6 Tips from a Florida and New Jersey Special Education Lawyer for IEP or 504 Plans
If you or your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan, here are a few simple tips for preparation for an IEP or 504 meeting.
1. Review the IEP or 504 Plan Go back and re-read the IEP or 504. Become familiar with it again and make notes about things you would like added or changed.
2. Submit a Letter to the Teachers or Instructors Don’t assume that the teachers or staff at the meeting are going to be familiar with the IEP or 504. Be sure to introduce yourself and state a little about your child. Include any details that you believe would be helpful for the team to know about your family and child.
3. If You Are a College or Graduate Student – Speak Up Different rules apply to colleges and graduate schools when it comes to dealing with students with IEPs or 504 Plans. Generally, it is the student’s duty to inform the school and present it with proper paperwork regarding any accommodations. Most schools have detailed procedures outlined in its Student Handbook. Consult the handbook and speak to someone in administration early in the school year about any special accommodations.
4. Let the Teacher and Special Education Coordinator Know that You Want to be Kept in the Loop If it’s your child with the IEP or 504, let the teachers and exceptional student/special education coordinators know that you expect progress updates. Also, inform them that you wish to be an active participant in the process and that you are available to speak or meet if concerns arise.
5. Coordinate a Meeting Set a time to either meet and person or speak by phone with the school’s IEP or exceptional student/special education coordinator. Having this one-on-one time is important and a good way to begin building a good relationship with these individuals. Cornering teachers or coordinators at school events and open houses just doesn’t work.
6. Review and Discuss the IEP or 504 Plan with the Student If your child has the IEP or 504 Plan, go over it with them. Make sure the student understands what accommodations he or she should be receiving and the other services they may be getting in school. Having the student understand his or her plan will empower them to ask for services if they are not getting them and will enable them to have more productive discussions with their parents about what is happening in the classroom. You may also read more information regarding the special education representation we offer here. Richard Asselta is a Florida and New Jersey special education lawyer. The firm specializes in Education and School Law. Mr. Asselta is a former attorney for a large public school district. He draws upon the knowledge gained from the other side of the table to work with teachers and students on legal issues in all education settings throughout the states of Florida and New Jersey. If you are faced with a special education or other School Law issue, contact us today for a free consultation with a top-rated special education lawyer.