3 Decisions Every Great IEP Team Needs to Make (Ep 135)

decision making iep goals iep team resources for special education teachers special education teacher special needs parent teamwork Jun 15, 2022

I've got 3 decisions that every great IEP team needs to make. I can guarantee that these 3 decisions can completely change the atmosphere at an IEP meeting, it can change the future of a child who has an IEP.

It takes A LOT of work to get a child's educational plan in place - it's no wonder special education parents and teachers are so tired! So let me give you 3 things that aren't going to add pressure onto your list, they're actually going to simplify what can happen next! So let's jump in...

Prioritize

The IEP team needs to prioritize what goes into the IEP. Some of you just went, "duh", but you need to hear it again: NOT EVERYTHING CAN FIT IN AN IEP! Children are only in school for so many hours, so there's a limited amount of time to accomplish our goals. Make the decision to prioritize by taking in multiple data points and multiple perspectives. For example, the parent input statement has to be magnified in the process because the parent perspective is so very important- they're the ones making decisions long-term!

Pair the parent input with the current data and the school's curriculum obligations, we can start to prioritize what is going to have a domino effect. What is going in this IEP to maximize the child's time in the school day and have the most benefit so that skills can become building blocks for the next skill. You have to accept that not everything can go in the IEP right now, but we can prioritize for future skills as well.

Develop an Accountability Plan

To have a great IEP team, you need an accountability plan as well. Ever walked out of an IEP meeting like, "That went great, but what do I do now? Who's in charge of that part of the plan?" Teachers, this is for you too! Everyone at the IEP table should know what their role is, what is expected of them, what their next steps should be, and also what others are accountable for! Take the time at your next IEP meeting to not only decide on the plan, but write it down!

Report Early and Often

Everyone makes a decision to report to each other early and often. Don't wait until the progress report, the end of year review, or the deadline to communicate with other members of your team what is happening in the IEP and in the child's school day. Come to a decision with your team members about how and when to report positive feedback, constructive criticism, data for the IEP goal. This isn't just a check-in; set aside time to have a formal conversation with the team outside of the pressure of an annual meeting. I know, you're thinking, "But that's so much more work!" Nope. Purposely creating these formal conversations more often with your team will actually take things off your plate in the long-run!

If you're actively adding these 3 steps into your IEP team's relationship, it'll be a game-changer for your student's future!

 

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