Running the IEP meeting

Discussion in 'Special Ed 101' started by JJJ, Sep 18, 2009.

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  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I know the school usually has the IEP case manager run the IEP meeting. Is there any legal reason why I can't run it? I love the case managers for my boys but Kanga's may give me a heart attack yet. A meeting that should take 45 minutes is stretched into hours. Last meeting (because I had filed a complaint), the case managers superior was there and ran the meeting and it took 45 minutes. I've been warned that they are not coming this time so I was hoping I could run the meeting. I may simply wrest control of the meeting away from the case manager but I would prefer it if I could set it up in advance that I would be running it.
  2. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Issue a proposed agenda for everyone. Get there very early and sit at the head of the table or whatever position sets you facing the door into the room. In the past this has been impossible for me to do because our district schedules several IEPs back to back and everyone else is already in the room with their implied positions of authority set up. Or they tell me 2:00 when all the SD people are told 1:00 and they have spent an hour in discussion before the scheduled time.

    Set out an agenda at each place around the table and copies of anything you want everyone to have. Bring bottles of fizzy water or whatever would be appropriate for the time of the meeting and invite everyone to have some as they come in. Make sure everyone knows where the bathrooms are...

    In other words, ACT as if you are in charge and it will be hard, if not impossible, to unseat you. And I personally wouldn't ask for this responsibility in advance. Instead when most of the folks are seated, I would just start the meeting as if I were in charge and assume that everyone else will go along if for no other reason than the awkwardness of confronting you and insisting that you take your "proper" role.

    Beware - they may expect this from you from now on.
  3. dadside

    dadside New Member

    I don't know what the law or regulations say on the matter of meeting chair, but I'd not advise any parent to try to take that role. Among other things, the school agency has the responsibility for compliance with the law, including seeing that things are done "properly", specifically including the meeting. For that reason alone they ought to be in charge of organizing and running the meeting. That you would be more than "bumping heads" with the school's designated chair - and by extension, the school altogether - becomes a secondary reason to not upset things. This doesn't mean they will get things "just right", but at least any error is theirs, not yours, and their feathers won't get so ruffled.

    That said, the advice to prepare your own agenda is good. Speak up about issues that need to be covered, and encourage moving on when a topic seems done is sound. Come well prepared and organized. While the end result may not be fully satisfying, it should be much better than otherwise. The law does say you are an equal member of the team, so you need not, and should not take a back seat.
  4. rlsnights

    rlsnights New Member

    Chairing the meeting does not change who is responsible for the accuracy or legality of the IEP that is drawn up or the provision of FAPE. Those responsibilities rest squarely with the SD and cannot be "taken" by the parent. There is no legal requirement for a chair even let alone specification of who the chair of an IEP meeting will be. The fiction of an egalitarian committee that is created by the IDEA legislation would argue against such a requirement so there is none.

    While a SD may have an identified "IEP Meeting Chairperson" this is not something that is required by IDEA 2004 anywhere that I could find. It is a matter of internal efficiency for the SD to have such a person identified but it is not a "llegal" position. True, the SD "chair" may buck your taking that position but you can do so without directly declaring yourself the "chair". You just act like it.

    Several books published by a variety of sources including Wright's Law advocate you taking charge of the meeting in this way. At the minimum, they recommend that you draw up an agenda and send it out ahead of time so everyone knows what you consider the major issues.

    An alternate suggestion is for you to announce right at the start that you have another appointment at x time (1 hour for example from the start time of the meeting) that you cannot re-schedule or miss. That sets a maximum time frame from the start.

    If the meeting isn't done 15 minutes before your time limit, you can suggest that the meeting be adjourned and continued at a future date. That should motivate everyone to get finished!
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  5. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Good input above.

    As with our children, pick your battles carefully. lol
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