Having an IEP binder of important resources provides parents with the necessary tools to prepare for school meetings. “How to Organize a Binder for School Meetings”, displays an example of a child’s binder and the importance of specific suggested contents. Many parents find this binder to be a confidence booster and feel more prepared for school meetings. Preparation demonstrates that parents recognize the importance of all school meetings and the value of education for their child. Too often, important documents such as the child’s IEP/504 Plan, doctor’s diagnoses and recommendations, and samples of a child’s work are not immediately available. When parents provide these in the binder, it elevates respect from other members of the team while providing valuable, necessary information and decreasing anxiety that often occurs when meeting with school personnel.
As you can see from the video below, the binder is divided into several tabs. Please refer to the following checklist to ensure all components are included when organizing your child’s binder.
Steps to Prepare an IEP Binder
- Picture – Include a picture at the front of the binder. This picture should capture your child’s personality, possibly doing something they enjoy.
- IEP/504 – You will want to have your child’s latest IEP or 504 plan here, and it may be helpful to keep a previous IEP or 504 plan to refer back to. Also, before receiving the final IEP or 504, keep any relevant notes from the IEP/504 meeting.
- Evaluations – Keep any and all of your child’s evaluations that were conducted in school or by an outside service. This may include psychological evaluations, speech-language or occupational therapy evaluations, assistive technology evaluations, and more.
- Medical – Include any medical documents from your child’s doctors. This includes, but is not limited to, reports from neurologists, psychologists, psychiatrists, developmental pediatricians, and your child’s pediatrician. Include your child’s latest well visit, as well as any letters your child’s doctors may have written in regards to their diagnosis. Be sure to have the documentation with your child’s diagnoses on them.
- Report Cards/Progress Reports – Include your child’s report cards from the past year as well as current year. Progress reports can be given from the classroom teacher or can be relevant as related to goals in the IEP.
- Sample Work – Keep sample work that is relevant to your child and their needs. For example, if graphic organizers will be helpful or assistive technology is needed, be sure to keep samples of writing that will show why these tools may be helpful. If your child isn’t completing work in class, keep relevant work samples to demonstrate that modified work, resource room support, or more time to complete work may be needed.
- Communication – Save printed letters, notes, and email communication and a log with phone calls, meetings, and topics and results. Use the Communication Log Template to log all communication.
- Discipline – Keep any referrals and notices of suspension. You may want to keep communication that is related to discipline in this section as well. This can include email and a communication log of meetings, notes, phone calls, and topics and results from the meetings.
- TAA Resources – The Tourette Association offers many resources and materials which may be informational and useful at meetings. Here are potential resources you may want to include in your child’s binder and share with the school:
- An Educator’s Guide to Planning and Support
- Iceberg Illustration Poster
- Disinhibition and Tourette
- Educator’s Guide for Developing Plans for Students with Tourette Syndrome
- Identifying Common Education Difficulties with Tourette Syndrome
- Understanding Behavioral Challenges and Related Symptoms: Tourette is More than Tics
- “….., we do believe that Tourette syndrome is commonly misunderstood to be a behavioral or emotional condition, rather than a neurological condition. Therefore, including Tourette syndrome in the definition of other health impairment may help correct the misperception of Tourette syndrome as a behavioral or conduct disorder and prevent the misdiagnosis of their needs.” – U.S. Department of Education
- Classroom Strategies and Techniques for Students with Tourette Syndrome