Whether it’s your first IEP meeting or your fifth, the experience can be stressful. Do you remember everything you want to say? How do you keep track of all the decisions and discussions? Do you have all the relevant information with you? Making sure you’re prepared and remembering to bring everything you need to an IEP meeting can ease some of that stress.
You may want to consider creating an IEP binder to keep all your paperwork in one place. But you can also use this handy checklist to get organized for your next IEP meeting. Here are some things you may want to prepare and take to the meeting.
- Your IEP binder
- A notepad and pen to take notes
- Your partner, an advocate, or a friend to take notes and support you (make sure the IEP team knows in advance)
- An audio recorder or smartphone recording app if you’ll be recording the meeting (check with the Parent Training and Information Center in your state about laws and policies about recording meetings)
- The current IEP plan
- A list of questions you want to address
- An IEP goal progress tracker, progress reports, and report cards
- Work samples that illustrate progress or concerns
- Notes about strategies that do or don’t seem to be working at home
- Proposed and suggested SMART goals
- Any private evaluations you want to share
- Reports from your child’s most recent school evaluation(s)
- Parent-school communication log or other notes about phone calls, meetings, or emails to or from school
- School contact sheet to update with new provider information
- A letter of parent concerns to attach to the IEP that lists your child’s strengths, areas that are challenging, how your child is doing in and feeling about school, and other things you’d like noted
- A folder to keep documents received during the meeting — be sure to request a copy of any documents you sign during the meeting
- Tissues (IEP meetings can sometimes be emotional)
- A bottle of water (nerves and talking can make your mouth dry)
- A collaborative mindset
About the author
About the author
Amanda Morin is the author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education” and the former director of thought leadership at Understood. As an expert and writer, she helped build Understood from its earliest days.