When a student in California is determined to be eligible to receive special education services, they will receive an independent education plan (IEP). Parents will work with teachers and other school staff to create this plan, which will inform and guide the student’s education journey.
The IEP plays a key role in special education, but it also carries critical information about your child. So, who can access this plan?
Most importantly: You have access
Parents and guardians should receive a copy of the IEP, including the drafts and the final copy of the IEP. If you do not receive a copy automatically, you should contact your child’s school as soon as possible to request one.
Not only is it your right to receive a copy of your child’s IEP, it is also critical to obtain and review a copy of the IEP to ensure it includes all the essential services, factors, and information relevant and necessary to your child’s education.
Your child’s teachers have access too
Of course, your child’s teachers and the professionals interacting with your child will also have access to the IEP. This often includes:
- General classroom teachers
- Special education teachers
- Professionals providing your child’s related services
These professionals not only have access, but they must review and understand the contents of the IEP in order to adhere to the plan and meet your child’s needs effectively. Remember, the IEP is not just a document; it is a plan and a strategy to provide your child with the education they need.
Your child’s records are still confidential
All of your child’s school records, including their IEP, are confidential. In fact, the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects your students’ privacy and records, including the IEP. Only certain parties have access to these records, such as parents and teachers.