Review IEP Documents
It is helpful to review the current IEP, the most recent progress report, evaluations from the district, and any evaluations that you received privately. Request any evaluations that were conducted by the district prior to the meeting, so you have a chance to review them. Also, provide the district with any private evaluations you want to share, so that they can be discussed at the meeting.
Create an Agenda
The agenda can simply be a list of issues you would like addressed at the meeting. Your agenda does not need to be shared with the district, but can serve as a reference for you during the meeting. This list can include any questions you want to ask at the meeting, or any suggestions you have regarding the appropriate program or services for your child.
Identify the Attendees
Check the notice you received from the district for a list of attendees. The CSE team should include the following: parents, regular education teacher (for students in or who may participate in regular education), special education teacher, school psychologist, chairperson, and others having knowledge about your child. If you believe additional district personnel (i.e. physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, reading teacher) are needed to provide relevant information about your child, you should request that they attend the meeting.
Seek Out Support
You have the right to bring anyone to the meeting who you believe has knowledge or expertise about your child. This person could be a professional who works with your child, a family member, or a friend. If your child works with private therapists or tutors, it can be beneficial to have them at the meeting to support your positions. A family member or a close friend may also be helpful to provide additional information about your child. It is beneficial to have someone at the meeting to support you and take notes, so you can focus on what is being discussed.
Good luck! As the parent, you are an important member of the CSE team, and your opinion should be considered as part of the collaborative process. If you disagree with the committee’s recommendations, you have the right to call an additional meeting or file for a due process hearing.
If you need help preparing for your child’s CSE meeting, or if you would like an attorney to go to the meeting with you, please call my office at (516) 252-1731.