What to include in your IEP Binder
Here is my opinion about what items should be in every Tennessee IEP Binder.
- Basic supplies: I suggest two 3″ binders. One for your child’s IEP items and one for laws and regulations. The binders fill up quickly. Also get two packs of tabs with pockets and two packs of clear sheet protectors.
- A photo and a writing sample of your child. Put these in the outside clear pocket of your binder so that when you carry it around and set it on the IEP table, there is a sweet picture or sweet hand writing of your child. It helps humanize you as a parent.
- General Infographics about dyslexia. I put these in clear covers to I can easily pull them out and pass them around. In mine I have the following:
- A Tab for all Aims Webb (or other RTI screener). You have a right to get copies. Request them after the screener – 3 times a year.
- A Tab for all evaluations – in school and out of school. Put the most current items on TOP so you can find them. Keep older items since the ofter refer back to them. If documents are long, make sure to do sticky notes on the side or top with notes so you can find important parts quickly in a meeting.
- A tab with a copy of the current IEP, you have have one.
- A tab with copies of historic IEPS (about a years worth.) Keep the very older ones in a drawer at home. Don’t throw them away!
- A Tab for your student’s work. Keep homework, tests and classwork that shows both weakness and strengths. Its good to say – “I like how the teacher did this test – look at the good score!” Or, “on this worksheet, the math problems are small and jumbled, and she did poorly.” Keep lots of these. I keep them in a pocket, paper clipped by month. That way, I can easily change them out before each meeting. Keep some copies of old homework at home in a drawer so you can access it later to show progress (or not).
- A Tab for copies of all emails from school about your child. I print out these to have in the meeting. I keep them all in a folder in my email and print out the ones I need before the meeting. So when they say “well, you just told us your child was struggling”, you can pull out the email and say “actually, I emailed you about it the first day of school.” It is very important! I print everything from teacher, school psycologist and anyone on the SPED team.
- Also bring other things that help showcase strength and weaknesses of your child. Books she likes. Music she plays or pictures she draws. Video clips of her reading or expressing frustrations. Anything that you feel can help make your case to the team.
- Copies of important parts of Federal Law. These are always in my binder:
– The IDEA Sections 300.304 through 300.502 (about 6 pages.) You can find them all here.
– OSEP Letter 11-07 that states may not use RTI to delay or deny.
– OSEP Letter to Delisle if you are dealing with gifted/twice exception issues.
– Federal Dyslexia Guidance Letter.
– Federal Rules about FAPE (Free and Fair Public Education) and LRE (Least Restrictive Environment. http://www2.ed.gov/…/offi…/list/ocr/docs/edlite-FAPE504.html
– Q&A about FAPE and LRE: http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/lre.osers.memo.idea.htm
12. Copies of important parts of Tennessee Law.
– A copy of the Tennessee Dyslexia Guide:
– A copy of the Say Dyslexia Law.
– A copy of the Tennessee RTI Manual.
– A Copy of the definition of Specific Learning Disability under Tennessee Law.
– A Copy of Information about the “Specific Disability Assessment Documentation Form” which is REQURIED to be used by all districts to qualify a student for an IEP in SLD/Dyslexia.
– A Copy of your district’s policies about Students with Disabilities. Metro Nashville’s are here.
- IF YOU ARE NEW TO IEP, I like to print the Tennessee Sample IEP just so you know what an IEP looks like.