Evaluations Part 2: Next Steps if the School Says ‘No’

A Brief Overview If the school denies a request for a special education evaluation or does an evaluation and determines a student is ineligible for services, families have options. Read on for information about some possible next steps. When there is a dispute about a district’s evaluation, one option is to request an Independent Educational Read More

Tips for Communicating as a Member of the IEP Team

A Brief Overview When families and schools meet to discuss a student’s special education program, they can find Common Ground by remembering that everyone wants the student to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Two short videos, A Tale of Two Conversations, provide a quick look at how a meeting might feel like one Read More

Special Education Process Demystified in 10 Steps

Here is basic guidance about how special education works. For a bit more detail, visit the 10-Step Guide to the Special Education Process provided by Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). Procedural Safeguards protect family and student rights throughout the process. Referral: Is there a known or suspected disability condition that may significantly Read More

Sample Letter to Request an IEP Meeting

When a student has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the school is required to review the program every year. The annual review date is listed on the cover page of the IEP document. Family members/caregivers can request additional meetings, and this article includes a sample letter that families can use to formally request an IEP Read More

Get Ready for Your Meeting with a Handout for the Team

Parents and students who go to meetings prepared and organized are more likely to come away feeling heard and with a good action plan. This article can help you and your student prepare a one-page handout to share with the school or another service provider. Most important is to highlight the student as the most Read More

SMART Goals

In general, goals: Are required as part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Are designed to help a student make meaningful progress in light of the circumstances Encourage a student’s progress toward grade-level standards and participation with peers May focus on academics, Social Emotional Learning or skills for everyday living, called Functional Skills Present Levels Read More

Q&A – Should the Whole Team be Present for an IEP?

Amending the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Q: My son’s special education teacher informed me she wants to have a meeting to amend his Individualized Education Program (IEP). It is not time for his annual review, but he has met some goals and objectives and she would like to change them. Do you think this is a Read More