WNY Family Magazine October 2018 - Page 53

describing key issues that affect your child. 8) Notes from conversations and meetings with school personnel, evalua- tors, the child’s TEAM, or other interac- tions relating to your child’s program or needs. Be certain to take excellent notes at key meetings or, better yet, bring some- one with you whose only task is to take notes (especially at TEAM meetings). Empower Ability Inspire Advocate Special Needs Potential Thri 9) Documents relating to discipline and/or behavioral concerns. These in- clude notices of detention and suspen- sion (both in and out of school), letters describing the concerns of service providers or school administrators about behavior, records of behavioral assessments, and records of behavioral plans for addressing behavioral issues. Growth Strategies 10) Formal notices of meetings scheduled to discuss your child. When you get a notice like this, jot down the date you received it. Sometimes the question of whether a school system has met time requirements is important under IDEA. 11) Samples of schoolwork. You don’t need to keep every scrap of writing or drawing that your child produces, but it can be helpful to keep examples each year. 12) Invoices and cancelled checks. Save records from services that you provide for your child’s educational develop- ment. For example, if you hire a speech and language patholo- gist for an hour of therapy each week to supplement the school system’s services, keep a record of any payment. Eventually, you can seek reimbursement for this expense. (You must be able to prove that it was necessary because the school’s services weren’t allowing your chi ld to progress effectively.) Some parents keep a journal with dates, short descriptions of events or con- versations, and the names of people who were involved. Conclusion In this article, you learned how to organize your child’s records, what re- cords to keep, and why to create docu- ments. If you would like further informa- tion please contact the Parent Network of WNY at 716-332-4170 or go to www. parentnetworkwny.org. Parent Network of WNY, a not-for-profit agency that provides FREE education and resources for families of individuals with special needs (birth through adulthood) and for professionals. They provide 1-on-1 support and education through resources, workshops and support groups to assist families of individu- als with disabilities to understand their disability and navigate the support service system. The majority of Parent Network of WNY’s staff and board members are parents of children with dis- abilities, which provides a unique perspective, personal experi- ence and empathy to the families they reach. This article was prepared in cooperation with the Public Relations Committee of the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of WNY (DDAWNY) Your Child’s School Records Visit the school or special education office every once in a while to look at your child’s student records. You want to be sure that you have all the documents the school has or if you have documents that the school doesn’t. In general, all states must provide access under a federal law called the Buckley Amendment (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1221, 1232g). What Documents Should You Create? One reason you may want to create a document is to tell your child’s story. Documenting events as they occur will help you tell the story accurately. A second reason is that documents can help clarify understandings you reach with people, particu- larly with service providers or school administrators. Keep a Journal Your notes may be important later when you need an ac- curate description of what key people said at a TEAM meeting, at a parent meeting, or in an evaluator’s office. October 2018 WNY Family 53