Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Scheduling Meetings: Easy as Pie

Through various forms of social networking, I keep reading that there are SLPs out there who have so many questions about organizing their IEP Meetings.  Maybe I'm just very fortunate to work in a school system that values technology, but I don't get what all the confusion is about.  
My school system uses "Microsoft Outlook" for email.  We use EdPlan by PCG Education for our IEP Process.  It's very easy to figure out when IEPs and 3 year Re-evals  are due.   This is an example of 2 of the columns:
Just by clicking on Proj Elig (which is the 3 year re-eval date or the day that my 60 days runs out for initials) or IEP End, I have the dates in order.  

 
At the beginning of the school year, I have the dates in order, then put those dates on my Outlook Calendar (which is attached to the email).  Then, I look a month ahead and add the student's name as a tentative IEP meeting.  Then, I look 2 weeks ahead of that and make a note to "Send Johnny" so I know to send the Invitation to the meeting.  When it's time to send the invitation, I click on the tentative meeting and send it to my principal and the teacher.  They have the option to accept or decline the meeting.  If they accept the meeting, it automatically goes onto their Outlook Calendar.  This has helped tremendously with scheduling meetings without running around to see if it's convenient for everybody.  
With parents, I schedule the meeting, and add a cover letter to the invitation requesting that if the meeting is not convenient for them to please contact me to reschedule.  I rarely have parents reschedule.  I'm not sure why that is, but it is.  I used to do all of the running around, checking with parents, teachers, and the principal to see if the day/time is convenient.  It was taking up way too much of my time, and the Resource Teacher at a former school suggested her way.  It is so much easier this way.
By scheduling the meetings a month before they're due, I avoid the stress of unwanted surprises such as snow days.  And, by sending the invitation 2 weeks before the meeting, I don't have to worry about not meeting the 10-day notice requirement.  It's all about being prepared!

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