Friday, June 19, 2015

Who must be on the IEP Team? Who must attend IEP meetings?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (the "IDEA") requires school districts and charter schools to ensure that each IEP Team (and thus each IEP Team meeting) includes the following individuals:

1. The child's parents (or legal guardians);

2. At least one general education teacher of the child, if the child is or may be participating in the general education environment;

3. At least one special education teacher of the child, or, where appropriate, at least one special education provider of the child;

4. A school district (or charter school) representative who: (1) is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities; (2) is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum; and (3) is knowledgeable about the availability of the district's resources.

5. An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results;

6. At the discretion of the parents or of the school district /charter school, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise about the child, including related-services personnel as appropriate; and

7. The child, whenever appropriate.

One reader of our blog sent us the following QUESTION:
I teach a self-contained special ed preschool class. Our district has no general education equivalent. We have been told to bring in kindergarten and 1st grade teachers (with no knowledge of preschoolers or pre-k core standards) to be the gen. ed. team members in IEP meetings. I just looked in IDEA and it says "not less than 1 regular education teacher of such child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment)". My question is: since none of my students are ever in a regular education environment, do I still need to have regular education teachers at the IEP meeting?  
OUR ANSWER:  Best practice would be YES because without having a general education teacher attend an IEP meeting, having a meeting without a general education teacher in your scenario could appear as the school having "predetermined" that the student is not going to be in a general education setting at all.  Not having the gen ed teacher may appear as if the school determined (predetermined)  that the child will not be participating at all in the general education environment.  

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