I have written in the past few posts about the IEP process and ways to prepare for it as well as writing goals and objectives, and determining mastery levels. Today I want to talk about running an IEP meeting that is smooth and effective. We have all been in IEPs where everything was going great and the school and the family were on the same page. We have probably also (parents and educators) been in IEP meetings where things were not so great and people weren’t necessarily on the same page. Regardless of what you are expecting in a meeting, these are tips I’ve used in a variety of situations to help IEP teams be prepared and help the meeting run smoothly. Getting through the IEP process is a stressful and often emotional process for families and educators alike. These are strategies that can help the whole team manage the meeting successfully.
1. Make an agenda
Many of us think that the IEP form itself is the agenda; however most IEP forms are set up for convenience of finding things, not the order in which the meeting is intended to proceed. For instance, many IEP forms have the placement page on the front for easy reference–and yet placement is the last thing to be discussed in an IEP meeting. An agenda helps everyone remember what needs to be addressed and assures that things don’t get forgotten or left out.