An individualized development plan (IEP) is a special provision offered by IDEA to special children to ease out their learning. These accommodations play an important role for disabled learners as each of these objectives, provisions, and supplementary aids provided can sequentially enhance their abilities. It is the responsibility of all the IEP members, like teachers and school staff, to make sure IEP is properly implemented.
Sometimes, these provisions may not be properly deployed -impacting the growth of students. In such scenarios, parents may be confused about figuring out the next steps. To answer the same, we came up with a step-by-step guide for parents and caretakers when an IEP is out of compliance.
When does IEP go out of compliance?
Once a set of IEP goals are prescribed to students in a meeting, the IEP team should adhere to these goals and accommodations. But, if the teacher, school, or even the district doesn’t follow these provisions, then it can be termed IEP non-compliance. Here are a few instances that mark how the IEP provisions are not adhered to:
- The school doesn’t take care to provide a supportive environment to the child on its premises.
- While the IEP team has decided to provide a specific therapy to the child, it delayed applying it due to some reason.
- The teacher may refuse to teach or reteach the special child due to time constraints or any other reason.
- The special academic syllabus is not properly implemented.
- The supplemental aids are not provided. Even if they are provided but are not working properly.
IEP out of compliance- Here’s the stepwise guide
According to the US department of education, parents can look into mediation with IEP teammates in case of disagreements. If the dispute is unresolved, they can launch a complaint with the state education agency. Let us look into the detailed process for better comprehension:
1. Initial Steps of Mediation
Here are the immediate steps that parents can take in case of any of the above IEP non-compliance:
STEP 1: Consulting the Teacher
As soon as the parent finds out that the IEP provisions are not adhered to, they can immediately contact the teacher for a quick consultation. It is always a good idea to confirm the reason behind the compliance issue. Meeting a teacher with a copy of a recent IEP resolution and discussing the issue based on it can help parents to address issues clearly. If the non-compliance is due to a misunderstanding, this can be instantaneously sorted out. Also, if it is due to administration, the parent can jot down points to enter the next step.
STEP 2: Clarify with School Administration
School administrators often may mean headmaster and principal. If the issue is not sorted out at the teacher level, parents can request a meeting with school staff. Holding relevant documents like the IEP goal list and recent IEP meeting resolution, they can discuss and highlight where and how the IEP is not adhered to.
A responsible principal will check the records of the child to bring the balance back. If the discussion with the administration is not successful, parents need to request an emergency IEP meeting.
STEP 3: Request for an Emergency IEP meeting
Parents have the right to call for an emergency IEP meeting. They can follow the instructions for the same to schedule a conference. They can bring supporting personal advocates to highlight their points clearly. In the presence of specialised professionals, LEA, and other members, the dispute is clearly observed to arrive at a solution. Mostly the IEP goals are revised, or the regulation list is sent to the school. In case the dispute is still unresolved in the IEP meeting, the parent may look into complaining to the state education agency.
2. Filing an IEP Complaint to State Education Agency
A Special education complaint is a duly signed formal request put forward by the public agency to investigate issues and resolve them. When the IEP meeting is not successful, parents may file a complaint on the following grounds: “The school district/ IEP team has not assured the special settings of IEP.”
For every state education agency, there is a complaint form. Parents can download and use the format. Otherwise, the MN department of education, TEA, and California Department of education suggest the following particulars to file a complaint:
- A handwritten or printed statement by parents that the school or the district was not compliant with IEP.
- Relevant documents and other sources to support the complaint.
- Attestation of the documents duly signed by the parent.
- Student’s details, including their name, address, school name
- Description of the problems along with suggestions of solutions.
It may take up to or more than a year to process and resolve the complaint. Consequently, parents need to be patient with the resolution. Whenever a complaint is filed, parents should send a copy to the school to intimate them officially. Not only parents but teachers or even other stakes may also file the complaint. Nonetheless, the particulars are the same for the complainants.
Before we wind up
The above-mentioned list of protocols can help a parent to deal with a non-compliance IEP. Mediation is a basic and simple process to resolve the difference. But, if this step doesn’t work out, IDEA provides power to parents to complain to their respective state agencies. We here encompassed all the necessary details and particulars to file complaints. Check all these insights and ensure to put back balance in the IEP implementation.