Inside: Get 25 free IEP letter templates, including my e-book “How to Ask your IEP Team for just about Anything.”
If you’re in this for the long haul and want to be a better IEP advocate for your child, you need to learn the “why” behind what we do. And why letter writing is such an important part of IEP advocacy.
You can take the IEP letter templates that I offer below, and just use them and edit them to make them suit your needs. But, you should also dig in, commit to the IEP process.
While these IEP letter templates will make your advocacy easier, special education advocacy is much more than one letter.
1. Reasons to Write to your IEP Team
You also want to watch this video so that you can maximize your efficacy in letter writing.
Your paper trail will follow you whether you want it to or not.
2. IEP Letters
Most of the reasons that you would send a note to a teacher has to do with your child, right? And it may not just be an IEP request letter. Here are some other IEP letter templates you may need.
- Ask for an IEP Meeting
- Request a 504 plan
- Submit your parental concerns for your IEP meeting
- Submit your re-evaluation concerns at IEP re-eval time
- new diagnosis or information about a student’s disability
- frequent suspensions, wish to request Manifestation Hearing
- academic struggles, need an IEP not 504 plan
- lack of meaningful progress toward IEP goals
- the behavior plan isn’t working
- IEP placement isn’t working
- discuss further evaluation by the school or an IEE
3. Documentation in IEP Process
As stated above, documentation is everything in the IEP process. As a parent advocate, you have to know your own strengths and weaknesses. If letter writing or writing in general
4. IEP Letter Templates
Here are the IEP letter templates for you to use. Click the links to see them.
5. Letter Templates for Special Education
Here is a sample of some of the most popular IEP letter templates on this site. After you see these, there are even more at the bottom!
Sample Letters Requesting FERPA Records
It would be irresponsible of me not to tell you this: Some schools view a Records Request as a hostile act.
Read that post to find out why and see the sample letter.
If you handle IEP business over email, here are some FAQs for parents. Read them before you click send. Especially number 9. Seriously!
6. How to Write to Your IEP Team
When it comes to advocating for your child’s education, knowing how to communicate effectively with the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team is crucial. Writing to the IEP team is a powerful way to ensure that your child’s needs are met and their goals are achieved. However, it can be difficult to know where to start or what to include in your letter.
First, it’s important to understand that the IEP team is made up of various professionals who work together to create an education plan tailored to your child’s unique needs. This may include teachers, therapists, and other specialists.
When writing to the IEP team, it’s important to keep in mind that they want to help your child succeed, and that your letter should be clear, concise, and respectful.
In this article, we will provide tips and guidance on how to write an effective letter to the IEP team, including what to include, what to avoid, and how to make your letter stand out.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when writing to the IEP team is to be specific about your child’s needs and goals. This includes providing information about your child’s strengths and areas of need, as well as any IEP parent concerns you may have about their education.
It’s also important to include any relevant documentation, such as medical records or previous IEPs. By providing this information, you can help the IEP team create a plan that is tailored to your child’s unique needs.
7. IEP Letter Templates E-Book
Here is my ebook guide–How to Ask your IEP team for just about anything.
It has all the letter templates in one spot, if you download it.
8. Preparing to Write to Your IEP Team
When preparing to write to your IEP team, it is important to gather information that will help you communicate effectively. Here are some items to consider:
Before writing to your IEP team, gather all relevant information about your child’s needs and progress. This may include:
- Educational evaluations
- Medical reports
- Progress reports from teachers and therapists
- Observations of your child at home and in school
Organize this information in a way that makes it easy to reference and share with the IEP team. Consider creating a binder or digital folder with all relevant documents.
Additionally, consider the following questions as you prepare to write to your IEP team:
- What are your child’s strengths and weaknesses?
- What are your goals for your child’s education?
- What accommodations or modifications does your child need to be successful in school?
- What concerns do you have about your child’s progress or the IEP process?
By gathering this information and considering these questions, you will be better prepared to write a clear and effective letter to your IEP team.
9. Writing to Your IEP Team
When writing to your IEP team, it’s important to start with a clear and concise opening paragraph. Begin by introducing yourself and your child, and state the purpose of the letter.
This could be a request for an IEP meeting, an update on your child’s progress, or a request for a specific accommodation or service.
Body of the Letter
The body of the letter should provide detailed information about your child’s needs and any specific requests you have. Use bullet points or tables to organize information and make it easier to read. Be sure to include any relevant information about your child’s disability, such as medical diagnoses or evaluations.
Provide specific examples of areas where your child is struggling and explain how these issues are impacting their education. If you are requesting a specific accommodation or service, provide clear and detailed information about what you are requesting and why it is necessary.
In the closing paragraph, summarize your main points and restate your request. Be sure to thank the IEP team for their time and consideration. Provide your contact information and let them know that you are available to answer any questions they may have.
Remember that when writing to your IEP team, it’s important to be clear, concise, and respectful. Avoid making exaggerated or false claims, and use a confident, knowledgeable, neutral tone of voice.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your message is effectively communicated and that your child’s needs are met.
10. Professional IEP Communication
Be Clear and Concise
When communicating with an IEP team, it is important to be clear and concise. Use simple language and avoid technical jargon. Keep your message brief and to the point. Avoid rambling or going off on tangents. Use bullet points or tables to organize your thoughts and make them easier to understand.
Use Appropriate Tone
The tone of your communication is important. Use a professional and respectful tone when communicating with the IEP team.
Avoid using a confrontational or aggressive tone, as this can create tension and hinder collaboration. Use “I” statements to express your concerns and avoid blaming or accusing others. Stay focused on your child, their needs and what support they need.
For example, instead of saying something like “The OT never does her scheduled time with him” put the focus on the child. “My child has informed me that he has not received his pull-out OT time since the Christmas break. Can you confirm this? And what do I need to do to get make-up time scheduled?”
When communicating with the IEP team, providing examples can help illustrate your concerns and make your message more concrete.
Use specific examples of behaviors or situations that have led to your concerns. Provide data or documentation to support your claims. This can be:
- email from staff
- homework samples
- test samples or grades
- reports from your child
The IEP toolkit that I offer has an assortment of useful tools for you to capture this documentation.
This will help the IEP team better understand your perspective and make informed decisions.
Focus on Collaboration
Effective communication with the IEP team requires a focus on collaboration. Be open to hearing the perspectives of others and be willing to compromise. Work together to find solutions that meet the needs of the student.
Avoid being overly rigid or inflexible in your demands. Remember that the goal is to create an effective and appropriate IEP for the student.
Clear and concise communication, appropriate tone, providing examples, and a focus on collaboration are key to effective communication with an IEP team.
By following these tips, parents and caregivers can work with the team to create a successful IEP for their child.