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Section 4

ak dept education

special ed handbook
PARTICIPANTS IN IEP MEETINGSA Written Invitation form is provided in Appendix D. The District shall ensure that the IEP meetings include the following participants:
  1. The child's parents

    IDEA 2004 emphasizes parental participation. A parent is an active participant in the IEP Team meeting and must be given the opportunity to share ideas, thoughts, and input regarding the IEP. The District shall invite and encourage parents or guardians to actively participate as equal members of an IEP Team to assist the District in developing an appropriate IEP. Parents are important team members who can:

    1. Verify the accuracy of personal identifying information.
    2. Provide information and observations about the level of the child's functioning in his or her home environment and community.
    3. Provide information regarding the child's medical status.
    4. Participate in developing educational goals and objectives based on the present level of academic achievement and functional performance and identified needs.
    5. Participate in determining the special education and related services to be provided.
    6. Participate in identifying an appropriate educational program for the child.

      Note: Although extremely desirable a district cannot require parents to participate and some parents may choose not to participate. If the parents do not attend the IEP meeting, the District must provide prior written notice to the parents along with a copy of the initial or revised IEP. This notification should inform the parents that the IEP will be implemented within a reasonable length of time (10 school days) after the IEP meeting date unless the parents formally request a due process hearing.

  2. The child, when appropriate

    A child should be invited to participate in the IEP meeting whenever appropriate. Furthermore, beginning at age 16, the child must be invited by the District to attend any IEP meeting at which transition is to be discussed.

    Note: The child must be invited to attend the IEP meeting to ensure that the transition services component of the IEP addresses the child's needs, preferences, and interests. When it is deemed inappropriate for the child to attend an IEP meeting in which the need for transition services is being considered, the District should document the reasons that justify the child's nonparticipation. If the child does not attend the IEP meeting, the District must document how the child's needs, preferences, and interests have been taken into account.

  3. A representative of the District

    The IEP Team must include a representative of the District, other than the child's teacher, who is:

    1. Qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of special education.
    2. Knowledgeable about the general education curriculum.
    3. Knowledgeable about the availability of resources in the District with the authority to commit district resources and ensure that whatever services set out in the IEP will be provided.

      A district may designate another IEP Team member to serve as the District representative (who can commit district resources), provided that this IEP Team member meets the other requirements for being a district representative (i.e. qualified to provide/supervise special education, knowledgeable about general education curriculum, and availability of resources).

  4. Not less than one special education teacher or special education provider

    In deciding which teacher should participate, the District may wish to consider the following possibilities:

    1. For a child with a disability who is receiving special education, the "teacher" could be the child's special education teacher. If the child's disability is a speech impairment, the "teacher" could be the speech-language pathologist.
    2. For a child with a disability who is being considered for placement in special education, the "teacher" could be a teacher qualified to provide education in the type of program in which the child may be placed.

  5. Not less than one regular education teacher

    With the emphasis on involvement and progress in the general education curriculum added by IDEA 2004, regular education teachers have an increasingly critical role in implementing the program of FAPE for children with disabilities. It is rare when a regular education teacher is not required to be a member of the IEP Team.A regular education teacher is required to participate in developing the IEP if a child is, or may be, participating in the general education environment. To the extent appropriate, the regular education teacher's participation may include the determination of appropriate positive behavioral interventions and strategies, supplementary aids and services, program modifications, and support needed for school personnel to provide services to, or on behalf of, a child. If the child has more than one regular education teacher, the District may designate which teacher or teachers of the child will participate on the IEP Team. While all regular education teachers of the child need not attend the IEP meeting, their input should be sought.The regular education teacher need not participate in all IEP Team decisions or the entire meeting; the extent of the general education teacher's participation will depend on the child's needs and the purpose of the meeting. District staff and parents should come to an agreement on the extent of the regular education teacher's participation. The extent to which the regular education teacher will participate in IEP meetings must be decided on a case-by-case basis.

  6. District staff to interpret instructional implications of evaluation results

    The IEP Team must include an individual who can interpret the instructional implications of the evaluation results. This may be one of the members described above (i.e., the District representative, special education teacher or service provider, or the regular education teacher).

