Parent participation in the development of the IEP is one of the most important principles of special education law. In its efforts to ensure that parents attend IEP meetings, the district may hold a meeting over the telephone or through video conference, as long as the parent agrees. While districts may propose that the IEP meeting be held using alternative methods, this should be done only when changes in the IEP are minor. Parents do not have to agree to use these alternative methods and may schedule the IEP meeting at a mutually agreed-upon time and place.
Before a district can hold a meeting without a parent in attendance, it must document its efforts to arrange a mutually-agreed-upon time and place to meet by keeping:
- Detailed records or all telephone calls made to the parent and the results of those calls;
- Copies of correspondence sent to the home and any responses received; and
- Detailed records of visits made to the home or place of employment of the parent and the results of those visits. [34 C.F.R. Secs. 300.322 and 300.328; Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56341.5.]