It’s no secret that your child’s IEP is essential to their educational success. In Florida, schools, teachers, and administrators are required by law to follow your child’s IEP. However, not everything always goes according to plan. After hours of carefully crafting an IEP, it can be frustrating when that plan is not being followed. Luckily, in Florida, there are actions and steps you can take if an IEP plan is not being followed.
Work closely with your child’s teacher
The best option is to speak directly with your child’s teacher. Most teachers are trying their best to accommodate every child and help every student grow academically. The failure to follow an IEP plan could be a simple misunderstanding. When meeting with your child’s teacher try to be as conversational as possible, as opposed to confrontational. Chances are, speaking with the teacher can remedy any problems with an IEP plan not being followed. However, if you feel as though this step does not remedy the situation you have other avenues available.
Speak with school administrators
When meeting with school administrators it is important to have carefully documented examples to support your claims. Keep a journal to record entries of specific instances in which your child’s IEP is not being followed. Examples of a journal entry could be the failure to provide accommodation or the failure to provide extra time for testing. Exact examples are dependent upon your child’s specific IEP features. In most cases, the school administrators can meet with your child’s teacher to improve the situation.
The IEP team is your support system
If you feel as though none of these attempts have aided your child, then you can take it a step further to the IEP team. These meetings are a serious matter, just as your child’s IEP is a serious matter. Be prepared for your meeting by bringing documentation of your earlier steps taken and continued instances of the IEP not being followed. It is a requirement of education law for your child’s IEP to be followed. Thus, it is advisable to bring an advocate with you to the meeting. Request for a list of concrete steps that will be taken to fix the situation. Also, to ensure a follow-up, schedule an additional meeting to track the progress.
Last resort options
If you face the unfortunate scenario in which none of these steps have been successful, you may file a complaint with the district’s special education administrator, pursue dispute resolution options, have your child moved to another class, and even consider working with an education law attorney.
All in all, it can be frustrating when an IEP is not being followed. However, you are your child’s greatest advocate. The educational system is designed to help children succeed. Thus, if your child’s IEP plan is not being followed consider the options above to reach a resolution.