Can you believe the school year is almost over? Depending on where you live, your child may only have a month or two left of school. And just as it is important that children finish the year out strong, it is always important that special needs parents end the school year on a good note.
But how do you end the school year on a good note?
By questioning and planning!
As the school year is starting to wind down, many parents of special needs
children are trying to decide what needs to happen for their child next school
year. If this has not crossed your mind, it is not too late to ask
yourself these questions:
Have you had your child’s annual IEP this school year?
Have you received your Procedural Safeguards (parental rights) this school
Will your child get the proper special education and related services for
next school year?
Are you happy with where your child will be placed next year?
And the most important question to ask is….
Are the goals and objectives proposed in the IEP appropriate for your child?
Because IEP goals and objectives, DRIVE instruction and
placement. This is the reason why discussions take place in a certain
order during IEP meetings:
your child’s current level of performance⇒goals and objectives proposed by IEP
to address goals and objectives
(*these are not the only things discussed
at an IEP meeting*)
You cannot just skip ahead and talk about placement with the IEP team
without first going through these steps.
If you are not sure where to start with preparing for the next school year, start
with looking at your child’s IEP goals and objectives. Ask yourself, do
the goals and objectives address your child’s needs? When you focus on the IEP
goals and objectives, you will ensure that:
You have a say where your child will be educated next school year.
Your child will be placed in the proper special education placement.
Your child will get the services that he/she needs.
In addition to making sure your child has the correct goals and objectives,
the other questions above are also important. These are all questions that
should have already been addressed, but if they have not, then you need to
contact your child’s case manager and schedule an IEP as soon as possible.
See to it that everything is in place, and is written in your child’s IEP,
before the last day of school.
Something else to consider…do not rely on verbal promises from your
child’s teacher, therapists or support staff.
Because sometimes teachers (and other staff members) leave, switch schools
or change jobs.
If what was verbally promised is
not written in your child’s IEP, you have no way of proving what decisions were
In summary, end the school year on a good note by making sure your child’s IEP is set and in place for the next school year.