IEPs... What do I need to know?
The IEP (Individual Education Plan)is an important way to get input into your child's education. The important thing to know is that as a parent have a right to participate in the IEP process.
An IEP has three stages:
- developing and writing the plan
- implementing and evaluating the plan
- reporting on student progress toward the goals in the plan
This is an evolving process: as the student’s needs change, the IEP should change.
Your school district will most likely have a "template" for the IEP that they would prefer to use. Remember, these are just guides to make the process easier. Ask for a change if you do not like the template that is offerred.
Learn about Student Support Services in your district:
Student support services could include: learning assistance, counseling, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, or speech-language services. However, these may or may not be applicable to your child.
Different school districts may name or deliver their support services in slightly different ways. For information on school district services start by looking at your district website:
The Basics of the IEP:
The British Columbia Ministry of Education provides some basic information about IEPs that you can reference to get started. There is also a Ministy resource page that has some disability specific suggestions and guidelines. Make sure you understand the difference between adaptations and modifications.
Some good basic guides:
BC Association for Community Living Parent's Handbook on Inclusive Education.
The School Superintendent's Association PARENT’S GUIDE to Individual Education Planning
BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils: Individual
Education Plans A Guide for Parents
Making the IEP work:
The core of the IEP is the goals. Once there is an IEP in place, you also need to think about what your child needs to support the outcomes in the IEP in terms of support: Education Assistant (EA), speech therapy, augmentative communication resources or behaviour and communication support.
Go to the IEP meeting prepared by knowing what you want and be prepared to ask for it. You may have to request a formal meeting to resolve differences.