Your child (or student's) safety should always be top of mind when designing an IEP.
Maybe you're thinking "Of course, it is! I make sure everyone knows what to do to keep my child safe. I write emails. I have meetings. Then I just have to hope that everyone understands."
You're definitely doing the right thing as a parent or teacher if you're talking about safety. Having meetings. Sending emails back and forth.
But there's one more place that you MUST get everything documented.
Every IEP (Yes, even in your district.) has a place for staff training.
Use it. Be clear. Lay out the details.
A safety plan of what to do when meltdowns or eloping happens is only going to work if EVERYONE possible knows what to do.
This includes the librarian, the front office and sometimes even the custodial staff. Oh, and don't forget the general education teachers too.
Coming up this week on the podcast I'm going to share with you two stories... One about a boy who was so angry at his high school teachers that he wanted "to blow up the school" and another child who was 7 and put in handcuffs by the police to keep themselves and others safe.
Neither school had a plan written down that included staff training for what to do in these situations. Even though they knew by both students' history that these situations were likely.
***If your child or students have behaviors that could be considered a threat to others who are uneducated about your child... let's get a plan, in writing, BEFORE the school year starts.
If you want to help your own child or students AND you want to help others when it comes to setting up the best (safest) IEPs, join me in the Master IEP Coach Mentorship.
We officially start June 22nd, but the topic of safety plans, staff training, how to do our best to avoid seclusion rooms being used and police being called... that's starting THIS WEEK. You can get immediate access to our private Master IEP Coach FB group & the training this week when you JOIN HERE.
If you choose not to join us, please do this one thing... go open the IEP of the child you've been thinking about as you read this email. Look for the staff training section in the document. Know what it says and start making a list of things that may need to be put in there to make sure next school year is as safe as possible.
With Hope & Determination Always,
Catherine Whitcher, M.Ed
Master IEP Coach Mentorship, Founder
P.S. Safety has been top of mind for me as I prep to lead the next Master IEP Coach mentorship. Students have been out of school for many months. Out of routines with lack of support. Behaviors, meltdowns, eloping, and overall school refusal have a high chance of being escalated, even for students who do not have a history of negative reactions at school. Now, add in new school rules of social distancing. It's going to be confusing for so many students. We need to be prepared. Join us in our Summer Master IEP Coach Mentorship... we're changing special education outcomes together!