How to Share IEPs with Team Members at the Beginning of the Year

Every year, it’s essential to make sure that your child’s team members, especially their general education classroom teachers, not only have copies of the IEP for students who receive services but they understand it, know what their services are, what their accommodations are, and acknowledge that they understand the needs of their children.

And different districts have different ways to make sure this is done with fidelity.

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Now, I know what you’re thinking, why not just email them copies in PDF format, or give the teachers the students’ names to look up in the IEP system and tell them to read over it.  But when that happens, there is no way to know for sure that the teacher has actually read over the IEP, so how will we know that it is being implemented?

I’ve talked with some other special education teachers and have looked into ways different schools and/or districts do this and I received some pretty great recommendations!

Sharing IEPs with IEP Team Members

Print the IEP + Share

We can of course start with the time consuming, way of printing each IEP (some programs offer an IEP at a glance that can be generated), giving it to the teacher and then discussing it with them.

When you do share the IEP with other team members, for your own data and records, you’ll want to have them sign something saying they received the child’s IEP. The above Acknowledgement of Receipt is a free download for members at The Intentional IEP.

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Learn more about TII here.

Hold an “IEP Fair”

I saw where one school completed an “IEP Fair” where the classroom teachers went to the different special education teachers and picked up a packet with all of the child’s paperwork then took it back to their room to review it. 

Records Review Day

In my search for these different suggestions, one teacher stated that a member of their Special Education Services team came out and did a records review day before the start of school where all of the IEP team members meet with the classroom teachers by grade level to give the teachers the IEP, but this also allows for anyone who has questions to ask.   

Share the IEP Digitally 

Others have also suggested putting the PDF files into a Google Drive Folder, which sounds like a great idea as long as you can protect confidentiality, because you can just share each individual one with the necessary teachers. But again, how do you know that they are reading it and understanding what needs to be done in their classroom to support success of their students?

IEP At a Glance – IEP Snapshot

This is a quick glance document, typically one page in length, that shares the most important information from the child’s IEP. You can use this for yourself, or create one to share with other IEP Team Members. The most important thing to remember here is that the other team members still have access to the child’s full IEP, and not just the snapshot.

The above is in-depth, editable IEP Snapshot / IEP at a Glance data sheet is perfect for keeping track of your students with IEPs, without having to lug around each student’s IEP folder.

You can also make an IEP Snapshot Brochure. See and learn more about it option here in this blog post.

Don’t Forget About Accommodations + Modifications

Throughout the year, especially after each IEP annual review, it is important to make sure that we are keeping teachers, as well as specialists and other staff members who interact with your students, copies of the students’ accommodations to keep the teachers up to date in case any changes have been made.  These accommodations are crucial when it comes to test taking, assignments, seating arrangements, and any other accommodations that can be made throughout the day to ensure a student’s success in the classroom.

  • I say specialists as well because if an accommodation such as preferential seating or frequent breaks is required, the specialists need to make sure they are providing them as well to ensure that the students can participate in the special class successfully.

With all that being said, no matter how you get a copy of the IEP to the student’s classroom teachers and other staff members, it has to be done.  Whether you print it, email it, upload it, or they have access to it on your IEP system, what is most important about this is making sure that they understand it, know the services the child will receive, how those services are provided – whether you are integrated into the general education classroom or pulling them into a separate setting, and follow through with the accommodations consistently and with fidelity.

What is one way that your school or district provides your teachers with copies of IEPs and ensures understanding?  Let us know in the comments!




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