Can you believe it is already February? For many there is only 3-4 months of school left! In the scheme of things that time will fly by quickly. Now is the time to ask questions and start planning for next school year. Waiting until May stresses out staff and makes it more difficult to accomplish successful planning. Here are some questions I ask families as a check-in for how things are going:
What path is your child on with their current plan?
Are they making progress? How do you know?
Does your child need outside therapies? OT? Speech? Behavioral?
How will they continue to work on their goals over the summer? Do they need ESY?
What suggestions have teachers made to help your child make progress? Are they effective? Can you do them at home? Have the suggestions you made been implemented or tried?
Was your parent teacher conference specific and data driven or was it vague? (Vague comments are always a red flag for me!)
For High School students, I would ask all the above questions with a few adjustments. In high school, the goal is to launch functioning, well rounded young adults. IEP’s often reflect these functional skills. Parents need to be aware and diligent in this phase of development. When working with families, I will often ask:
How many credits do they have? What classes can you choose from to suit their needs?
Can you spread out the more difficult classes over time, so your child is not overwhelmed?
Have they taken driver’s ed? Are they learning functional skills to prepare them for work?
Are their work experience classes or mentoring programs they could try?
Is there a study skills class to help them with time management?
Does your child need ESY? (extended school year services)
Is your child turning 18 soon? Do you need consider guardianship or power of attorney?
What is their plan for post high school? Are you taking the appropriate steps to make that happen?
This is a long list of questions that, once answered, can help shape your child’s future for the better. Call an IEP meeting, discuss these questions, and plan accordingly. The sooner the better! As an advocate I can help you fine tune these to meet the individual needs of your child. 605-431-3318. www.inspire1learning.com