A recent ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals highlights the importance of working with parents to ensure that they are able to attend their child’s IEP meetings. In Drobinicki v. Poway Unified Sch. Dist., 109 LRP 73255 (9th Cir. 11/17/09, unpublished), the school district had unilaterally scheduled an IEP meeting and sent the notice of the scheduled meeting to the parents. The parents responded by telling the district that they were not sure if they could make the meeting, and they did not return a signed copy of the IEP meeting notice (as was that district’s practice). In response, the district made no further attempts to reschedule the meeting. On the day of the IEP meeting, the district called the parents to find out if they would be attending the meeting, at which time the parents asked to reschedule. The court ruled that the district’s decision to continue with the meeting and develop the IEP in the parents’ absence amounted to a violation of the IDEA. It should be noted, however, that the court specifically noted that the parents had a history of attending IEP meetings, and had not refused to attend subsequent meetings. The full text of this decision may be found by clicking here.