Students with disabilities obviously benefit when their school IEP teams collaboratively work together to maintain trust and effective relationships that lead to consensus-based, legally compliant decisions that are focused totally on student needs and successful outcomes. To foster effective IEP teams, it is important that school districts focus on proactive training for the key school IEP team member responsible for ensuring proper process: The LEA Representative (LEA). Across the U.S., an increasing number of states and school districts are looking to their local school administrators – principals, assistant principals, deans – to serve as the LEA. However, many administrators are given this important process leader responsibility without sufficient training in which to assume the LEA role and its accompanying responsibilities. This presentation will present data that demonstrates that training LEAs with a combined facilitation and legal guidance framework significantly increases their knowledge of current Supreme Court guidance on the FAPE standard, as well as IDEA regulations and additional agency and court decisions emphasizing the importance of LEAs as meeting process leaders. In addition, the inclusion of practical meeting management tools and strategies in the training for LEAs improves their leadership as an active stakeholder of the IEP team enabling collaborative and meaningful participation of all IEP team members while promoting prevention and/or early resolution of concerns. This presentation will focus on the following participant outcomes: Gaining strategies for encouraging school administrators to be more involved in building positive relationships between parents and school personnel at IEP Team meetings Gaining strategies for ensuring that those who serve as LEA Representatives are sufficiently prepared to successfully fulfill their roles and responsibilities Gaining strategies for providing LEA Representatives with sufficient knowledge and skills for leading efficient and compliant IEP Team meetings.

Restoring Focus on the Child: CADRE’s Seventh National Symposium