“Each public agency must ensure that . . . the IEP Team reviews the child’s IEP periodically, but not less than annually, to determine whether the annual goals for the child are being achieved; and revises the IEP, as appropriate, to address any lack of expected progress toward the annual goals described in § 300.320(a)(2), and in the general education curriculum, if appropriate,” and to address the results of any reevaluation, information about the child provided to, or by the parents, the child’s anticipated needs, or other matters. [34 C.F.R § 300.324(b)] Additionally, according to Arizona State Board of Education rules, a “parent or public education agency may request in writing a review of the IEP, and shall identify the basis for requesting review. Such review shall take place within 45 school days of the receipt of the request at a mutually agreed upon date and time. [A.A.C. R7-2-401(G)(7)]
Do schools need to accommodate parents who request an IEP meeting early in the morning, in the evening, or on weekends?
The regulations that implement the IDEA state that IEP meetings should be scheduled at a mutually agreed on time and place. [34 C.F.R. § 300.322(a)(2)] However, the regulations do not require the school to schedule an IEP meeting outside regular school hours to accommodate parents or their experts. [Letter to Thomas, 51 IDELR 224 (OSEP 2008)]
If a parent requests in writing for the IEP team to reconvene to review his/her child’s IEP, what is the required timeframe?
According to Arizona State Board of Education rules, a “parent or public education agency may request in writing a review of the IEP, and shall identify the basis for requesting review. Such review shall take place within 45 school days of the receipt of the request at a mutually agreed upon date and time. [A.A.C. R7-2-401(G)(7)]
Yes. An IEP meeting can take place without parental participation “if the public agency is unable to convince the parents that they should attend. In this case, the public agency must keep a record of its attempts to arrange a mutually agreed on time and place, such as: detailed records of telephone calls made or attempted and the results of those calls; copies of correspondence sent to the parents and any responses received; and detailed records of visits made to the parent’s home or place of employment and the results of those visits.” [34 C.F.R. § 300.322(d)(1)-(3)] It is important to note that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, of which Arizona is a part, has found in two cases that parental involvement in the IEP “creation process” requires schools to include parents unless they affirmatively refuse to attend, while clarifying that if a parent refuses to attend or is entirely unresponsive to the school’s requests to meet, the school has a duty to move forward with the IEP process. (Shapiro v. Paradise Valley Unified School District; Doug C. v. Hawaii Department of Education)
Neither the IDEA nor its implementing regulations address the issue of tape recording IEP meetings, and Arizona has no law allowing or prohibiting this practice. Therefore, a school district or charter school may set the ground rules for recording IEP meetings, as long as those rules do not inhibit parental participation. [See Letter to Anonymous, 40 IDELR 70 (OSEP 2003) and Letter to Doerr, 213 IDELR 127 (OSEP 1988)]