This school year I have been invited to a few eligibility results meetings, the meeting with the school psychologist to go over comprehensive testing of a student. In the past meetings like this took place, which for the record is considered an IEP meeting, and after the team heard the results the team decided if the child qualified for an IEP. If the answer was yes, a draft IEP was presented. I always tried to make sure that parents were prepared for this IEP and had their parent concerns written down already. (I HIGHLY recommend parents do this. It is so hard to remember your concerns when everyone is looking at you.) No time was being wasted.
This year however, I have attended eligibility meetings and then an IEP meeting would be scheduled at a separate time. Waste of time right?
I totally understand why the TN state school board made this amendment, having a draft before a meeting would definitely save time and IEP meetings can be long. I agree with this decision on that point. However, when it comes to having an eligibility meeting and then scheduling an IEP meeting to make an IEP, we just wasted more time than ever before. (Previously, the district I live in has always agreed to give me or my client a draft before the meeting but I have attended meetings in other districts where they have not been so willing to provide a copy. In those cases this amendment has helped.)
The TN department of Education addresses this amendment on this form, Parent Participation Memo.
#7 caught my eye.
Does the new rule require separate meetings for initial eligibility and IEP development?
No. While it is inappropriate to develop a draft IEP prior to determining eligibility, the IEP team has two options once eligibility has been determined:
Move forward with developing the IEP at the eligibility meeting; OR
Reconvene within 30 calendar days to develop the IEP. If the team decides to reconvene, a draft IEP could be created prior to the meeting and provided to the parent in accordance with the state rule.
Hmmmmm. I get it but maybe sometimes, moving forward with developing the IEP at the eligibility meeting, with the whole team might not be a bad idea either.