108 Questions for Parents to Ask at an IEP Meeting

If you have a child with an Individualized Education Program (IEP), you know that IEP meetings can be overwhelming. You want to make sure your child gets the best education possible, but you may not know what questions to ask or where to start. Don’t worry, I got your back.

I’ve compiled a list of questions parents should ask at an IEP meeting. This list covers a range of topics, from your child’s educational goals to the effectiveness of the current program. By asking these questions, you can make sure your child’s IEP is meeting their needs and that they’re on track to their full potential.

IEP Goals

  1. What are the primary goals of this IEP?
  2. How were these goals decided?
  3. Are these goals achievable within a year?
  4. Can the goals be simplified for a better understanding?
  5. How will these goals support academic improvement?
  6. Will these goals change throughout the year?
  7. How do the goals align with the standard curriculum?
  8. What specialization is required to meet these goals?
  9. How do these goals promote independence?
  10. Will these goals be updated with changing needs?
  11. Is there a contingency plan if goals are not met?

Teacher Support

  1. How will the teacher help reach IEP goals?
  2. What training has the teacher received about IEPs?
  3. How often will I communicate with the teacher?
  4. What support will the teacher provide within the class?
  5. Will the teacher monitor the IEP’s implementation?
  6. Can the teacher modify teaching methods to meet goals?
  7. How many students with IEPs does the teacher manage?
  8. How will the teacher address behavioral issues?
  9. Will the teacher be present during IEP meetings?
  10. What challenges does the teacher foresee concerning the IEP?
  11. Can the teacher provide extra help if needed?

Progress Tracking

  1. How will progress be measured?
  2. What tools are used for tracking progress?
  3. How often will progress reports be provided?
  4. Can progress be reviewed during IEP meetings?
  5. What will happen if progress is slow?
  6. Who will monitor the child’s progress?
  7. How often will progress testing occur?
  8. What improvements should be expected?
  9. Will the IEP be adjusted based on the progress?
  10. Can parents contribute to progress tracking?
  11. How will setbacks in progress be addressed?

Parental Role

  1. How can parents contribute to meeting IEP goals?
  2. What sort of regular updates can parents expect?
  3. How can parents support learning at home?
  4. Is there a parental role in monitoring performance?
  5. What resources are available for parents?
  6. Can parents contribute their teaching methods?
  7. What communication channels exist between parents and teachers?
  8. How can parents provide emotional support?
  9. Can parents request a review of the IEP?
  10. How are parents involved in the transition planning?

Performance Check

  1. How does the current performance compare to peers?
  2. Are there specific areas of improvement?
  3. What are the child’s strong points?
  4. What benchmarks are used to measure performance?
  5. How have grades moved compared to past performance?
  6. What steps will be taken if there’s no improvement in performance?
  7. How do performance results influence the IEP?
  8. Where does the child stand in terms of grade-level expectations?
  9. How does performance in extracurricular activities factor into the IEP?
  10. Does performance affect the child’s class placement?
  11. How are assessments in different subjects rated?

Accommodations Concerns

  1. What accommodations are in place for testing?
  2. Are there specific teaching strategies utilized for the child?
  3. How are accommodations selected?
  4. Can parents suggest new accommodations?
  5. What happens if accommodations don’t help?
  6. How are accommodations communicated to all staff?
  7. Does the child have a say in his/her accommodations?
  8. Are there alternatives if accommodations are unsuccessful?
  9. Are there any special technology-aided accommodations?
  10. Do accommodations get revised based on changing needs?
  11. Are there any accommodations for class participation?

Transition Planning

  1. What plans are in place for transitioning between grades?
  2. How does the school assist in future career planning?
  3. Are there transition services for post-school activities?
  4. How does the IEP support college preparation?
  5. Is there a coordinator for the transition process?
  6. How are transition goals incorporated into the IEP?
  7. How are parents involved in transition planning?
  8. Does the school provide resources for life skills training?
  9. How does the IEP support vocational training?
  10. Do you have partnerships with colleges or vocational schools?
  11. What is the plan to ease day-to-day school transitions?

