Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Prepare a full draft prior to the IEP meeting or come to the meeting with a blank sheet? As a teacher, this is a question that I have struggled with for years. If I come with a completed draft am I discouraging the participation of the student, parents and the other members of the IEP team? If I have a blank sheet am I doing my best to facilitate discussion? For several years I have been sending home a draft, usually a week before the meeting, but often I feel that the draft has not encouraged participation in the process. Karen Thompson, Director of ASK Resource Center, provided a solution by suggesting the development of a Dialogue IEP that would allow students, parents and others to prepare the draft together using the modern technology of google docs. The framework of the Dialogue IEP is based on the Iowa IEP Transition Form with links to many resources to assist in the development of the Dialogue Draft. Based on my research most IEPs contain these basic elements. This is a living document and can always be improved by input. I suggest you make copies of all the resources in order to keep information confined to relevant parties but you are free to use the public resources. Instructions on how to copy can be found on my website. Please send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we can transform the IEP from a required written document to a vehicle for collaboration.