The IEP process can be complex and demanding, and can sometimes evoke strong emotions and even intimidate some participants. As “IEP Season” is in full swing, stress levels may be on the rise for both school staff and parents. Despite its importance, few IEP teams have received training in how to work together collaboratively to reach the consensus-based decisions necessary to support the child. There are many best practices that IEP team participants can use to support collaboration and increase the probability of successful meetings. Some of these include pre-conferencing with participants and setting the stage with a written agenda, introduction of participants, guidelines for the meeting and a projected time frame.
Even under the best of circumstances, there may be challenging decisions to be made by the IEP team that can involve wide differences of opinion and strong feelings. The team can work through these difficult points by first of all remaining cool and staying friendly. By maintaining a positive climate, team members are capable of clarifying the remaining obstacles and each other’s interests. Lastly, the team can make agreements about their disagreements and how they wish to proceed.
Once the meeting is underway, these keys to collaboration will maximize a smooth-running meeting:
These tips are from the Exceptional Child Online Course IEP Meetings and Team Collaboration.
Other helpful courses include:
Learn more about these courses and view the full course library at www.exceptionalchild.com/course/list.