Emotional Support

  1. What resources are available for emotional support?
  2. How does the school handle stress and anxiety?
  3. Are there counselors or therapists available?
  4. How does the IEP address emotional and mental health?
  5. How does the school support self-esteem and confidence?
  6. Are the school’s staff trained in dealing with emotional issues?
  7. How are parents guided to provide emotional support?
  8. Does the school have a procedure for psychological emergencies?
  9. How can the child access emotional support services?
  10. How are social skills encouraged and developed?
  11. How do teachers handle emotional outbursts in class?

Curriculum Alignment

  1. How is the IEP aligned with the general education curriculum?
  2. Does the child participate in standard classroom activities?
  3. How is the curriculum customized to fit the child’s needs?
  4. Does modification in the curriculum affect learning outcomes?
  5. Are there different levels of curriculum available?
  6. Does the IEP cover all required subjects?
  7. How much time does the child spend on each subject?
  8. Can parents provide input on curriculum choices?
  9. How does the IEP fit into the school’s overall program?
  10. Are there opportunities to engage in extracurricular activities?

Related Services

  1. What services are included in the IEP?
  2. How often are these services provided?
  3. Are there services available for speech therapy?
  4. How can parents get updates about these services?
  5. Are these services provided during school hours?
  6. Can the child receive services at home or in the community?
  7. What qualifications do the providers of these services have?
  8. How are these services coordinated with the child’s IEP goals?
  9. Are there services available for occupational therapy?
  10. Could a third-party service be considered?
  11. Are other medical or health services required?

Frequently Asked Questions

What should parents do before an IEP meeting?

Before an IEP meeting, parents should gather all relevant information about their child’s academic and behavioral progress. This may include report cards, assessment results, and anecdotal information from teachers. Parents should also be prepared to discuss their goals for their children and any concerns they have. The IEP team will use this information to develop a plan that meets the child’s needs.

What are some potential barriers for parents at IEP meetings?

One possible barrier for parents in IEP meetings is a lack of knowledge about what an IEP is and what it involves. Another barrier may be the lack of communication between parents and school staff. Parents may feel that their suggestions aren’t being considered or that their child’s education isn’t being prioritized. In addition, parents may feel overwhelmed and unprepared to participate in an IEP meeting. Finally, parents may not have the time or resources to attend meetings in person.

How can you prepare for and attend an IEP meeting?

Preparing for an IEP meeting can be difficult if you aren’t familiar with the process. The best way to prepare is to read through the IEP document and familiarize yourself with the language. The IEP team will likely ask you a series of questions about your child’s current situation and what you want to accomplish with the IEP process.

You should also be prepared to talk about your child’s strengths and weaknesses. You must come to the meeting with an open mind and be willing to work with the other members of the team. If you have any questions or concerns, you should bring them up at the meeting. Attending an IEP meeting is critical to making sure your child receives a good education.

Final Thoughts

Dealing with the complexities of an IEP can seem overwhelming, given its many meetings and paperwork. However, its chief goal is ensuring your child’s educational success.

Using this carefully crafted list, you’ll uncover a deeper understanding of the IEP process. Each question brings you a notch closer to forming an educational fit for your child’s unique needs and abilities, vital for their academic growth and personal development.

Advocacy begins with asking the right questions in IEP meetings, and this list offers an optimal starting point. These questions aim to strengthen your advocacy for your child and ensure their individual needs are met. Remember, your active involvement fuels their path toward realizing their full potential.

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Jessa Claire is a registered healthcare provider. Music lover. Daydreamer. Thalassophile. Foodie. A hardworking Capricorn. Most days, an incurable empath. An old soul. Down-to-earth. Vibrant. When she's not writing, she can be seen relaxing with headphones on or engrossed in her favorite fan fiction book.