Once you know it is time to ask for an IEP meeting, the next step is to make your wishes known. Schools are government entities and as such, most of them have procedures that have to be followed. If you do not want to be ignored, be sure that your request for an IEP is in writing. Here are a few tips that come in handy when asking for an IEP or Individualized Education Plan meeting.
Follow the chain of command. This may seem a simple strategy, but some people find it quite difficult to discover whom they need to send their request to. You would think it would be easy enough to request an IEP meeting just by asking the teacher for one orally. That is not the case. Most schools have a policy that the request needs to be in writing. The request should not only go to the teacher, but to the school guidance counselor as well as the principal.
If you have a good school, asking the teacher for an IEP gets the desired results of having an IEP meeting scheduled. The teacher will put a written request in and the meeting will be scheduled within 30 days. Some schools will take longer and others will not need as much time. It is your right to have an IEP meeting “within a reasonable amount of time”. To determine the “reasonable amount of time” means you will have to fight to get what you want if your school is not cooperative on these matters.
Put your request for an IEP meeting in writing. You should start by orally letting the teacher know you are going to ask for a meeting and then, letting her know that you will send an email to her, the guidance counselor, and the principal. Send an email with the subject line stating IEP meeting request. This should prove sufficient if your school is troublesome or uncooperative and you have to go to the school board to fight for your rights.
If you do not send an email to request an IEP meeting, you should write a letter requesting an IEP meeting. If there are certain days that are better for you to have a meeting, you may want to include that information in your letter. If you send a letter, write the letters and mail them separately. You can hand deliver your letters to the school, but that does not mean the school needs to acknowledge receipt. If the letters go through the mail and are signed for, you have proof that the letters were received and when the letters were received. This may be important if your school cannot find time to hold an IEP meeting.
Most schools will jump when “legal” documents are received. By sending a certified letter in the mail, your chances of an IEP meeting are greatly increased. If your school responds quickly with just oral requests, continue the amicable process. Become formal only when needed. Knowing how to ask for an IEP meeting will get you a meeting without school personnel getting offended or insulted.