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Obtaining and keeping your child’s educational records is very important as you advocate for your child. When you keep all documents and the school states that they do not have any information pertaining to an issue, you can provide documentation. Always keep every piece of document that you receive organized, so that you are able to find the information quickly. As your child becomes older, remove documents 3 years or older and replace with new documents.
To begin, you should start with a large 3-ring notebook, divided into 6 sections and place the following items in each section:
1) IEP’s, SST’s, 504’s, BIP’s (Behavior Intervention Plans), Parent Request Letters, communication/e-mails to and from school district, records of phone conversations meeting notices, discipline reports/documents, etc.
2) Formal Testing (school and private evaluations) – Psychoeducational Evaluations, Psychological Reports, Neuropsychological Reports, Occupational Therapy Evaluations, Physical Therapy Evaluations, Central Auditory Processing Evals, Speech/Language Evaluations, Vision/Hearing Evaluations, Functional Behavior Assessments, Assistive Tech Evaluations, etc.
3) Report Cards, Progress Reports, Informal testing (ie. reading or math tests), Standardized Tests (ie. ITBS, COGAT) and IEP Goal updates. ***Make similar tests are grouped together and organized in chronological order so that you can compare results over the years.
4) Work samples, informal teacher notes/e-mails, daily behavior sheets, tutoring updates, therapy notes, etc.
5) Due Process & State Complaint Records
6) Medical Records
7) Optional – Finances or any other thing related to your child’s schooling
AND REMEMBER TO KEEP THINGS ORGANIZED
There is no point in keeping information if you cannot find it!
After you have organized your notebook, make sure to take this book with you to all meetings.
What about my child’s classwork?
KEEP IT. I suggest keep everything. You never know when you may need it and you never know if you will need to compare your child’s classwork with a previous school year. Store the classwork in a separate binder, labeled by year and subject.
The Joys of Going Paperless!
Nowadays a lot of school districts are going paperless. Gone are the days when you would leave an IEP meeting with a hard copy of all documents pertaining to the meeting. Now, school districts are emailing you copies of everything. While this is great (because it saves paper and ink), you have to remember to still keep all documents organized. It is very easy for documents to get loss or deleted in a sea of emails.
Here are a few tips for going paperless…
1) Set up a separate email account where only your child’s educational records will be sent.
2) Organized folders on your desktop (similar to the notebook).
3) Scan all other documents and save them in labeled desktop folders.
I hope all of these tips will help you to keep and maintain your child’s educational records.
Check out the IEP Binder to stay organized!