The federal law known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), entitles children eligible for special education services, to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) at no expense to the family. IDEA makes it clear that parents* are full and equal partners with the school in determining and meeting the needs of their children.
Parents must give consent for the evaluation and placement of a student in special education services, be included in the decision-making process when there may be a change in placement or is under consideration, and be invited, along with teachers, to conferences and meetings to develop a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The IEP is developed by a team and parents are important members of the team that develops the IEP document.
Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise strives to ensure that parents are informed of their rights. Remember the IEP team meeting is one way for you and the school to dialogue about your child’s needs and to create a plan to meet those needs. Here are some ways you can get ready:
- Review recent information about your child’s progress, such as report cards, progress reports, test results, assessment reports, and recent work samples.
- Organize important information you have about your child that you want to share at the IEP meeting. This may include information and evaluations from doctors, private therapist, or tutors.
- Talk to your child about school and ask what things are hard and what things are easy. This will let you know what your child thinks are his or her strengths and needs.
- Think about how your child is participating in general education classes and, if so, what supports or services may be needed to be successful in that setting.
- Write down questions you want to ask and thoughts and concerns you want to talk about at the IEP meeting. This will help you remember important things that you want to discuss at the meeting.
Additional Resources Available from LAUSD
LAUSD’s A Parent Guide to Special Education Services (Including Procedural Rights and Safeguards)
LAUSD’s Una Guía para padres sobre servicios de educación especial, incluidos los derechos y garantías procesales
*Parent: Includes a person having legal custody of a child; any adult pupil for whom no guardian or conservator has been appointed; a person acting in the place of a natural or adoptive parent, including a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative with whom the child live; a foster parent if the natural parent’s authority to make decisions has been limited by court order; or a district appointed surrogate parent.