Top Five Back to School Tips for Special Education Administrators

Along with new backpacks, new lunchboxes, and smiling faces, the start of a new school year often brings new IEPs to implement and new IEP team members. As you start the 2019-2020 school year, here are some top tips:

  1. Verify that staff members are informed and have a clear understanding of IEPs for each student for which they are responsible. Make sure general education teachers, special education teachers, and related service providers understand the specific accommodations, modifications and supports that must be provided.

  2. Ensure that a student’s entire IEP is accessible to any and all staff or service providers who are responsible for its implementation.

  3. Make certain that all previous equipment and materials required by a child’s IEP are in place when school starts.

  4. Have open avenues of communication with parents who may be anxious about changes to their child’s program or particular service provider. For example, have a clear communication protocol so parents know who to contact with concerns and clear expectations for the timing of staff responses.
  5. Consider providing training to staff to strengthen their communication skills, including offering conflict resolution strategies and emphasizing the importance of presenting information clearly, tactfully, and with empathy in IEP meetings and assessment reports.

Best wishes for a successful school year!