How to Nail Your Annual IEP Meeting


Have you ever walked into an annual IEP(ARD) meeting with nothing but a folder of data sheets, and just felt unprepared? I know I have! Your district may have digital input for your schedule of services, goals or data, so you have done your job, but walk naked (figuratively, please) into the meeting. Your district may still go the paper route, so you have your schedule of services (outlining your minutes) prepared, but no other formal document to support you!

So, you excitedly exclaim to the IEP team that your student has progressed to such a degree during both therapy and during general instruction, that they no longer need music therapy services...only to be met with blank stares, or even frustration. Then come the questions - why? but my child loves music? On the other hand, maybe the student is making great strides during music therapy that have not yet transferred to general instruction. This need continues to justify the services, but the family has a misunderstanding of what music therapy is or is not.

How can we clearly communicate to the families of our students that we have carefully considered our recommendation or dismissal? How can we clearly communicate that we have their child's best in mind, and that the services we are recommending follow that same motivation?

I saw this problem as an opportunity - how can I create a SIMPLE, SUCCINCT one-page document to:

1. note the student's progress, or lack of progress, on the past year's goals,

2. identify their new goals,

3. note important observations regarding their past and future participation in therapy,

4. outline their minutes, and

5. explain and justify your services!

And so were born the Annual Report Template and Dismissal Template!

These one-page fillable forms provide professional documents for you to take to students' annual IEP Team Meetings to present goals addressed during music therapy, progress or regress toward those goals since their previous Annual IEP Team Meeting, justification for continuation or dismissal of music therapy services, and future goals and amount of services for those who will continue to receive music therapy services. This form also sites IDEA codes for determination of related services, so you can confidently be within the law!

These preview pictures capture a snap shot of the main text, but do not include the full text or the IDEA clause and explanation of services - I can't give away all of my secrets! And while the adorable "Music Therapy Joy" colorful sparkle text will NOT be on the top of the download (don't worry ;), you will find drop down menus, fill-ins, and extra text boxes which allow you to individualize the form for each student, while maintaining the consistency and professionalism you desire to provide! When you download the template, you can "save as" to create a new document for each student. Download these fillable forms from my shop, and nail your next annual!

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<3, Patina Joy

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