Organized IEPs in 2015!

Starting back to work after nearly two weeks off is difficult.  Starting back to work after nearly two weeks off, and realizing all of your students' IEPs are due within the next two months is even worse! I have to monitor and plan goals for 15 students, yet I haven't decided what my goals and resolutions are for myself this year. But, let's be honest - I am terrible at keeping New Year's resolutions anyways.  It might happen for about a week and then I lose interest.  The phrase "new year, new me" goes right out the door around January 10th. - Charley barked in agreement as I typed that, ugh.  As for my IEPs left, those DEFINITELY can't go out the door. - Or else my job would too, ha.  However, I really can't... and shouldn't complain about the amount of IEPs I have left to finish, because I've had much larger caseloads in the past.  Thankfully, I have my IEP Meeting binder to keep me organized. - Which is a good enough goal/resolution for me!

My IEP Meeting binder has helped me tremendously over the past 8 years, and has made developing/updating IEPs less stressful. - If you other special education teachers can actually believe that!  During my very first year teaching, I was the very first learning support teacher at the elementary I was hired for. Pretty overwhelming. Needless to say I worked with quite a few other special education teachers in the district, I had the help from my mother who had been teaching learning support for over 30+ years at the time, and I still had a lot of my resources from college, to help get me by.  Throughout my first year, I became a hoarder of notes and other paperwork from meetings I attended.  I had SO much that I had to turn it into a binder of sorts. - I was ripping paper folders, it was looking pathetic. The following year I applied for another learning support job, in a different district, and got the job! - This further enabled my hoarding of special education paperwork.  By my 3rd year in 2009, I felt that I was incredibly organized and could rock all of my IEPs that year. - Might I add third year... third district, more hoarding. It wasn't until the 2013 school year that I decided to make my binder look a little prettier.  - This is also when I was introduced to TpT! My binder had been keeping me so organized, that come December of 2013, I HAD to share it with others.

See for yourself!  Here's my IEP Meeting Binder that I use in my classroom.


At the beginning of each school year, I print/update my binder to list my new student roster and meeting dates. A lot of my students move out of the district, move into the district, or move out then move back into the district, so I do have a lot of crossing outs and side notes. This year I decided to use my Chalkboard themed binder, rather than the Black & White themed from last year. - Everything just seems more fun in color!:)




The first section in my binder is "Dates at a Glance."  I list the students on my roster by their IEP due dates (September - June), and I also indicate if a re-evaluation (RR) needs to be completed.  Optional pages in this section include when RR dates are due.  This year our special education director has us completing students' RRs at their IEP meetings, or else I would be using those pages like I have in previous years.





The next section in my binder is "Student Information."  Here I list each of the students' homeroom teachers.  - It takes me at least the first nine weeks of school to remember which student belongs to which homeroom teacher!  I also keep a profile sheet on each student.  This way I can easily access their personal information, as well as their educational levels without having to constantly re-read their IEP.  These student profile sheets are great when working on an IEP.  The majority of information, that you will need, will be found on these sheets!  For privacy and confidentiality reasons I decided to show you a blank profile sheet.  However, it is very self-explanatory and easy to use!



Section #3 in my IEP Meeting Binder is titled "Extra Notes."  I love Post-its and I have more in my desk than any teacher should - I can't lie, but for some IEPs I'd probably end up using about 30 and end up losing about 10.  In this section I have a Contact Log to keep track of who I have called, the date/time, the phone number or email address, and a space to write brief comments. I can't even begin to tell you how many times this Contact Log has been a life saver to me. I understand that some conversations aren't brief enough to write in a little box.  Behind my Contact Log, I use a notes sheet to be as detailed, in some cases when it is necessary, that I can be. I have also attached my notes sheets behind student profile sheets before.  I do this especially if I'm noticing behavior changes, if a student's schedule changes or there has been a revision to their IEP, if a goal has been met, etc. There are also 3 different styles of note sheets provided. - I decided to show you my favorite one!:)



This next section of my binder I'm not sure how I could ever live without it. - Okay, maybe that's a slight exaggeration.  I call this section "Double Check." I'm sure other special education teachers would agree with me that sometimes we might even need a "Quadruple Check."  I had created this IEP Meeting's Checklist my very first year, waaaaaaaay back in 2007.  It's what to do before and after an IEP meeting.  I was incredibly nervous starting out. - There are still times when I am now! I never wanted to ask myself, "did I invite this person?" or "did I mail a good copy home?" This has been such a HUGE help to me all of these years. My sanity is pretty grateful.



Lastly, this section is "Dates to Remember." There is a calendar page for each month. I already have my dates listed at a glance, but I like to record when I have mailed out invitations, the time the IEP meeting is scheduled for, the day I mailed the IEP home on, when my roster students' birthdays are... I like to do a lot of recording in this section.  There is even space on the side of each calendar to scribble down some notes. 

Now that you have checked it out, I should also add that this IEP Meeting Binder, as well as the others I have created, come completely editable! I understand that special education terms used in Pennsylvania - where I am from:) aren't exactly the same everywhere else. I also understand that someone might have more sections they'd like to add to their binder, needing to create more cover pages.  

So, who is with me?! Organized IEPs in 2015! ...and maybe I'll shoot for eating more greens. MAYBE!


P.S. All of my other themed IEP Meeting Binders can be found by clicking the link below!:)

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