Individualized Education Program Team
Jefferson School District promotes the belief that parents and staff should work together on the behalf of their students.
Parents are an essential part of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process and are encouraged to work in collaboration with the school. IDEA 2004 recognizes the importance for parent/school partnerships and non-adversarial dispute resolution. Parents provide consent to assessment and provision of special education services. They participate in meetings for the identification, evaluation, and placement of their child in a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Parents are included in eligibility and placement decisions. Parents provide information as to their childs progress and participate in development of goals and objectives.
The Role of the Parents at an IEP Team Meeting
As equal members of the IEP team, parents of a student being assessed shall be encouraged to participate in developing, reviewing and revising the students Individualized Education Program.
- Parents must give consent before any special education service may be provided.
- Interpreters for the deaf or for parents whose primary language is not English will be provided when necessary.
- An IEP meeting will be held without a parent present only after a diligent effort to persuade the parent(s) to attend has failed and at least three attempts have been made, including at least one written communication. All attempts should be documented in the students file. A meeting may be held by teleconference upon mutual agreement of all parties.
Parents and students have very specific legal rights in the special education process. The California State Department of Education publishes a list of these rights and it is distributed regularly to the families of students with special needs. Districts are required to offer a copy of parent rights at the beginning of the school year, when they intend to assess a student, and when they intend to change or refuse services. It is important for special educators to be experts in understanding parent rights. The law gives them the responsibility for ensuring that a parent not only receives his/her rights but also is trained and understands them.
Parents shall be informed of their procedural safeguards at the time of their consent to the assessment plan and at every IEP meeting. For a copy of Parents Rights and Procedural Safeguards, please ask a Special Education teacher at your school.