What is an IEP team meeting?

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If your child with a disability has an IEP (Individualized Education Program), you must have an IEP team meeting at least once a year. The whole IEP team goes to the meeting. You and your child are the most important members of the IEP team. At the meeting, the team will talk about your child’s progress and what they need. You will also talk about changes that need to be made in the IEP.

Every three years, your child needs to have a re-evaluation. This must happen unless you and the school agree that it isn’t needed. Usually, the IEP team meeting is at the school. If this isn’t possible, it can happen somewhere else.

Who attends the IEP team meetings?

  • The parent(s) of the child must be on the IEP team
  • The student must be included if they are 14 or older. They can be included if they are younger than 14
  • At least one special education teacher of the child must be on the IEP team
  • At least one general education teacher of the child must be on the IEP team
  • At least one school representative that can provide or supervise special education services and that has knowledge of the general education curriculum and the school’s resources must be on the IEP team.
  • This could be a principal, assistant principal, school psychologist, or someone else
  • Other school representatives may attend based on your child’s specific needs
  • A person who can interpret the results of your child’s evaluations must attend
  • This person may also be part of the evaluation team
  • You and the school can invite other people to the meeting. These people are known as others with special knowledge or expertise about the child. We recommend that you bring one or more people who also have knowledge about your child’s needs. Don’t go alone. You do not need permission from the school to bring others with you to the meeting.
  • This could also be someone from another agency, such as Vocational Rehabilitation, the local mental health center, a developmental disability provider, etc.
  • A representative of Part C services can attend if your child received those services
  • Part C services are early intervention services for babies and toddlers age birth up to age 3
  • The school and the parent(s) should make sure this person is invited

Who on the IEP team needs permission to miss a meeting?

Anyone on the IEP team can miss part or all of the meeting. However, if certain people miss the IEP team meeting, you must give your written permission. These include:

• Regular Education teacher of your child
• Special Education teacher of your child
• Person explaining the evaluation or testing results
• Person who supervises the services of your child

The people listed above should absolutely be at the IEP team meeting. You should only grant your permission for them to miss the meeting if it is a true emergency. You can always ask to reschedule the meeting if needed.

It is important that you attend every IEP team meeting. If the school cannot reach you, they can have an IEP meeting without you. You should prevent that. The school must try more than once to reach you. They must document each time they try and must use more than one way to reach you.

When does the school inform you of an IEP meeting?

The school needs to send you a notice before each meeting. They have to send this at least 10 days before the meeting. If your child is 14 or older, the school has to let you know that they invited your child to the meeting, too. If your child is 18 or older, both you and your child will receive the notice.

If the parents are divorced, both parents must be invited. It does not matter which parent has custody of the child. Only one parent has to give permission for a special education service or action when the school asks for it, but both parents have the same rights in the IEP meeting and planning.

Sources & Additional Resources:

Kansas Special Education Process Handbook. Kansas State Department of Education.

What is an IEP? Disability Rights Center of Kansas & Families Together, Inc.

Who can make a referral for an evaluation to determine if my child needs Special Education services? Disability Rights Center of Kansas & Families Together, Inc.

Advocating for your child at an IEP meeting. Disability Rights Center of Kansas & Families Together, Inc.

What can I do if my child’s IEP is not working? Disability Rights Center of Kansas & Families Together, Inc.

What should an IEP include? Disability Rights Center of Kansas & Families Together, Inc.

Disclaimer: This fact sheet is not intended to provide specific legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney. Only an attorney can give you specific legal advice based on your particular situation. We try to update our materials regularly, but the law can change frequently. This publication is based on the law at the time that it was written. Future changes in the law could make information in this fact sheet inaccurate.