Sharing IEP Information with School Staff

As a student's special education teacher or program manager, it is your job to make sure that an IEP is being followed.  Part of that is ensuring that teachers and staff working with your students are informed about certain applicable aspects of their IEPs.  An IEP is a confidential legal document so there are many things to think about when sharing information.

DO Share the IEP to Appropriate Staff Members

All teachers and specialists that interact with the student should be allowed to have access to their IEP.  Some school districts have programs that make the IEP viewable through their digital class lists.  Sometimes, it is the special education teacher's job to make sure that the information is given to the other teachers with their students.  Some of the staff members that may need to be aware of the contents of a student's IEP include general education teachers, teaching assistants, and special area (art, music, physical education, etc) teachers.

DON'T Hand Out Paper Copies of Full IEPS

Only disseminate the information that pertains to each individual teacher.  There is a lot of confidential information on an IEP and it is your job to protect your student's privacy.  If a teacher has a need to access the full IEP, I have allowed them to look at the digital version on my computer or a paper copy in my classroom after reminding them of confidentiality.  

DO Share Important Information That Applies to Individual Staff Members

A general education teacher would need to know a student's present academic and behavior levels, modifications, accommodations, related services, and goals.  An art teacher or librarian may only need to be aware of modifications and accommodations along with any behavior plan.  

If it is your responsibility to share information, print only the pieces that are necessary.  I've worked in districts that it is easy to click on the parts you want to print.  I've also cut an IEP apart and glued together the pieces on a piece of paper.

If your school district uses an automatic digital sharing program, then most of your job is done for you.   

DO Make Sure the Teacher Reads the IEP

At the beginning of the school year and again after annual reviews, it is your responsibility to make sure that the IEP is being followed.  In order to follow an IEP, the teachers involved need to read it.  I have a sign-off sheet available in my store that states that the staff member has access to the IEP and has read it.  You don't need to do this, but it does add another layer of accountability, especially if there is a question of whether an IEP is being honored appropriately.  

DO Update the Information After New IEP Meetings

If there are any changes to the information that pertains to the other teachers working with your student, they need to be made aware.  Sometimes it is difficult to keep track of what is new or changed on an IEP so best practice would be to present an updated IEP as soon as it goes into effect, no matter the changes.

DON'T Throw Away Old IEPs

Expired IEPs still contain confidential information.  Do not put them in the regular trash or recycling bin.  Either shred the old IEPs or send them away in the school's secure shredder box.  This also includes any meeting notes, behavior plans, evaluations, etc that you're looking to purge from your files.  When it doubt, SHRED IT!  

Make sure the staff that you are giving IEP information to either returns it to you or shreds it themselves.  You can use the sign-off sheet mentioned above to make sure you go back to collect old IEPs at the end of the school year to destroy.

DO Keep Updated Paper Copies of IEPs on File

For whatever reason, a digital version of the IEP may not be readily available when needed.  I always keep an updated paper copy in case I need to reread something or if a staff member whats to read over the IEP.  

DO Check In Throughout the Year 

It is your job to make sure the IEP is understood and being followed.  Check in to see if there are any questions.  The teachers you work with my want to keep track of the accommodations and modifications they are using with your students.  Here is another blog post about an easy way to keep track of that!

DO Check Your School Policies

While this is good information, it may not be exactly what your school district expects from you.  Check with your director to see which procedures you should follow.

For some additional organization tips for the beginning of the school year, check out this post that sets you up for the year's worth of IEP meetings!

Have a great school year!

No comments

Post a Comment