Collaborating with Families
Pittsburgh Local Task Force on the Right to EducationThe Program for Students with Exceptionalities works collaboratively with the Pittsburgh Local Task Force to provide opportunities for parents, guardians and community members to work together to improve supports and services for students with disabilities in the Pittsburgh Public School District.
Learning Together: Families and PSE Collaborating to Provide the Best Education for Students with DisabilitiesThe Programs for Students with Exceptionalities provides opportunities for parents, families, and community members to learn alongside district staff members to ensure representation of multiple perspectives when educating students with disabilities.
Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Team Members
Long after the last teacher or therapist has disappeared from your child’s life, you will be there to support and encourage your child. Your active participation as a member of his or her IEP team will help to ensure that your child receives the education he or she needs and deserves.Although parents are equal members on the IEP team, it’s not unusual to feel somewhat intimidated by all the professionals who outnumber you at the meeting. It may be helpful to remember that your role is critically important because of the following factors:
- You are the expert on your child. Your in-depth, ongoing relationship provides you with a wide-angle view of the child.
- Parents are the only continuous members on a child’s IEP team. You know what has worked and what hasn’t worked over time
- Read the notices, reports, and documents the school provides. If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification.
- Learn the basics of special education and the IEP process. Become familiar with school, student, and parent rights and responsibilities.
- Clearly communicate your family’s goals and concerns for your child. Help set priorities.
- Help your child to actively participate in the IEP process as much as is appropriate. Ask what is working well at school.
- In the meeting, keep the focus on your child.
- Become as informed as possible about your child’s school program. Gather information, ask questions, and when possible, observe.
- Monitor your child’s progress on IEP goals and in the general curriculum.
- Provide feedback to the team. Alert the team to lack of progress or other concerns.
- Celebrate successes and let people know when they are doing a good job. Everyone likes to be on a winning team.
- Listen to and consider other team member’s input. The strength of a team is the different perspectives each member brings.
The Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs, activities or employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. Inquiries may be directed to Dr. Dara Ware Allen, Title IX Coordinator or the Section 504/ADA Title II Coordinator at 341 Bellfield Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 or 412.529.HELP (4357).