  7. Representative of a private school

    If a child with a disability is enrolled in a private school and receives special education from the District, a representative of the private school must be invited to attend the IEP meeting. If the representative cannot attend, the District must use other methods to ensure participation by the private school, including individual or conference telephone calls.After a child with a disability enters a private school or facility, any meetings to review and revise the child's IEP may be initiated and conducted by the private school facility at the discretion of the District.If the private school or facility initiates and conducts these meetings, the District shall ensure that the parents and a district representative:
    1. Are involved in any decision about the child's individualized education program.
    2. Agree to any proposed changes in the program before those changes are implemented.

      Even if a private school or facility implements a child's IEP, responsibility for compliance with this part remains with the District.

  8. Transition service providers, when appropriate

    Any meeting to develop, review, or revise transition services in the IEP shall also include:

    1. A school district representative responsible for providing or supervising the provision of transition services.
    2. Representatives of other participating agencies (after obtaining consent of the parents, or child who has reached the age of majority) that are likely to be responsible for providing or paying for the transition services included in the child's IEP.

      It is important to consider that the needs of the transitioning child will change with time. The IEP Team configuration should reflect these changes. Note: When the participation of other agencies is deemed appropriate and an agency representative is unable to attend the meeting, the District should document its efforts to involve other participating agencies in the IEP meeting. Alternative means of participation in IEP meetings may be considered for agency representatives who are unable to physically attend a meeting due to distance or time constraints (i.e. teleconference, written reports).

  9. Early Childhood Transition Coordinator

    In the case of a child who was previously served under Part C, an invitation to the initial IEP meeting shall, at the request of the parent, be sent to the Part C service coordinator or other representatives of the Part C system to assist with the smooth transition of services.

  10. Related service personnel

    If a child's evaluation indicates the need for a specific related service, the District should ensure that a qualified provider of that service attends the IEP meeting, or provides a written report concerning the nature, frequency, and amount of related service to be provided to the child.

  11. Other individuals

    At the discretion of the parent or district, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child may be invited to the meeting (the determination of whether the person invited has such knowledge or special expertise is made by the inviting party, be it the parent or district). The District must inform the parents of their right to bring other participants to the meeting. It would be appropriate for the District to ask whether the parents intend to bring additional participants to the meeting.It would not be appropriate for union representatives to attend IEP meetings because they would be acting in the interest of the teacher and not possess knowledge or expertise regarding the child.The attendance of attorneys at an IEP meeting is strongly discouraged due to the potential for creating an adversarial atmosphere that would not necessarily be in the best interests of the child.Note: IEP participants must document their attendance at the meeting by signing the IEP form and indicating their role. Given the emphasis in IDEA 2004 on child's access to, and participation in, the regular education environment, the majority of IEP meetings will need no less than three people to be valid: the child's special education teacher or provider, a representative of the District, and the child's regular education teacher. One or both parents and the child whose need for transition services is being considered must also be invited to attend. If the parents refuse to attend, the District must document its efforts to involve the parents. If the child does not attend, the District must document how their needs, preferences, and interests were taken into account.

Excusal of Team Members A member of the IEP Team shall not be required to attend an IEP meeting, in whole or in part, if the parent of a child with a disability and the local educational agency agree that the attendance of such member is not necessary because the member’s area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed in the meeting.A member of the IEP Team may be excused from attending an IEP meeting, in whole or in part, when the meeting involves a modification to or discussion of the member’s area of the curriculum or related services if:
  1. the parent and the LEA consent to the excusal; and
  2. the member submits, in writing to the parent and the IEP Team, input into the development of the IEP prior to the meeting.

    Note:  A parent’s agreement to #1 and #2 above shall be in writing.
Amendments to IEP
  1. A change to the IEP can occur without a meeting if parents and LEA agree and develop a written document to amend or modify the IEP.
  2. Amendments to IEPs can be made by the entire team or by just the parent and LEA and the IEP can be amended rather than completely redrafted unless the parent requests a revised copy with the amendment incorporated.

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