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October 29, 2019

An Individual Education Plan (IEP) Binder Is the #1 Tool You Need

It’s that time of year again. I just received my email appointment for my son's Individual Education Plan, otherwise known as IEP, meeting to create his goals for next year. These meetings used to be bittersweet because its the moment that not only am I holding the school accountable for my son's progress, but also myself. I used to think that if my child had not shown progress, that means that I've dropped the ball somewhere. Now, I realize an IEP meeting is a great time to check in with what goals and accommodations are working and which ones are not.

In preparation for my boy’s IEP meetings, I use a special education binder. It lets the school know I have come prepared to advocate for my children with documentation. You should see their face when I come in and I put that binder on the table. I learned early on that I placed myself at a disadvantage when I attended the meetings without its documentation. Because even though I reviewed the new IEP, and I had notes about my concerns and suggestions, My suggestions were used not taken seriously because I didn't have any proof. A special education binder will help you keep key documents handy.

Your binder should have the following:

  1. Parent/School Communication log - a record of all the calls or communications that you have with your child’s school staff.

  2. IEP binder checklist - track sheet of documents that should be updated periodically that helps you keep your binder up to date. Such as communication, evaluations, Individual Education Plan (IEP), report cards/progress reports, sample work, and behavior.

  3. Master file - list of all doctors and therapists your child has seen. This is helpful not only for the school but also when you need to complete forms for your child when applying for benefits or when they see a new doctor.

  4. Yearly Sections with Report cards, IEP Plan, Administered tests/evaluations, and IEP Progress reports.

  5. Notes - a subject notebook that you can write notes during your Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings or related discussions.

  6. Teacher Contact List- your child’s subject teachers such as science, math, English, and arts.

  7. School Contact List - your child’s homeroom teacher, principal/vice-principal, guidance counselor, social worker, case manager, guidance counselor, social worker, case manager, school nurse, social psychologist, behavioral specialist, school district coordinator, student services coordinator and athletic director.

    Take the time to put your special education binder together and if you’re like me you’d like to keep it simple and purchase the binder here. Then you’ll only have to gather your paperwork.

Related : Back to School Meeting From My Couch

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