Below are some tips to help you prepare for the ARD meeting:
1. Review your records and make sure that you have a copy of all current evaluations and IEP documents. If you do not have these request a copy from the school.
2. Review your child’s previous IEP and all the progress reports pertaining to your child’s goals. Has your child made progress? If not make a note of what goals your child has not made progress in.
3. Ask the school to provide you with a draft copy of the IEP document and any other documents, assessments, or reports they will be discussing at the meeting. Review it and make sure that all goals and objectives are driven by the present levels of academic performance and functional performance. Also make sure the goals and objectives are SMART goals. Specific, Measurable, Use Action Words, Realistic and Relevant, Time-limited. Make note of any changes or questions you have.
4. Write out your questions, concerns, things you are asking for (new accommodations, modifications, new services, increased service time, etc.) Provide a copy to the school prior to the ARD meeting. This allows them time to address your concerns and to make sure enough time is planned for the meeting. If you are asking for new services be sure to ask in writing for the evaluation for the service, not the service itself.
5. Gather all documents (including your child’s school work) that supports your questions, concerns, and requests. Create any graphs to show your child’s lack of progress. Make an extra copy for the school.
6. Bring someone along as source of support. Ask a friend, family member, a parent from your support group, or hire a professional advocate to attend the meeting with you.