Summer vacation is just a memory. You have gone school shopping for new clothes, supplies, and backpacks. School is officially back in session!
Now it is important for you to start YOUR “home work”. It is time to make sure you are up and current on your child’s IEP goals and services and ready to support your child in their educational growth for this school year.
Starting the school year organized, informed, and with a plan can help you have a smooth school year.
Check out the special offer at the end of this blog that can help you get this school year rolling in the right direction.
Here is a checklist of things to do to get started on the right foot:
1) Go and meet your child’s teacher and therapists, even if some are the same ones as last year. Bring them a one page “report” about your child. Make sure it has their strengths, challenges, likes and dislikes as well as your dreams for their future.
2) Discuss with your child’s teacher how you will receive weekly updates on your child’s progress. This could be a communication book, emails, etc.
3) Make sure you’re your paperwork is in order. This includes the IEP, any assessments, records, medical records, and updates from OT, PT, Speech and any other therapies. You can do this easily in a binder. Bring this binder to EVERY meeting so you have all the information on your child in one place.
4) Schedule out on a calendar or schedule a reminder on your phone for the following dates:
- 30 days before your child’s IEP meeting to start keeping an eye out for assessment plans, and to start asking for any information you may want to have or assessment you would like to have done. Start writing your report on your child, contact an advocate to review your child’s current goals and discuss what you want to see for the next year.
- 15 days before the IEP make sure the day and time still work for you and make sure EVERYONE you want will be in attendance. Contact an advocate and share your questions and concerns regarding educational services with them. That way they get familiar with your child and your goals for them.
- 10 days before request a draft of the IEP including all goals (request that they be given to you no later than 5 days before the meeting.)
- 5 days before meet with your advocate and write down all of your questions and concerns. Finalize your report on your child and any other informational items that you may want to share with them.
- 1 day before put all your paperwork together and make sure you have no other questions or concerns to add to your list, make sure your “report” is finalized and that you have a few copies.
5) Start brainstorming ways of working on IEP goals at home. In other words work on Integrating IEP goals into your every day routine. Goal work doesn’t always have to be paper and pencil work sent from school. Sometimes teachers don’t even send homework home or send things that are not aligned with your child’s goals. Check out our IEP Goal Home Integration blog for more ideas and information.
Make sure you are proactive with your child’s education. Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare for an IEP meeting. If you have any questions or concerns that you don’t want to discuss with the teacher or district then hire an advocate. Sometimes all you need is a little clarification and sometimes you may need someone in your corner to back you up.
As an advocate I can help you solely with preparation for the IEP and/or I can also support you at the IEP if you feel you need it. Advocacy can be as individualized as an IEP is for your child. As a matter of fact I can even help you help your child practice goals at home through IEP Goal Home Integration!
Please take a minute to fill our our Back To School Survey
It will take less than 5 minutes!
Make sure you remember that you need to be an ACTIVE IEP team member. You are the expert on your child, and your information is just as important as the schools information on your child.