by Jeffrey L. Forte, Esq. | Forte Law Group LLC
In Connecticut, attending a planning and placement team meeting (PPT) to discuss your child’s individualized education plan (IEP) can often be overwhelming, even intimidating, for a parent. It is important for all parents to remember the development of your child’s IEP through the PPT process is meant to be collaborative in nature pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). One of the best ways to advocate for your child is to simply ask questions at PPT. If you have many questions, you may want to consider submitting your questions in writing in advance of your scheduled PPT meeting in advance. The Connecticut special education attorneys at Forte Law Group can help you prepare for your child’s PPT meeting or even attend the meeting with you to advocate on behalf of your child. The questions provided below are intended to help “more fully inform your child’s IEP” at a PPT meeting and are broken down by section of the IEP.
Present Levels of Performance
- Please explain what this data means?
- Is this data reflective of my child’s behavior and academic abilities in all classes?
- Can each team member provide an example what my child’s skill deficit or behavior challenge looks like?
- Are there any new challenges or changes to my child’s levels of performance that I am not aware of?
Takeaways: Note you are not expected to be an expert in special education. You have the right to have your child’s team be able to explain to you what your child’s present levels of performance are in practical understandable terms.
Goals & Objectives
- What specific skill is being addressed in this goal and objective?
- How is this objective specific and measurable?
- How is this goal being measured?
- What evaluation procedure is being used to determine whether my child has progressed and acquired the skills to master this objective?
- How will be child’s progress toward this goal and objective be communicated to my child and to me?
- This objective seems a bit lengthy, would it be more helpful to break this large objective in to smaller, achievable objectives?
Takeaways: If you do not understand your child’s IEP goals and objectives and how they will be measure and tracked, how are you going to know if your child is making progress? Ask for your child’s “draft goals and objectives” 3 to 5 days in advance of your child’s scheduled PPT pursuant to your right to receive your child’s school records under the Family Education Rights Privacy Act (FERPA).
- How will this accommodation help my child?
- My child has several different teachers in different classrooms, does my child automatically get this accommodation or will he/she be expected to ask for this accommodation?
- What does this accommodation look like within each of my child’s classrooms?
- Are there any other supports that teachers are using to support my child’s IEP?
- What consultation hours are being provided for team communication, training, and team/parental communication?
Takeaways: Know the accommodations that your child has access to and make sure that your child also understands to the best extent possible what are his/her IEP accommodations.
- What do my child’s IEP service hours look like on a day-to-day basis?
- Can you break down my child’s IEP services by minutes, hours – what does my child’s IEP services grid actually look like throughout the day?
- How many service minutes/hours are provided individually verses in a small group setting?
- How many other children are in my child’s small group setting?
- Describe the cohort of the other children in my child’s small group setting.
- Are proposed minutes/hours being offered on my child’s IEP sufficient enough to accomplish my child’s IEP goals and objectives?
- What provider will be delivering these services – paraprofessional, special ed teacher, social worker, school psychologist, etc.?
Takeaways: Be sure to understand your child’s service hours/minutes and know what services are being delivered outside of the general ed classroom (“pull-out services”) and what services are being delivered within the general ed classroom (“push-in services”).
Post-PPT Meeting Next Steps
- How will my child’s IEP progress be communicated to me?
- When can we come back to discuss my child’s progress?
- Given the complexity of my child’s needs we need to meet more than annually, when can we meet next for a PPT?
- I have behavioral concerns about my child, I would like to request that a Functional Behavior Assessment be conducted to determine what my child is exhibiting this behavior.
Takeaways: Consistent, ongoing communication between parent and school team is critical. Know that you should reach out to your child’s IEP team more than just once per year.
The Connecticut special education attorneys at Forte Law Group can help you prepare for your child’s PPT meeting or even attend the meeting with you to advocate on behalf of your child.