Review and Revision of the IEP
Under IDEA, the school system (also referred to as the public agency) is responsible for determining when it is necessary to conduct an IEP meeting, and the child’s IEP Team is responsible for reviewing the child’s IEP periodically, but not less than annually, and revising the child’s IEP, if appropriate. In addition, the parents of a child with a disability have the right to request an IEP meeting at any time.
What kinds of disputes might be resolved through an IEP review meeting? After the annual IEP review has taken place, if a parent has concerns about his or her child’s rate of progress, the appropriateness of the services provided to the child, or the child’s educational placement, it would be appropriate for the parents to request that the IEP Team reconvene. At that meeting, the parent and public agency can discuss the parent’s concerns and, hopefully, as collaborative members of the IEP Team, work toward a solution that is agreeable to all.
The solution doesn’t have to be permanent. It’s not uncommon for IEP Teams to agree on a temporary compromise—for example, to try out a particular plan of instruction or classroom placement for a certain period of time that the child’s IEP is in effect. During (or at the end of) that period, the school can check the child’s progress. Team members can then meet again and discuss how the child is doing, how well the temporary compromise addressed the original concern, and what to do next. The trial period may help parents and the school come to a comfortable agreement on how to help the child.
Because parents and the public agency are partners in ensuring the child is provided an appropriate education, and sometimes will be working together for many years—in some cases, the child’s entire school career—it is in everyone’s best interest, especially the child’s, that the IEP Team members communicate with one another, respectfully and honestly.