It's that time of year again! New pencils, backpacks .....and a fresh start to finally getting your child's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) binder organized.
What's an IEP binder?
It's a great way to organize all of the paperwork, evaluations, teacher emails, and more that accumulate when your child needs specialized help in school under IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).
For tips, we turned to members of Learning Ally's parent support team, all of whom are parents of children who learn differently. Here are some of the best tips from Mark Brugger, Sally Pistilli and Meriah Houser
1) Keep More Than One Binder
"I actually have three binders, as there is just so much material," says Mark Brugger. Here are the three he keeps:
- An IEP, Progress Report Binder, legal documentation etc.
- An evaluations binder, including standardized tests
- A sample work binder, including good (and bad) examples of homework, tests and quizzes (good and bad) by grade
2) Add Summer Intervention Information
Did your child participate in extended school year? Tutoring? Other interventions? Make sure to document everything
3) Personalize It
Add a picture of your child to the front pocket to remind you why you are all in the meeting.
Some parents may also have their child decorate a picture for the front flap. This is a great way to showcase your child's strengths!
4) Keep a Space for Notes
"I like to keep lined, ruled paper in the front of my folder to keep notes at each school meeting," says Meriah Houser. "It's great for when you need to look back at details later."
5) Date and Document All Paperwork
Use a colored sticky tab to label and date each paper that comes home with your child.
Also, be sure to keep stuff that is outdated! Never throw it away; just put it in the folder in chronological order -- because you may need it later, even if it's just to look back at how far your child has come over the years.
Lastly, feel good about your binder!
"Even if you are a mess inside, you can look like you have it all together walking into the meeting. People will be impressed by your organization skills!"
~ Meriah Houser
Need more ideas?
Learning Ally has created this flyer to help you get started: LA_GetOrganized
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