Page 5 of 6
By Candace Cortiella, The Advocacy Institute
IDEA 2004 makes several significant changes to how and when IEP team members must participate. While designed to offer new flexibility and prevent undue loss of instructional time, several of these changes need to be viewed with great caution.
The IEP team is composed of:
IDEA 2004 retains the IEP team composition. Participation by the regular education teacher continues to be an important aspect of the IEP development process, especially for students with learning disabilities, most of whom spend the majority of their instructional time in general education classrooms. The regular education teacher who serves on the IEP team should be teaching the student a core academic subject and should be the student's teacher of record, i.e., the teacher who assigns the grades for the subject.
The regular education teacher, as a member of the IEP team, is required to participate in the development of the IEP, including determining appropriate behavioral interventions, supports, strategies, program modifications, and supplementary aids and services, as well as support for school personnel.
It is essential that the district representative be someone with the authority to commit the resources of the district so that parents are ensured that whatever services are stated in the IEP will actually be provided. In updating the IDEA, Congress noted that too often IEP meetings are conducted without a school representative, as called for, and that many disagreements between parents and schools that arise during IEP meetings could be resolved if such a member was present.
PARENT TIP: You should receive advance notice of the school personnel scheduled to attend your child's IEP meeting. Use this information to be sure that the required members are going to be on hand. Express an expectation that members will be available for the entire meeting and communicate any concerns you have regarding those who are scheduled to attend prior to the meeting.
IDEA 2004 provides two ways that team members can be excused from attending the IEP meeting, in whole or in part. They are:
The parent must agree to either of these exceptions in writing.
Should parents elect to make use of these new "excusal" provisions, that decision should be made in advance of the meeting, with complete understanding and agreement. When utilizing the provision that allows a member to provide written input, parents should receive and review the input prior to consenting to excuse the member.
PARENT TIP: While both of these new "excusal" provisions are designed to reduce the burden posed by meeting attendance, it must be emphasized that IEP meetings involve the development of an appropriate education program for the student. Since schools should not develop the IEP in advance of the meeting, it would seem difficult to predetermine if a member's area won't be modified or discussed. And, since the process includes the exchange of new information and the sharing of members'expertise about the appropriate program for the student, it would seem equally difficult to know what input to provide in advance. Given the important roles played by everyone on the team, use of these new exceptions should be both cautious and infrequent. This is particularly important with regard to attendance by the student's regular education teacher, who has both a breadth of responsibilities and a critical role as the team member most knowledgeable about the general education curriculum and environment.
Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you more
insights to help you help your child succeed.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.