2. Identify instances when an IEP Team member may not need to attend.

A member of the IEP Team described in 34 CFR 300.321(a)(2) through (a)(5) is not required to attend an IEP Team meeting, in whole or in part, if the parent of a child with a disability and the public agency agree, in writing, that the attendance of the member is not necessary because the member's area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed in the meeting.

A member of the IEP Team described in 34 CFR 300.321(a)(2) through (a)(5) may be excused from attending an IEP Team meeting, in whole or in part, when the meeting involves a modification to or discussion of the member's area of the curriculum or related services, if:
  • The parent, in writing, and the public agency consent to the excusal; and
  • The member submits, in writing to the parent and the IEP Team, input into the development of the IEP prior to the meeting.
[34 CFR 300.321(e)] [20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(1)(C)]

Dialogue Starter - Cross-stakeholder

Reaction Questions

  1. From your perspective, what are some examples of circumstances under which members may not need to attend an IEP team meeting?

  2. What do you believe are the implications when a member(s) of the IEP team does not attend the meeting even if their area of expertise is not discussed?
    • with regard to the child’s program
    • for the classroom environment
    • for the school environment
    • with regard to team dynamics

  3. In addition to written input, how might a team member participate in the meeting even though he/she is unable to be there physically?

  4. If a team member is not attending, as provided under IDEA 2004, how might they maintain a supportive working relationship (on-going communication and collaborative partnerships) with the other providers and the family?

  5. How might the development of specific IEP goals, accommodations, and services for a child be impacted when a member of the team who has been excused has provided written input but is not there to provide feedback on the program and services suggested by the team members who are in attendance? How might the IEP team get information or answer questions about the curriculum or appropriate services, if no member of the Team present at the meeting has that expertise/knowledge to answer the question at that moment?

Application Questions

  1. What procedures would be helpful to document agreement between parents and LEA representatives regarding attendance and non-attendance of specific IEP team members prior to the meeting?

  2. What steps should be taken to notify parties of and resolve the situation if a disagreement occurs as to who should attend the IEP meeting? Who would be responsible for carrying out these procedures in your system?

  3. What procedures might ensure that families have the level of knowledge and understanding to truly give informed consent?

  4. What might be promising procedures for sharing and ensuring understanding of the written input submitted by an excused member prior to and during the meeting?

  5. What can/should be your local expectations for what “prior to” means so that knowledge and understanding can be ensured for both parents and school personnel?

  6. What procedures might an LEA employ if team members have questions regarding the written input from the non-attending team member?

  7. What procedures would facilitate the sharing of relevant information in a timely and an accurate fashion with the non-attendees of the IEP meeting? How might the school handle any discussion that might arise when the team makes a decision with which the non-attendee does not agree?

  8. What preparation do teachers and service providers need to effectively participate in an IEP meeting when they are physically unable to attend?

    These questions were developed by the following stakeholders working together:

    Role: Family Member
    Location: Arizona

    Role: Special Education Administrator
    Location: California

    Role: Teacher
    Location: Colorado

    Role: Educational Consultant
    Location: Florida

    Role: Special Education Administrator
    Location: Georgia

    Role: Higher Education
    Location: Indiana

    Role: Service Provider
    Location: Kentucky

    Role: Teacher
    Location: South Carolina

    Role: Family Member
    Location: West Virginia

    Role: Family Member
    Location: Wisconsin