliminary
recommendations for review and
discussion with the parents. The public
agency also should provide the parents
with a copy of its draft proposals, if the
agency has developed them, prior to the
IEP Team meeting so as to give the
parents an opportunity to review the
recommendations of the public agency
prior to the IEP Team meeting, and be
better able to engage in a full discussion
of the proposals for the IEP.
It is not
permissible for an agency to have the
final IEP completed before an IEP Team
meeting begins." [emphasis added]


New Member
That does make a certain amount of sense that you wouldn't want to stifle the "creativity" of the group by arriving with pre-conceived notions of what needs to be one...but on the other hand, I wouldn't want to be the one showing up unprepared!! I'm trying to remember the last couple IEP's for speech/language and it seems they pretty much called the shots and filled in the forms as I agreed to everything. I certainly wouldn't have called it a discussion or interchange but considering the circumstances, I don't think I would have changed anything anyway. I don't think they'll get off so lucky this time!

Thanks much!