Updated: Feb 13
As the date for your individualized education program (IEP) meeting quickly approaches, you realize that there are still a few things to take care of. You need to get everyone's availability, set an agenda, and make sure that everyone knows what is expected of them. This can be a lot of work, but don't worry - we're here to help! In this blog post, we will provide you with sample emails that you can send to your team members in order to get the meeting started off on the right foot.
Preparing an IEP invite list
During IEP meetings, there are many people involved. You have the IEP team, who includes teachers and administrators from your child's school as well as representatives from other agencies that work with children who may need additional support in order to be successful at school, like speech therapists or occupational therapists. Then you also have the parents of the child being discussed during this meeting: their mother, father (or guardians), grandparents etc., all sitting down together at a table for hours on end trying to come up with a plan for how best to help him achieve his goals this year! It can be overwhelming when you think about it - but don't worry! We're here to help make sure everything goes smoothly so that no one is left feeling overwhelmed.
One of the most important things to remember when preparing for an IEP meeting is that communication is key. This means communicating with your team members as well as your child's teachers and therapists. In order to make sure that everyone is on the same page, it is helpful to send out a few emails leading up to the meeting. We've created some sample emails for you that you can use as a guide.
Sample Email #01: Invitation to IEP Meeting
Dear IEP Team,
As we approach the date of our next IEP meeting for [student name], I wanted to get everyone's availability so that we can start setting an agenda. Would it be possible for everyone to provide me with their availability by the end of this week? I would also like to start putting together some topics for discussion on what we will cover during our IEP meeting. I'll be in touch soon with more details!
Sample Email #02: Attachments for IEP Meeting Agenda Items
Dear IEP Team,
Thank you so much for getting back to me about your availability. It looks like Friday at 11 am works best for everyone except Parent 02 and school therapist Susan Smith, who are both unavailable that day due to other commitments outside of work hours (but they can join us via phone or zoom). Let's plan on meeting then unless anyone else needs a different time slot due to extenuating circumstances.
In addition to confirming the date and time of our meeting, I wanted to send along some attachments that I think will be helpful in our discussion. I've included a copy of [student name] most recent IEP, as well as their latest report cards and any testing results from the past few months. If there is anything else you would like me to include, please let me know!
I'm looking forward to meeting with everyone on Friday to discuss their progress and come up with a plan for this school year.
Sample Email #03: Request for Input on IEP Meeting Agenda Items
Dear IEP Team,
Thank you so much for agreeing to meet with me on Friday to discuss [student name] IEP. I wanted to reach out and ask for your input on the agenda items. I have put together a list of topics that I would like to cover, but I'm open to suggestions!
Here is a copy of the agenda that I am proposing:
Review of current IEP annual goals and objectives
Discussion of academic progress over last year and this school year so far
Evaluation of current supports in place and whether they are still appropriate
Identification of any new areas of need
Discussion of possible accommodations or modifications needed at school
I would love to hear your thoughts on these items - please let me know if there is anything else you think I should cover, or if there is anything else I can do to prepare for our IEP meeting. I'm looking forward to working with everyone!
Gathering information for a comprehensive IEP can sometimes be a challenge. But with a little forethought and planning, it's easy to head off most issues you might face. Start by sending an email as soon as you have the meeting scheduled. An email gives everyone a heads up and at least two weeks of lead time to prepare thoughts about what needs to happen before we start talking objectives or goals (which could take several emails). I also like giving them these prompts: "What are your concerns?" And, "What do you hope would come out of this IEP process?". Then I provide examples from my own experience so they know where I'm coming from when I say things like, “My number one concern is..." I've included some samples of what I send below. I hope they help you too!
Please don't hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance or answer any questions that may arise before our meeting on ___________________ at _____________ in room ____________ (or whatever location). I look forward to meeting with everyone and working together toward a successful school year for [student name].
My IEP Team Meeting Communication Checklist:
Date and time of IEP meeting
Location of IEP meeting
Names of IEP team members
Purpose of IEP meeting
Topics to be discussed at IEP meeting
A note of caution an email is not a job completed. Just because you sent one doesn't mean that you have officially transferred the responsibility to another teacher. Be courteous and remember that we all receive more than our fair share of emails and things get easily lost or forgotten in our busy work weeks. Follow up and always assume the best intentions. I find it helpful to have conversations about IEP meetings face-to-face and I recommend doing this regularly.
How to get teachers to respond to an IEP meeting requests
Tips for getting teachers to respond to an IEP meeting request:
Send a friendly email with two weeks lead time.
Follow up a few days later with a note in their mailbox, reminding them how valuable their input is. (Pre-Printed Cut and Drop Notes)
One week before the meeting, confirm if they do or do not have input to share and ask if there is anything you can do to help.