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Scheduling conferences

Annual conferences are held within the student's birthmonth. Summer birthdays (May, June, July and August) are held during the spring months also.

Manifestattion Determination Conferences must be held within 10 days of the incident resuliting in suspension or request for expulsion.

Initial and Reevaluation review conferences must be held within the evaluation timelines.

Before the Conference

Case Conference Materials

The following is a listing of suggested materials to be kept in a file folder (or whatever system works for you) to have readily available for a case conference. This list is not all inclusive and you may have additional forms of record-keeping that you use which would be important to have readily available.

Well in advance of the anticipated conference date:
  • Call/email/send letter home to the parents of students due that month for his/her annual to set up a conference for the middle of the month (Be sure to log these and all parental contacts in IIEP.)
  • Send out teacher questionnaires to any/all general/special education teachers serving as TOS to gather data to update the student’s progress monitoring and present level. 
  • Begin gathering data necessary to complete the Present Level. Much of this data can be garnered from PowerSchool.
    • Progress Reports
    • Credits toward graduation
    • Schedule for next school year
    • Discipline data (suspensions, office referrals, etc.)
    • ISTEP and other testing scores
    • Missing assignments
  • Send out emails to all SBCSC personnel providing services (TOSs, Autism Consultants, OTs, PTs, SLPs/SLAs, etc) and any support team members, general education teachers, or administrators, and include or attach a notice of case conference.
  • Ask the service personnel to begin updating any present level information that pertains to him/her.
  • Invite staff from receiving school if student is transitioning to a new building over the course of the proposed IEP.
  • Schedule any necessary staffings that need to take place prior to the case conference. 
As the anticipated conference date draws near:
  • Begin updating each student’s present level and progress monitoring with the data you have gathered and adjust his/her goals and services based on said data.
  • Meet with transition age students
    • Gather new transition data via transition assessments
    • Update his/her current transition data accordingly
  • Send transition assessments to the parents of transition age students via the student, email or traditional mail (Be sure to include a self-addressed stamped envelope in your mailing.)
    • Summarize the student’s transition data and post-secondary goals accordingly
  • Follow up with other staff who have not returned questionaires or other requested information.
    • You may need to contact them personally
  • Finish revising your proposal for each student’s draft to reflect the data you have gathered and print copies for the case conferences (Make sure to print a copy for yourself, the parent, and any other staff that will be in attendance.
  • If you are on Tier 3, submit your IEP to your support team for review before the conference.

At the Conference

General Suggestions:
  • Be aware of the seating for parents and their advocates, to avoid an “us” vs. “them” arrangement.   It is helpful to have the TOR sit next to the parent.
  • Speak and look at the parent, even if using an interpreter
  • Use the parent’s name instead of referring to him/her as “dad” or “mom”.
  • Avoid using educational jargon and acronyms.
  • Remember to be mindful of the present and ongoing atmosphere of the room.
  • Be cognizant that you are talking about someone’s child. Be respectful at all times.
  • Dress professionally for the conference.
  • Avoid sidebar conversations.
  • Thoroughly present the student’s present level of performance including his/her progress monitoring DATA.  This information is very important, as it should be the driving force of the IEP.  All of the recommendations you have made in the draft IEP should be based on this DATA!  (If you spend quality time relaying progress and present level information, you can refer back to it when you make:  BIP, goal, service, accommodation, testing, and placement recommendations.)  Check often to see if parents have questions, comments, and concerns regarding the information you are providing.
  • If you think it will be a contentious conference, conduct a staffing ahead of time so that staff is on the “same page.”
  • Be respectful of time considerations and keep conversations brief and to the point. If parents have time restrictions due to a work schedule, honor that at all costs.
  • Do not read the document word for word to the committee members when at all possible.
  • Consider physical barriers in the environment that would present difficulties to a parent with special physical challenges and make appropriate accommodations.
  • Before the conference, identify who will be recording the notes at the conference. This should never be the TOR, or whoever should be conductiing the conference. It is very difficult to write notes and talk at the same time.
    • If your notetaker is new to the case conference process, please be sure to explain which component of the case conference must be documented as part of the discussion.
Do not:
  • Hold a conference with just you and a parent.
  • Use the conference as a means of informing parents of daily happenings or discuss other students in the class or building.
  • Share specific personal information- medical or social.  Keep information about yourself general. 
  • Hold a conference with an attorney if the SBCSC attorney isn’t present. Should parents enter with an attorney, Special Education Office should be informed immediately and the conference will be rescheduled.
  • Hold a conference regarding a BEST placement without pre-approval from Special Education Services.
  • Put a child on a reduced schedule or homebound without a support team member present or consulted before the conference. 
  • Request testing without a school psychologist present or consulted before the conference. 

