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IEP Team Meetings

Yes. Parents may use a recorder to record an IEP meeting, even without the school district’s permission, as long as the parents give the school district 24 hours notice of their intention to do so. Similarly, a school district may tape record a meeting with 24 hours notice to the parent. However, the district cannot tape record the meeting if the parent objects. If the parent objects to the district tape recording, then there can be no tape recording of the meeting by either the district or the parent. [Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56341.1(g)(1).]

Under federal and state law, audio tape recordings made by the school district are
subject to the confidentiality provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. [20 U.S.C. Secs. 1232g(a)(4) & (b)(2); 34 C.F.R. Secs. 300.610 – 300.626; Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56341.1(g)(2).]

Typically the case manager of the student does the coordination. In some cases, a secretary or parent liaison might help, especially if translation is needed. A good practice is to coordinate a calendar-scheduling meeting at the beginning of the school year to coordinate between the different LEA/3rd party representatives that need to attend. Ultimately though, the IEP meeting must be scheduled at a mutually agreed upon time and place, especially with the parent’s involvement in mind. For example, if a parent can only meet on Monday during the day, the district should ensure that the staff are available to meet that day.

Great question! The parents & district can agree in writing that an IEP team member does not need to attend if the members’ area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed in the meeting. In addition, even in case of changes, the parent and district may still agree in writing, after conferring with the member that the member does not need to attend. The member must submit written input into the development of the IEP to the IEP team before the meeting. Ed Code [34 C.F.R. Secs. 300.321(e)(1) and (2); Cal. Ed. Code Secs. 56341(f) & (g).] So if you are not excused from the meeting you must attend, however, if you must leave early, please let the case manager and the parent know ahead of time. If the parent does not wish for you to leave, then you can request that they pause the meeting and continue at another time when you are all available. When in doubt, consult with your site rep.

Anyone who has expertise for the child should attend the IEP meeting. In developing the agenda for the IEP meeting, if the team feels that the Academic Counselor would bring expertise and be helpful to setting goals or recommending supports, then the Academic Counselor should be invited to attend.

When you as the teacher sign for the IEP, you are only signing in attendance, not agreement. Only the parent can sign in dissent of an IEP in part or whole. We recommend that your concerns are entered into the notes. After the IEP team meeting, document continued concerns and all instances where the IEP is not working for the child. In a month or so, if the child is not making progress, you may wish to request a review IEP.

This can be tricky as the law states that parents must be able to participate in every decision of the IEP team process. That means that having pre-determined goals, etc. could take away from that process. Sections that can be completed in advance that do not prevent parent participation would be teacher feedback, present levels, observation information, etc.

CA EC 56340-56347 outline who attends the IEP team meeting in accordance with Section 300.323 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The IEP team shall include the following: 

  • One or both of the student’s parents, a representative selected by a parent, or both in accordance with IDEA. 
  • Not less than one general education teacher of the pupil, if the pupil is or may be participating in general education. If more than one general education teacher exists for the student, the LEA has the purview to determine which of the general education teachers would attend the meeting. 
  • Not less than one special education teacher of the pupil, or if appropriate, not less than one special education provider of the pupil
  • A representative of the district (which we typically think of as the administrator or admin designee), who meets the following requirements:
    •  Is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of individuals with exceptional needs.
    • Is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum.
    • Is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the local educational agency. 
  • An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of the assessment results. That individual may already be serving as a staffmember of the IEP team.
  • The LEA or parent/guardians may invite other individuals who may have knowledge or special expertise regarding the pupil as appropriate. The party who invites that person determines if they have the expertise to attend or not. 
  • Whenever appropriate, the individual with the IEP. 
  • In accordance with Sections 300.308 and 300.310 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, for a pupil suspected of having a specific learning disability, at least one member of the individualized education program team shall be qualified to conduct individual diagnostic examinations of children, such as a school psychologist, speech-language pathologist, or remedial reading teacher. 
  • In accordance with Section 300.310 of Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, at least one team member shall observe the pupil’s academic performance and behavior in the areas of difficulty in the pupil’s learning environment, including in the general education classroom setting. 
  • In the case of a child who is less than schoolage or out of school, a team member shall observe the child in an environment appropriate for a child of that age.
  • To the extent appropriate, with the consent of the parents or an individual with exceptional needs who has reached the age of majority, in implementing the requirements of paragraph (1), the local educational agency shall invite a representative of a participating agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services.

Another staff person who is acting as the district representative in the meeting. The admin designee must meet the statutory obligations of that role (CA EC 56341 (4)(A-C): 

  •  Is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of individuals with exceptional needs.
  • Is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum.
  • Is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the local educational agency.

