Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are crucial for children with special needs as they provide a roadmap for their education. As a parent, you play a vital role in the ARD (IEP) process, and your input is valuable in ensuring that your child receives the appropriate services and support. One way to make sure your voice is heard at ARD (IEP) meetings is to create a parent agenda. In this post, we will discuss what a parent agenda is, why it’s important, and how to create one.
What is a Parent Agenda?
A parent agenda is a list of topics or questions that you want to discuss during your child’s ARD (IEP) meeting. It’s a way to organize your thoughts and prioritize the most important issues related to your child’s education. By creating a parent agenda, you can ensure that you cover everything you want to discuss during the meeting, and you can keep the conversation focused on your child’s needs.
Why is a Parent Agenda Important?
Creating a parent agenda is important for several reasons. First, it helps you stay organized and focused during the ARD (IEP) meeting. Second, it ensures that you cover all the important topics related to your child’s education. Third, it helps you communicate your concerns and priorities clearly to the ARD (IEP) committee. Finally, it helps you advocate for your child’s needs and ensure that their IEP is tailored to their unique requirements.
How to Create a Parent Agenda:
Creating a parent agenda is easy, and there are several templates available online that you can use as a starting point.
Here are some tips for creating a parent agenda:
- Start early: Begin creating your agenda at least two weeks before the ARD (IEP) meeting to ensure that you have enough time to gather information and organize your thoughts. Use your child’s current IEP as the order in which to create your agenda.
- Review your child’s IEP: Before creating your agenda, review your child’s current IEP and identify any areas that need to be updated or revised.
- Include a Parent Concerns/Input and Vision Statement*: Use a parent input statement to share your child’s strengths and struggles at school and at home with the ARD committee. Also, share your goals both long-term and short term that you have for your child.
- Identify your concerns: Make a list of your concerns related to your child’s education, including academic, social, and emotional needs.
- Prioritize your concerns: Once you’ve identified your concerns, prioritize them based on their importance and urgency.
- Write clear and concise statements: When creating your agenda items, write clear and concise statements that clearly communicate your concerns and priorities. Keep your statements factual and professional. The parent agenda is not a place to single out a particular person.
- Include specific goals, accommodations, or services: When discussing your child’s needs, be sure to include specific goals, accommodations, or services that you would like to see included in their IEP.
- Bring supporting documents: Bring any supporting documents that may be relevant to your child’s education, such as progress reports, assessments, and medical records.
- E-Mail and print copies: E-mail a copy of the parent agenda to your child’s special education case manager or the ARD (IEP) facilitator at least three days prior to the ARD (IEP) meeting. This will allow the committee enough time to review your concerns. They can gather any necessary documents to address your concerns at the ARD (IEP) meeting. Print enough copies for every member of the committee and bring them with you to the meeting.
Creating a parent agenda is an effective way to ensure that your voice is heard during your child’s ARD (IEP) meeting. By organizing your thoughts and prioritizing your concerns, you can advocate for your child’s needs and ensure that their IEP is tailored to their unique requirements. Use the tips provided in this post to create a parent agenda that will help you communicate your concerns and priorities clearly to the ARD committee.
If you need assistance in creating your Parent Agenda or have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to me.
*Upcoming blog post topic
This posts intent is to give you a general idea of the special education process. Samantha Davis cannot predict the outcome of any meetings, including ARD (IEP) meetings held for your child. Special education eligibility and/or services that are offered to your child are based on the decision of the ARD (IEP) committee as a whole.