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U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Information provided to parents (Sec. 300.322(b))

Comment: Several comments were received requesting that additional information be provided to parents when the public agency notifies parents about an IEP Team meeting. One commenter recommended informing parents that they can request an IEP Team meeting at any time. Other commenters recommended that the notice include any agency requests to excuse an IEP Team member from attending the meeting, and any written input from an IEP Team member who is excused from the meeting. Another commenter recommended that parents receive all evaluation reports before an IEP Team meeting. A few commenters recommended that parents receive a draft IEP so that they have time to examine the child's present levels of performance; prepare measurable goals; and consider appropriate programs, services, and placements.

Discussion: The purpose of the notice requirement in Sec. 300.322 is to inform parents about the IEP Team meeting and provide them with relevant information (e.g., the purpose, time, and place of the meeting, and who will be in attendance). This is not the same as the procedural safeguards notice that informs parents of their rights under the Act.

If, at the time the IEP Team meeting notice is sent, a public agency is aware of the need to request that an IEP Team member be excused from the IEP Team meeting, the public agency could include this request with the meeting notice. We do not believe that it is appropriate to require that the request to excuse an IEP Team member from an IEP Team meeting be included in the meeting notice, because the public agency may not be aware of the need to request an excusal of a member at the time the IEP Team meeting notice is sent. For similar reasons, it is not appropriate to require that the IEP Team meeting notice include any written input from an IEP Team member who may be excused from the IEP Team meeting.

As noted in Sec. 300.306(a)(2), the public agency must provide a copy of an evaluation report and the documentation of determination of eligibility at no cost to the parent. Whether parents receive all evaluation reports before an IEP Team meeting, however, is a decision that is best left to State and local officials to determine.

With respect to a draft IEP, we encourage public agency staff to come to an IEP Team meeting prepared to discuss evaluation findings and preliminary recommendations. Likewise, parents have the right to bring questions, concerns, and preliminary recommendations to the IEP Team meeting as part of a full discussion of the child's needs and the services to be provided to meet those needs. We do not encourage public agencies to prepare a draft IEP prior to the IEP Team meeting, particularly if doing so would inhibit a full discussion of the child's needs. However, if a public agency develops a draft IEP prior to the IEP Team meeting, the agency should make it clear to the parents at the outset of the meeting that the services proposed by the agency are preliminary recommendations for review and discussion with the parents. The public agency also should provide the parents with a copy of its draft proposals, if the agency has developed them, prior to the IEP Team meeting so as to give the parents an opportunity to review the recommendations of the public agency prior to the IEP Team meeting, and be better able to engage in a full discussion of the proposals for the IEP. It is not permissible for an agency to have the final IEP completed before an IEP Team meeting begins.

Changes: None.