A unique Individualized Education Program for your child is created by a team that consists of several people. Each participant plays an important role in this process. Meanwhile, some of these participants are required by law and others can be invited in the process. Who is required to be on IEP team by law?
• The student’s parents
Parents have the legal right to participate in IEP meetings. Parents are an indispensable part of the process because they are the ones who know what their child’s weaknesses and strengths are. Everything you contribute in these meetings will shape the program, so it will also shape the education of your child.
• Your child
When they are old enough (16) it is beneficial that your child attends these meetings as an IEP team member and be part of the development of his/her transition plan. Your child can even lead the IEP meetings.
• A school district representative
This representative is authorized to make decisions about school resources. They are knowledgeable about both general and special education.
• A specialist
A school psychologist or other specialist who can interpret the evaluation and test results should be present.
• One of the child’s general teacher
Teachers know how the student is doing in the classroom and how he/she is handling the general curriculum, thus, their presence is important.
• One of the child’s special education teacher
Special education teachers are specialized in improving the education quality of the students with special needs. They will provide input on what they need to succeed in general education classrooms like how to modify accommodations the child needs.
You can also invite others to attend the Individualized Education Program meeting because it is your right. As long as you give the school a notice in advance, you can also invite:
• An interpreter
If you don’t speak or read English fluently or you are deaf, IDEA requires that schools provide parents with an interpreter. Let the school know of this situation in advance so that they can make necessary arrangements.
You can invite your advocate to assist you in these meetings.
- IDEA: http://www.nj.gov/education/specialed/idea/reauth/1pagers/iep_team.pdf
- Understood.org: https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/special-services/ieps/understanding-individualized-education-programs#item1