As the new school year starts, parents brim with hope for academic and social success. Parents and teachers alike are assessing their student’s educational progress and whether the appropriate services and supports are in place.
For parents of children with special needs, this early time period is critical. Is the Individualized Education Program (IEP) being implemented as written? If the military family is new to the school, are comparable services being offered as mandated by law?
While our natural tendency is to wait, military families can’t afford delays in setting up support and accommodations. Based on our data, post-PCS move, the wait can be up to 5.75 months, which is about 20% of a military family’s time at their duty station before moving again. These reasons are why requesting an IEP meeting at the beginning of the school year is important.
An IEP meeting is a crucial platform for collaborative discussion. The goal is to assess students’ needs, set goals, and create tailored strategies for academic success. An IEP fosters an inclusive, supportive environment, ensuring every student’s access to education for positive long-term outcomes.
The IEP meeting request letter template is invaluable, providing essential guidance and support to special education parents, irrespective of experience.
Requesting an IEP Letter Template
(Insert Today’s Date)
Name of Your Child’s Special Education Teacher
Name of School
City, State, Zip Code
Dear (Special Education Teacher’s name),
Thank you for your support of (child’s name). As a military family, we appreciate the efforts schools and teachers take to ensure that military children with disabilities transition smoothly into new schools and continue to educationally progress while their active duty parent serves.
I am writing to request an IEP meeting to discuss making some changes in (child’s name)’s IEP. I am concerned about (state your reasons, but keep it general. You will have the opportunity to go into detail at the meeting.)
I would also like to have (names of specialists or other staff) attend. I think his/her/their inputs about the changes we may need to make will be valuable.
I can arrange to meet with you and the other members of the IEP team on (days) between (give a range of time, such as between 2:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M.). Please let me know what time would be best for you.
Please let me know if you have any further questions. Based on my schedule, email is the best way to contact me at (insert email address here). Please include my spouse at (insert email address here).
Thank you again for your support and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
(Make sure to cc: your spouse, the Assistant Principal, Special Education Coordinator or school or district, specialists or other staff in the CC: part of the email).
About the Author
Michelle Norman, Founder & Executive Director
Michelle Norman is the Executive Director and Founder of Partners in PROMISE, a non-profit organization focused on educating, advising and advocating for exceptional military families and their education. She is a Navy spouse of over 25 years and mother of a 18 year old daughter with cerebral palsy and many other medical diagnoses. After years of successfully advocating and winning multiple legal cases to ensure her daughter receives the minimum education required by law, Michelle realized that she was not alone. After seeing a gap in support, the Virginia Beach resident has become a passionate advocate for all military children with special needs and their families. Read the rest of her bio here.