May 16, 2012

When a Student is a Productive Member of the IEP Team

I think it is very important for students, especially high school students, to attend IEP meetings and to be a part of making decisions about their educational plans. The meeting is about them, after all. Students are always invited to the meeting. It is really up to their parents on whether or not they can attend (unless they are 18).

It makes me smile when a student voices his or her opinions at the meeting whether they agree with the team or not. They should have a say in how their individualized education plan will be created.

I had a student tell me that she did not think a specific accommodation was working for her. She wanted me to set up a meeting to discuss it with the team. I was impressed and was glad she could recognize the problem and wanted to do something about it. It is important for us to know whether or not an accommodation or service is working for a student. We met and heard her out. She did a great job explaining her concerns. The team agreed with her and we made some changes to her IEP to address her needs.

This sort of advocacy rarely happens with many of my other students and I hope that one day they too will learn how to be productive members of the IEP team.


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