How long should you keep your child’s papers and all that stuff? I have it all. Yep, all of it. Every therapist report, every progress report, every IEP, draft IEP, invitation to IEP meetings, RRs, doctors’ reports, evaluations…………all of it, every last bit. It started out as a “I’ll just keep this in case I need it…” to points of pride–I enjoyed looking at the progress he was making. Now it’s a combination of those items and add a “Hey, you just never know.” I have a client right now, and she has kept everything, even voicemails. This wasn’t because she was paranoid, she just wasn’t always sure how to proceed and figured she’d just better keep everything. Their relationship with the district has become very contentious and good for her that she has everything. That letter from a teacher from 11 years ago? Very handy now, as it is now in the hands of lawyers.
Author’s note: This post was originally written in 2011, but I am just over the moon to be adding some significant changes!
So my recommendation is always to keep it–keep all of it. ESPECIALLY the communication books. Heck, especially all of it.
Yes, I know that the due process statute of limitations is two years, but you never know. Laws are changing all the time, in my child’s lifetime maybe that will change too. And even if it’s past that date, it helps to build a case in the event of a settlement agreement.
Here is the great news. You can see above–the sentence I crossed out. The one about the statute of limitations. That has all changed this week and it’s very exciting. In the past, if you were making the case for comp ed, you could only go back two years and collect. That is, if your district allowed your child to fall behind for 4-5 years or more, and they regressed…didn’t matter, you could only collect comp ed for two years.
But a federal appeals court just changed all of that, and you can read the decision here. Now, parents and their attorneys can seek comp ed for the entire period. There are a few legal technicalities (like a district has a “reasonable amount of time” to remedy) but I’m not a lawyer so I’m not going to put the specifics here. Just know that you can go back more than 2 years now!
This is a huge win for parents and special education students! Be happy!
Now, how to organize all that IEP paperwork? Well, try the IEP organizer of course. Buy it once for $4.99, use it for a lifetime. Each school year or IEP year, you can create an IEP notebook or binder with all of the files and data and then just file them away by year. If something comes up, you have it all right there, in chronological order. Click below to order.