Smooth IEP Meeting? Send This Letter

On this episode of the Special Education Inner Circle Podcast, we're talking about something that might seem small but is actually super important: sending a recap letter after your IEP meeting, even when everything goes smoothly.

I recently had a parent in my Master IEP Coach® mentorship program ask me about this. She had a great meeting where everything went well - the draft was sent ahead of time, they made the edits she wanted, and everyone seemed to be on the same page. She wondered if sending a recap letter would be overkill.

My answer? Absolutely not! Here's why:

  1. Documentation is key: Things change in special education - staff turnover, program shifts, you name it. Having a written record of what was agreed upon can be a lifesaver.
  2. Clarity is crucial: Even when we think we're all on the same page, there might be small misunderstandings. Maybe you thought that assistive technology evaluation was happening in August, but it's actually scheduled for September. A recap letter can catch these before they become issues.
  3. It's more than just an email: I recommend parents send an actual letter in PDF format. This ensures it becomes part of your child's official file.

So, what should this letter look like? Here's a quick rundown:

  • Start with a thank you for the meeting and express your enthusiasm for the next steps
  • Confirm the 3-5 most important points you want to make sure are implemented (inclusion, safety, transportation, curriculum changes, etc.)
  • Close by inviting them to correct any misunderstandings

This approach isn't just for parents - educators, you can use this too! It's all about keeping that collaborative spirit going and making sure everyone's on the same page.

Remember, this isn't about raising red flags or expressing concerns (though you can use a similar format for that if needed). It's about documenting the positive outcomes and agreements you've reached.

I've been using these letter templates for almost 30 years now, and let me tell you, they've prevented so many conflicts and misunderstandings. If you're interested in getting your hands on these templates or want to dive deeper into strategies for effective IEP leadership, come join us in the next Master IEP Coach mentorship program.