Hudson Valley Parent

HVP January 2016

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16 Hudson Valley Parent n January 2016 My Child's IEP: Is it working? them get the best education possible. Keep IEP plan handy for regular viewing First, as soon as your IEP has been finalized, put it in a place where you'll see it every day, she says. Whether that place is your fridge or your nightstand, make sure it's accessible so you can easily look back and remember what program the district has agreed to for your child and what goals she should be progressing toward. Those goals will help you monitor your child's prog- ress to determine whether the IEP is working. Grades, regular progress reports, and homework assignments are all important materials that you can review regularly to check if your child is progressing academically. By ELORA TUCCI P atti Phelan knows how over- whelming managing a child's "individual education plan" or IEP can be. All three of her children have received special education ser- vices - one through an IEP until age 13, another through a 504 plan (for children with special needs), and a third who received services through preschool. As a special education at- torney and board member of PULS- ES, a Mid-Hudson organization of parents and families of children with special needs, she has felt and seen lots of the confusion and uncertainty that can surround IEP management. Luckily, she's also got plenty of experience working with parents and districts to make sure kids' IEPs help Are her quiz scores improving? Is he able to fill out his homework sheets adequately? If the answer is no, that's a sign the IEP might need to be modified. But if the answer is yes, that might not automatically mean the IEP is working, Phelan says. It's im- portant that kids are challenged and engaged throughout the day - feed- back that the teacher can provide. "Ongoing communication be- tween parents and teachers is so important," Phelan says. She recom- mends getting a consistent commu- nication plan with teachers written into the IEP up front, or adding it in as a program modification. For students who switch classes or have more than one teacher, she suggests creating an address book with all

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