 

Process
  • Start the meeting on time and have all of the appropriate paperwork ready, including a DRAFT IEP, Procedural Safeguards, Training Verification Form, Sign In Sheet, Notes pages.
    • Make copies of the DRAFT IEP for conference attendees to follow along as the IEP is developed.
  • Verify with the parent that you have permission to excuse any required attendees who are not present (GE teachers only)
  • Have input from those who have been excused, and have the parents sign the Excusal Form on the Notice of Conference.
  • Greet those in attendance and state the purpose of the meeting.   Emphasize that all will work as a team.
  • Begin with introductions to those in attendance and their titles/relationship to the student.  Be sure that all appropriate personnel are present.
    • If the general education teacher is present but cannot stay for the entire conference, ask the parent if it is okay to excuse them from the meeting once he/she has shared his/her pertinent information.  (Remember that the parent has the right to request that the general education teacher be present for the entire meeting.)   
  • Offer the parents the Procedural Safeguards. The parents do not need to accept, but document that they were offered.
    • You may want to give a brief explanation of Insource and highlight their contact information on the last page. 
  • Verify/update all contact information on the IEP (Be sure to include:  mailing address, home/work/cell phone numbers, email address, and information regarding any alternate contacts.). 
  • Ask the parent if there is any new information of which the school should be aware? (e.g. new medications, new health issues/diagnoses, initiated or stopped counseling, changes in family make-up, death or illness of family member, etc.)
  • Begin by clarifying the purpose of the conference.
  • Review Existing Data. Summarize information whenever possible, being mindful of time constraints. This is a good time to allow GE teachers to talk about classroom issues.
  • Ask parents about their concerns for their student. (Remember to update this in the IEP after the conference)
  • Review Eligibility and need for Re-evaluation; Ask parent if he/she has any questions about eligibility. If Case conference participants do not question the student's eligibiity, testing is generally not recommended.
    • If a parent requests an evaluation, document in the notes and inform psychologist (or SLP, OT, PT if appropriate) immediately following the CC, using Record of Parental Request for Re-eval form
  • Discuss special factors, review the need for a BIP, and develop new strategies.
  • Transition information should be reviewed. Discuss with parents the responses student's have made on their transition assessments and future plans for the student.
    • If student’s goals are not realistic, discuss other areas that the student may pursue.
  • Review participation in mandated testing.
  • Review goals and ask parents if they have any suggestions, changes or additions.
  • Review accommodations….which ones are absolutely necessary and beneficial to the student?
  • Describe proposed services, (transition, special education, related, and extended school year) and the location of those services.  Does the parent agree? if not, document the discussion in the conference notes.
    • Do not recommend or approve any additions or changes to services that have not been discussed with staff providing those services well in advance of the conference.
  • Discuss why you are recommending the services in the specific location (general vs. special), and discuss Potential Harmful Effects. Document discussion of Potential Harmful Effects.
    • Make every attempt to keep students in a general education setting as much as is possible for their benefit. Least Restrictive Environment is our goal for all of our students.
  • Discuss course of study (diploma/certificate).  Review the requirements for the course of study and review the student’s progress toward meeting the requirements.
    • When moving a student from one track to another, please be very clear what the implications of the decision will be. Allow ample time for questions and explanation. Do not proceed until there is clear understanding of the decision.
  • Review general considerations.
  • Does the parent have any other concerns or questions?
  • If the parent agrees to the IEP, have the parent sign the DRAFT Implementation page.
  • Inform the parent that he/she can ask for another case conference at any time.
  • Provide the parent with a DRAFT IEP (with corrections added during the conference) directly following the conference, and send a finalized copy of the IEP within 10 business days.
  • Thank everyone for attending the conference.

After the Conference

Resources