IEP Meetings vs. Parent-Teacher Conferences

  • The following chart explains the similarities and differences between IEP Meetings and Parent-Teacher Conferences. 


    IEP Meeting

    Parent-Teacher Conference


    To create, review, revise, and update the student’s IEP.

    Typically to discuss the student’s academic progress in school.

    How Long

    It depends on what’s being discussed. A meeting can be 30 minutes, or it can last an hour or more.

    Schools typically schedule 10 to 20 minutes for a parent-teacher conference.

    Which Students

    Students who are eligible for special education.

    All students.

    Who Attends

    Required members of the IEP team.

    Parent(s) and the student’s teacher.

    When Do They Happen

    Federal law requires schools to hold annual IEP meetings. But parents or schools can request an IEP meeting at any time.

    Typically, parent-teacher conferences are held twice a year.

    What’s Discussed

    It depends on the purpose of the IEP meeting.

    Many parent-teacher conferences follow a set agenda. The teacher provides basic information about test scores and shares work samples.