Thursday, October 19, 2017

Who is Required to Attend an IEP Meeting?

Question:  At a recent IEP meeting, both the special education teacher and general education teacher left after 15 minutes. As a result we couldn't finish the meeting agenda.  Does Iowa law say anything about this?

Answer:  Yes.

The school district must ensure that the following members of the IEP team attend the meeting:

a.  At least one parent of the child;
b.  At least one regular education teacher of the child;
c.  At least one special education teacher of the child;
d.  A representative of the school district who:
     (1) Is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of children with disabilities;
      (2) Is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum; and
      (3) Is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the school district.
e. An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may also be the same person as the person described in b-f.
f. At the discretion of the parent or school district, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate.

Congress felt so strongly about the attendance of these people at IEP meetings that the IDEA and its implementing regulations require that if the IEP Team will discuss or modify any part of a child’s IEP related to the area of expertise of the Team member seeking to be excused, that before the parent makes written consent to excusing that member, the school district must first:

a.  fully inform the parent IN ADVANCE OF THE MEETING of all information relevant to the excusing the specific type of person,
b.  make sure the parent consents in writing to the excusing the required person, and the consent identifies the specific meeting for which the excuse applies.
c.  make sure the parent understands that granting of consent is voluntary and may be revoked at any time.

If a meeting involves a matter in an IEP team member’s area of curriculum or related services, that member may not be excused from any part of an IEP meeting unless:
1.  the parent, in writing, and the public agency both consent to the excusal; and
2.   the member submits, in writing to the parent and the IEP team, input into the development of the IEP prior to the meeting.

See Iowa Admin. Code r. 281-41.321.

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