Organizing an IEP/504 Plan Binder
As a parent, one of the most important things you need to do if your child is receiving support services from the school is to make sure you are organizing all of that paperwork! Whenever you have formal documentation it can be incredibly valuable long-term for your child.
For example, it can help you qualify your child for ACT/SAT accommodations or college supports if that is the direction they want to go. Alternatively, it can help your child qualify for supports in their job or career later on.
This is why it is CRITICAL that you have a great way to keep all of this information organized.
The 5 Most important things you will want to make sure you include are:
1. All formal testing results completed as part of the IEP Eligibility evaluation and all of the testing that occurs every three years
Ideally these assessments should always include a measure of cognitive ability/intelligence, academic performance, and other areas as necessary (speech language performance, motor ability performance, social/emotional ability).
Often if your child qualified for an IEP early on, the school may not have conducted intelligence testing or academic testing but it will be critical that you get that data as they progress academically.
2. Any copies of outside testing that contributed to a diagnosis that supports the IEP or 504 Plan
For example, if you have a diagnosis of ADHD from the doctor you would want to include all of the testing reports of that diagnosis. If there are any health or medical concerns, you would want to include that information.
3. A copy of the goals being addressed and/or accommodations in place
You should receive a new copy each year. It is important to hold onto this and all previous years goals/accommodations - do not get rid of previous data!
4. A copy of your Parental Rights
You should be receiving a copy of you parental rights at every IEP meeting, it can be helpful to hold onto one in case you ever have additional questions or so that you don't have to take another copy and can be more environmentally friendly!
5. Work Samples
It's important to hold onto work samples so that you and your child can see how he or she is progressing. It can also help to create a body of evidence should you want to request additional testing or services down the road. You could consider housing your child's report cards in this section as well.
The best thing about having a binder system is that it gives you a nice organized place to keep all of these incredibly important documents so you aren't hunting around looking for things later on when you need them.