Reviewing the IEP, signing it and next steps

You do NOT have to sign the IEP right away at the meeting. 

Remember: the IEP should reflect your concerns and goals for your child. Speak up if you want to add or change anything on the draft! You want to make sure that this document addresses all of your child's educational needs.

If you're happy with it, you can sign it at the end of the meeting. But if you want, you can take home a copy and review it first. There is no pressure for you to sign it right away!

Reviewing the IEP: 

  • Review the draft IEP in detail. Ask yourself:

    • Do you agree with the services that it lists for your child?

    • Are there other services you think your child needs that are missing? Keep in mind that more is not always better.

    • Is there anything that is confusing or unclear?

  • Get advice from other people about the IEP - doctors, counselors, teachers, or family.

  • Write down any questions or concerns you have.

  • Decide if you agree with the proposed plan and services. You have options:

    • accept the IEP as it is

    • reject all of the IEP, or

    • reject parts of the IEP

This can be a hard decision, and it's okay if you are having trouble with it. If you're not sure what to do, talk with one or two people on the Team.

After you get the draft IEP, you have 30 days to decide whether you agree with the proposed plan and services.

Signing the IEP:

When you are sure you are happy with the IEP, you can sign it.

Here's what you can do:

  1. Check the 'I accept the IEP as developed' box. (On page 8 of the IEP) See the image below.

  2. Sign and date the form.

  3. Make copies. Add one to your IEP binder so it's ready for next year's IEP meeting.

  4. Send the signed form to your child's school. You can drop the form off in person or mail it.

If the school never hears back from you, they can't start to give your child the services. (If your child already has an IEP, they'll work from the latest version on file. Learn more in the next section, Keeping Track. )

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Note: If your child is 18 or older, they will need to sign the form, unless you have legal permission. (See our Guardianship Guide to learn more about this. Click on the title to open it in a new tab.)

Next steps:

Once the IEP and placement decisions are final:

  • The district will share the IEP with all school staff who work with your child

  • Your child should start getting the services right away, but no later than10 school daysafter you sign the IEP!

What if you don't agree with the IEP?

See the next page to learn about your options! 

Sources: MA DESE, Federation for Children with Special Needs

 

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