Special Ed 101 (May 2024) – End of the Year IEP Tips

Green chalkboard background image with white text center of the image that says,"Special Ed. 101," and on the bottom right of the image is white text that says, "End of Year IEP By Mimi Sanders, M.Ed. Pathfinder's branded graphic is on the upper left corner of the image, a whimsical graphic that says "School's Out," is on the top right of the image, and the bottom of the image is bordered with an eraser and white chalk.

With the weather getting warm and flowers blooming, the school year is coming to an end. Before you pack away the backpacks for the summer, there are a couple of things that would be helpful to do especially if your student has an Individual Education Plan (IEP).  Closing out the school year efficiently will help prepare for a smooth transition for the next school year.

Before the last day of school, make sure to connect with the IEP team to verify the best address for the last quarter progress report to be sent. It is important to review the progress report because that will show all the progress the student has made specifically with IEP-related goals and services. Make a note of any goals that were not met and be sure to address these concerns during the first IEP meeting in the upcoming school year.

It is always a good idea to connect with the IEP team before the school year ends and ask questions. Here are some examples of questions that might be helpful to ask at the end of the school year:

  • Is there anything my student should be working on during the summer to help prepare them for the next school year?
  • Will my student have a different file holder next year or any new IEP team members?
  • What is the best way to communicate at the start of the school if any new medical or behavioral concerns develop over the summer?

If your student is transitioning to a new school during the next academic year, such as middle school, or high school, or transitioning out of early intervention, it is important to have an IEP meeting before the school year is over to discuss this transition and create a plan that outlines who will be supporting the student in this new environment. The plan should outline new team members that will be on the team that you can contact if you have questions. A transition plan is a critical component of ensuring the student is well-prepared for a new environment.

Some school systems require assistive technology devices that schools provide to be turned in by the end of the year. Other schools may allow the student to keep the equipment over the summer with specific requirements on how to care for the device. It is important to check in with the school system to see what the protocol is especially for communication devices. If the school will be keeping the communication device over the summer, the family needs to plan how to ensure the student still has access to a communication device over the summer.

It can be overwhelming to think about the logistics of finishing a school year. Allow yourself plenty of time to ask questions and make sure your concerns are addressed before the last day of school. As always, if you need resources for your student over the summer or need help navigating the IEP process, feel free to reach out to us and we would be happy to connect with appropriate resources. Most importantly, as another academic year ends, take time to celebrate all the progress your student has made. Whether big or small achievements, every victory deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.