Judging by the weather outside and depending on where you live, it may seem to be surprising to say that the 2016-2017 school year is fast approaching. While the 2015-2016 school year isn’t even over yet, this is still a critical time in the transition from one grade to the next. Beginning your IEP planning in March and April allows for months to pass while children are still in the current grade level and administrators (and teachers) are perhaps available to meet and discuss the future. There are also other key components that are a possibility that make early IEP planning a big win.
For parents of children who are in transition, perhaps from daycare or Kindergarten and into the public school system, planning ahead and doing research on what an IEP is and involves is critical. The sheer number of team members involved in your child’s success, combined with an assessment of resources available at their future school, etc., all must be considered. Ensuring the IEP matches your child’s needs ahead of time is also something worth consideration as you can begin integrating certain elements or components into how you engage and work through the rest of the current year.
For parents of younger children to early teens, you have a full semester behind you and the one already in session. Any concerns you raised during the previous semester or at midpoint meetings should be addressed or in the process of remedy by now. In taking a deeper look at the experience your child has at the present, you can see where communication broke down or where things will not seemingly get better in the months to come. You can, then, request meetings now that influence the rest of the year while also shaping what you need to put into place for 2016-2017.
For the kids of we hope many parents, AP and standardized college-entrance testing looms ahead. There may be specific documentation or plans in place to ensure your child is able to complete the test as needed based upon any specific IEP requirements you already have in place. A parent recently contacted us looking for help where her child’s school district wasn’t allowing special circumstances for AP Testing because of an incomplete IEP; while this may be a much more complex issue than as presented, it does show the need to work with and in conjunction with school officials early on to ensure your child has the best chances to succeed come testing time.
SO what to do now? Our recommendation is to speak with your existing point of contact at your child’s current school/grade to meet and discuss what their observations have been, specifically regarding your child’s needs for the future. They may also be able to connect you with the next educator your child will be working with or provide suggestions that they have seen work for IEPs in the past. We also recommend you contact our offices at (800) 692-4453 or through our contact form for the education and IEP resources we have. Doing so can help you in reading and learning early for a successful future for your child!