Parent Data Binder for IEPs

Parent Data Binder for IEPs

Over Thanksgiving break I was doing some personal development training for my special education license renewal. We needed to look at an IEP to answer some questions, so I went to grab one of my personal kids’. Couldn’t find a single one!

At school, I’m super meticulous about my IEP files. The materials are gathered and organized already so I am able to just write an IEP.  But at home? I didn’t even know where I had put a current IEP! I have two kids receiving service! Finding one shouldn’t have been a problem. But, it was.

My focus shifted from training to organizing My passion for parental involvement (and not just agreement) at the IEP table grew that day. Thinking about how I want my parents to interact led to a new passion project — Parent Data Binder for IEPs!

Why a Data Binder?

In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankel says any How is possible as long as there is a Why. I like to start my lessons off with the why and then move into the how.

Why is a Parent Data Binder necessary?  For me, it started out as a place to keep my kids’ IEPs so I could refer to them when I needed.  It has grown into a place to keep all the information I need to help me get ready for a meeting, keep medical information at hand, and be ready to turn the responsibility over to my kids when they are old enough.  I realize some children will never be taking over their care or becoming their own advocate.  However, as a parent of a child with special needs, it is important to have all the legal, medical and informational paperwork in one place for easy access.  If there was an emergency, would those taking care of your child know to look for this information? 

A Data Binder is simply a tool for parents to be active members of the IEP team.

Items You Need

First off, I recommend purchasing a new 2″ 3-ring binder, new 8 tab dividers with pockets, and making sure you have a three hole punch. If your child has been receiving special education services for over three years, or is medically challenging, I would recommend a larger binder or multiple binders automatically.

Avery Heavy Duty View 3-inch binder at Wal-Mart for $11.34
Pen+Gear Vibrant Color 8-Tab Dividers with Pockets at Wal-Mart for $11.89

Now it is time to go on a paper hunt! If you can find all the following, amazing powers to you! If you arne’t able to locate items, know that you can always contact your school, related services, and doctor’s office for copies.

Paperwork to gather:

  • All IEPs
  • All evaluations and re-evaluations (these are typically done every three years)
  • Medical records
  • Report cards
  • Other educational papers
  • Progress reports
  • Reports from outside services
  • Copy of emails to and from the school relating to IEP and services

Next, print off these pages:

Data Pages

Watch This Video

I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and moving into making videos. Here are the instructions for the Parent Data Binder in video format!

How Can I Help?

When you are done, I’d love to hear from you! What questions do you still have for me about Data Binders? Do you feel like I’m missing a form or a section? How can I help you get special education paperwork organized?

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