What to Expect at Your Child’s Eligibility Meeting
- A child must be found eligible in order to receive special education or related services through an Individual Education Plan (IEP).
- In order to do this, the eligibility team will determine if your child has a disability that is affecting his or her educational performance to the extent that he or she needs specially designed materials/lessons.
What Will Happen
- When you arrive at the school, you may be asked to wait while the rest of the team arrives. Team members are typically coming from different areas around the county.
- When you enter the conference room, you will probably see some familiar faces and some that you don’t recognize. The following specialists will likely be there to present their reports:
School Social Worker
Special Education Teacher
- Depending on your child, other specialists may be present such as the speech pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, or the vision or hearing specialists.
- The supervisor for special services from our central office will usually chair the meeting if this is the first time you child has gone through this process.
- After introductions, each team member will go over their report. Each report provides different types of information that guides the team in identifying various disabilities. You will have copies of the reports, so you can follow along or take notes.
Discussion and Decision
- The eligibility team (which includes you as the parent/guardian) will discuss the results of the evaluations and compare them to the definitions of disabilities that qualify for special education services.
- After a decision is made, you will be asked to sign several forms that include participation and agreement or disagreement with decision. A team member will explain more at the meeting. You will also be offered a copy of your Procedural Safeguards, which outline your rights as a parent in the process.
Other Helpful thing to Know:
- You may bring another person to the meeting with you if you wish. Just indicate so on the meeting notice that was sent to you.
- We understand that things come up, but your attendance at the meeting is important. We want you to know what is going on with your child at school and want your input as well!
- If there is something you don't understand, just ask. Sometimes the wording and lingo can be confusing, even to experienced folks.
- If you are not comfortable ask questions during the meeting, come up with a plan where someone on the team that you know can sit beside you and ask questions for you if needed.
- The meetings are scheduled to last about 1 hour and 15 minutes.