Along with new backpacks, new lunchboxes, and smiling faces, the start of a new school year often brings to schools new IEPs to implement and new members to a student’s IEP team. Here are our top five tips for a great start to the 2015-16 school year:
1. Make sure staff members are informed and have a clear understanding of each student’s IEP for which they are responsible including the specific accommodations, modifications and supports that must be provided – from general education teachers, to special education teachers, to related service providers.
2. Ensure that a child’s entire IEP is accessible to any and all staff or service providers who are responsible for its implementation.
3. Make certain that all previous equipment and materials required by a child’s IEP are in place when school starts.
4. Have open avenues of communication with parents who may be anxious about changes to their child’s program or particular service provider. For example, having a clear communication protocol so parents know who to talk to and when.
5. Consider providing training to staff to strengthen their communication skills including offering conflict resolution strategies and emphasizing the importance of presenting information clearly, tactfully, and with empathy in IEP meetings and assessment reports.
Best wishes for a successful 2015-16 school year!