Who Must Attend the IEP Meeting?
The IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is at the very heart of the IDEA. It is the single most important document in educating (and advocating for) your child. While we will discuss advocating at the IEP conference in a later post, I thought it would be wise to first identify the members of any IEP team. An IEP conference may not be held unless all required persons are present (unless excused as discussed below). Parents should make sure that each person described below attend the meeting and specifically note the absence of any member. This information may become very important later if a parent disputes the contents of an IEP.
The public agency must ensure that the IEP Team for each child with a disability includes:
• The parents of the child;
• Not less than one regular education teacher of the child (if the child is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
• Not less than one special education teacher of the child, or where appropriate, not less than one special education provider of the child;
• A representative of the public agency (who has certain specific knowledge and qualifications);
• An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results and who may also be one of the other listed members;
• At the discretion of the parent or the agency, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate; and
• Whenever appropriate, the child with a disability.
Instances when an IEP Team member may not need to attend:
A member of the IEP Team is not required to attend an IEP Team meeting, in whole or in part, if the parent of a child with a disability and the public agency agree, in writing, that the attendance of the member is not necessary because the member’s area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed in the meeting.
A member of the IEP Team may be excused from attending an IEP Team meeting, in whole or in part, when the meeting involves a modification to or discussion of the member’s area of the curriculum or related services, if:
• The parent, in writing, and the public agency consent to the excusal; and
• The member submits, in writing to the parent and the IEP Team, input into the development of the IEP prior to the meeting.