The General Education Setting

CA Ed Code 56341 states: (a) Each meeting to develop, review, or revise the individualized education program of an individual with exceptional needs shall be conducted by an individualized education program team. (2) Not less than one regular education teacher of the pupil, if the pupil is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment. If more than one regular education teacher is providing instructional services to the individual with exceptional needs, one

regular education teacher may be designated by the local educational agency to represent the others.

If the PE teacher is a general education teacher, then yes they should attend. See the question above for the Ed Code regarding general education teacher attendance at an IEP.

You can find recommendations in CTA policy in the CTA Policy Handbook on You must be a CTA member to access the handbook. Currently there are no California state laws that address this issue.

Ed Code 49066 and 76224 make it clear that only the Teacher of record (except in case of error or proof of malfeasance)  may change a grade, No exceptions exist for students with IEPs; however, parents may work with the teacher directly /and/or utilize the IEP process to request explanations for what a grade is based upon. Students with an IEP may have alternative assignments with modified expectations.  After saying that, it would seem odd to have a student meeting goals but receiving an “F” in a class. This is definitely worth having a conversation with the teacher, and perhaps following up with an IEP team meeting to discuss how the student may be more successful.

Caseload Questions

The RSP waiver process is for RSP caseloads only and has stipulations around it. Once the RSP teacher and admin and union fill out their portion, it is submitted to the CDE. The CDE staff then processes the request and prepares it for presentation on a future State Board of Education meeting agenda. This process can take four months. The SBE makes a final decision on whether or not it will be approved and if conditions apply. CTA offers input through the liaison process if a chapter needs support opposing one, etc.

 To review the conditions and process on the waiver, reference the CCR below. 


When requesting a specific waiver request for Resource Specialist Caseload the following should be included:

 These documents are to be completed by the Resource Specialist Resource Specialist Caseload Waiver and RSP Caseload Waiver Admin Form attached to the online waiver request.

 Please provide bargaining unit information with this waiver request. Name of bargaining unit, date consulted, position on waiver: neutral, support, or oppose. If they oppose, please specify why.

Students with specific disabilities, identified in IDEA, are required to have IEPs. IEPs identify specific goals, supports, and modifications a team (including the parent) agree will allow Special Education students to have that allow them to have greater access to learning and growing. 

504 students have been determined to have learning challenges identified in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1975. While parents, students and school staff participate in 504 meetings (usually annually, if requested by the parent), the document that identifies how the student’s learning challenges will be supported (like an IEP), compliance for the school for holding the meeting, and identifying supports, does not have the weight (legal or compliance-wise) of an IEP. For more information on the 504’s, look at our 504 section of this book, or go to:

The CDE has a statutory obligation under IDEA to take compliance complaints, which are allegations of a special education law violation (federal or state). This link explains everything about them. A compliance complaint results in an investigation by the CDE.

 If this is a complaint as it pertains to due process, school districts, parents or other authorized parties can request a Special Education due process hearing and/or mediation with the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). This might be due to a specific disagreement about an IEP. More info here. A due process complaint results in mediation.

Short answer: Compliance complaints are allegations of special education law violation. Due process complaints are disagreements over IEP team decisions. 

Background: Child Find is the federal and state obligation LEAs have to identify students who are suspected of having a disability)

Parents can refuse to give consent for an evaluation. Districts may but are not obligated to pursue the initial evaluation through the mediation procedures. See ed code below: 

 Consent for Evaluation: 34 C.F.R. 300.300(i) If the parent of a child enrolled in public school or seeking to be enrolled in public school does not provide consent for initial evaluation under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, or the parent fails to respond to a request to provide consent, the public agency may, but is not required to, pursue the initial evaluation of the child by utilizing the procedural safeguards in subpart E of this part (including the mediation procedures under § 300.506 or the due process procedures under §§ 300.507 through 300.516), if appropriate, except to the extent inconsistent with State law relating to such parental consent.

(ii) The public agency does not violate its obligation under § 300.111 and §§ 300.301 through 300.311 if it declines to pursue the evaluation.

Full Ed Code on Parental Consent Under IDEA


The substitute teachers and paras would still provide services during the strike. They are both given that authority through statute and credentialing to provide those services. That is the district’s obligation. And if service minutes need to be made up, that would need to be documented and discussed at the next IEP meeting. It’s always an IEP team meeting decision. 

 If schools shut down and no one gets education, than no service minutes are made up because there was no instructional time when schools were closed.