Individualized education program (IEP) involvement: A study of communication attempts, participant attendance, and other IEP meeting logistics
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (PL 94-142) and its amendments in 1990 and 1997 (PL 101-476; PL 105-17) have required school systems to recruit and secure the participation of parents, students, general educators, and administrators in the development of individualized education programs (IEPs). To collect information about IEP meetings, special educators were asked to respond to a questionnaire upon the close of IEP meeting in the Spring of 1998. The participants reported that they most often used the official notification form (95% of cases) to arrange IEP meeting times with parents, but many times combined the use of that form with telephone calls and teacher notes. Participants attended the IEP meeting and contributed to instructional goals in the following percentage of cases: parents attended (75%), contributed (29.0%); students attended (61.4%), contributed (17.4%); general educators attended (21.0%), contributed (28.6%); administrators attended (37.2%). Most IEP meetings were held at school (82.4%) and had a mean duration of 31.5 minutes. The meetings were most often held during the special educator's unencumbered period (48.5%), but many were also held during classtime and before school in the morning. These findings have important implications for (a) arranging adequate meeting places and times, (b) modifying the notification of potential IEP team participants, and (c) determining the training needs of those participants.