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Who is a "Team Member"...

Parents are a critical part of an IEP team. The school must invite the parents to the IEP meeting early enough to ensure that one or both parents have the opportunity to attend and participate. The notice must include: the purpose of the meeting, its time, location, and who will attend.

Parents’ insight regarding a child’s strengths and weaknesses, and all the qualities that make their child unique help the team gain perspective and insight regarding the child’s needs. Parents’ knowledge can keep the team focused on the “big picture” of the child; they can help the team to create an IEP that will work appropriately for the child. Parents can describe what goals are most important, share their concerns and suggestions for enhancing their child’s education, and give insights into their son or daughter’s interests, likes and dislikes, and learning styles. By being an active IEP team member, parents can also infuse the IEP planning process with thought about long-term needs for the child’s successful adult life.

Being actively involved in developing their child’s IEP is a parent’s right and a parent’s choice. This means that the school system must:

* Notify the parents of the meeting early enough to ensure that one or both of the parents have an opportunity to attend

* Schedule the meeting at a mutually agreed on time and place

* Take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the parent understands the proceedings of the meeting

If you have any questions regarding your participation on a team, or would like further support in advocating for your child, reach out. We would be happy to help!

Information adapted from Center for Parent Information and Resources (November, 2021).

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