What is an IEP meeting invitation letter?
An IEP meeting invitation letter is to notify the parents of a renewal date or proposed changes or concerns to their student's IEP.
Do, include parent or guardian's first names in the To line of your meeting invitation. This is someone that is important to your student and needs to be addressed by name.
Do Not address a letter Dear Parent/Guardian. It is impersonal and shows a lack of respect to address them in such a form letter fashion.
When does an IEP invitation letter need to be sent?
A meeting invitation letter is sent with no fewer than two weeks' notice or ten working days from the proposed meeting date.
Do mail up to 3 to-4 days prior to the start of the 10 day mandatory window. If there is a delay in mail delivery time of up to 2 to 3 days, plan ahead to ensure that your letter reaches the parent on or before the ten day required notice window. It must be received by not postmarked by ten day window. Follow up to ensure the letter was received.
Do Not, assume that the letter was received and your meeting is confirmed just because you sent a letter. Follow up and even remind one week prior to the meeting date. An email or text message is just fine and requires very little time to do.
Caution - a meeting invitation is sent after a date has already been agreed upon via email or phone conversation. Scheduling an IEP meeting with multiple attendees from multiple locations will require advance planning. Start looking at date availability as soon a 45-30 days prior to the meeting. Offering multiple time options such as before and after school is optimum.
Tip - Doodle is a commonly used software to help poll IEP meeting participants as to availability and possible meeting times prior to setting the final meeting date in the official meeting request letter.
Who gets invited to an IEP meeting?
Mandatory attendance for a new IEP meeting includes a parent or guardian, case manager, general education teachers in service areas, related services providers, school psychologist, and a district representative.
Mandatory attendance for an IEP renewal meeting includes a case manager, one general education teacher, representatives of related services, and a district representative.
All others are on an as-needed basis based on the context of the meeting and parental request.
There is no need to invite the physical therapist to a proposed academic change meeting. Respect for others' time is always a good policy for special education and IEP meetings.
What happens if someone can not attend the IEP meeting?
A team member can be excused from an IEP meeting with proper notice. If a meeting is rescheduled, the team member must be notified as soon as possible so they can make arrangements to attend.
If a team member is unable to attend a meeting, they can send a representative in their place. A representative could be a teacher with a similar role, a parent of the student, or another district professional.
When a team member is absent from an IEP meeting, the least disruptive options should be considered to meet their needs. Options that can accommodate those who are unable to attend may include:
Conducting the meeting as usual and asking the team member to provide written input
Conducting a later meeting for an absent team member
Providing a phone conference option to a team member who would otherwise be unable or unwilling to attend in person. The individual should give their input prior to the meeting date, whenever possible.
What items are included in an IEP meeting request to parents?
Information about the time/location of the IEP meeting (building address and room number or conference room name)
Purpose of the IEP meeting (may include reviewing existing IEP, determining eligibility, composing the IEP, and determining placement)
IEP Team Participants might include case a manager, participants from all qualifying categories of service, including other related services, district representatives, and school psychologists (including outside agencies).
Special Education Rights for Parents and Children (in their first language)
A cover sheet must accompany every invitation and document the purposes of the IEP meeting and those in attendance.
Sample IEP Meeting Request Letter #1
If you have not already established a meeting time
[Insert date here] Dear [Insert parent or guardian names here] ,
Hello! This is [insert teacher name here] and I am [insert student name here]’s Special Education Case Manager. I am writing today to let you know that it's that time of year again and [insert student name here]'s IEP is due for renewal. As always we believe that your input is the most valuable to [insert student name here]’s success and that you can provide informative insight into [insert student name here]‘s life and individual needs.
I was sorry that I was not able to reach you by email or phone to discuss possible meeting times in advance. However, I'm following up with this letter to provide you with some options that might work well with your schedule.
7:15 am April 15th 2021
7:15 am April 17th 2021
7:15 am April 18th 2021
2:15 pm April 15th 2021
2:15 pm April 17th 2021
2:15 pm April 18th 2021
Do any of these work for you? Would you like anyone other than the school support team included in the meeting?
Also, if you would prefer to schedule this meeting over the phone or video conference that's always an option as well.
To make it as easy for you as possible you can text me at (555) 660-9181 or slip me a quick email letting me know what time and date you like best. Once I get your feedback I will send the official IEP meeting invitation confirming our time, who will be in attendance, and meeting room location.
Thank you so much, the [insert school name here] staff truly appreciates your involvement and look forward to meeting with you in support of [insert student name here].
[insert teacher name and contact information here]
Sample IEP Meeting Request Letter #2
If you have already established a meeting time
[Insert date here]
Subject line: As per our phone conversation April 1st 4:30 pm [insert student name here]'s IEP meeting will be held 7:15 am April 15th 2021
Dear [Insert parent or guardian names here],
Hello! This is [insert teacher name here, title] again and I am writing today to confirm with you the time and date for [insert student name here]'s IEP renewal.
7:15 am April 15th, 2021
Sunnyvale Middle School Room #123
Would you like anyone other than the school support team included in the meeting? Is there an advocate or community service provider that you would like to add?
If anything should change and you need to reschedule you can text me at (555) 660-9181 or slip me a quick email letting me know what time and date you would like to change to.
Thank you so much, the [insert school name here] staff truly appreciates your involvement and look forward to meeting with you soon in support of [insert student name here].
[insert teacher name and contact information here]
Connect with Bran @TeachTasticIEP