Ever get lost in the alphabet soup at your child's school? The acronyms fly around the meeting table so fast that it's easy to quickly sink to the bottom of the bowl. So, how do you best make sense of everything being shared about your child's learning and ensure that your child receives the best support with the least amount of restrictions at school?
Paul Montaperto, K-12 Educational Consultant, advocates for families seeking assistance for students pursuing the best classroom experience. Below are tips that every family would benefit from knowing.
Take the time to learn about the different programs and instructional support your child's school provides. Most schools offer differentiated programs aligned to support students across the learning continuum, including special education, gifted and talented, and various areas in between. Families can acquire this information from their child's primary teacher, school counselor, or administrator. Email any one of them, and they can point you in the right direction.
Keep one copy of your "parent rights." Every time you attend an IEP, 504, or ARD/Eligibility meeting at your child's school, by law, you are required to be offered a copy of your parental rights. Of course, after several meetings, these documents will begin to pile up at your house, so take one copy and file it where you will remember; then, kindly decline additional copies at future meetings to help save a few trees :). Update your copy every couple of years to be sure you are keeping up with any changes from the federal level.
Take the time to read your "parent rights" at least once. No, there is no need to memorize any of the information or to become a master in channeling your best lawyer impression through the content, but you must have a basic understanding of what the school is required to do to legally support your child's education and what your active role can be as a part of the team.
Advocate for your child. Who knows your child better than you? Be empowered to respectfully ensure that your child is receiving the support they deserve based on their learning challenges, the results of the collected data, and your desires and values as the parent. Don't be shy; your child deserves the school's very best. If needed, partner with an educational consultant to provide guidance and expertise.
Ask questions. There is genuinely no such thing as a bad question, especially when it comes to your child's education.
Stay informed; stay involved; stay in tune with your child's progress at school. It's your privilege and right as a parent. Lots of families use an Educational Consultant during these meetings. Williams Educational Consultants offers IEP/504 Advising and Parent Coaching. Reach out to us today to learn more and to hear how we can guide you through the process.
Call Williams Educational Consultants at 770-633-1478 and ask for Paul Montaperto.