Hold Your New District Accountable

Is your child starting off this school year in a new school district?  Are you wondering how this change will affect your child’s educational program or IEP?  We understand the transition to a new school and district is not always easy.  This blog should provide some ease and guidance for parents going through this process.  Here are a few things you should know in order to hold your new school district accountable:

  1. Make sure that you identify that your child has an IEP on the enrollment form you fill out at the beginning of the school year.  It is important to put your new district on notice that your child is eligible for special education and related services.
  2. The new district is required by law to access your child’s previous school records.   The new district must request your child’s records from his/her previous district, in order to review previous evaluations, IEPs, and other relevant documents.
  3. Your child is entitled to the implementation of his/her last consented to IEP from the previous school district.  However, the law does not require that the new school district replicate the prior program or placement, but it must be  similar or comparable to it.
  4. The new school district should hold an IEP meeting within the first 30 school days upon enrollment.   However, if your child enrolled in the new district at the beginning of the new school year, you may have to request this IEP in writing, at which time the district must convene the IEP within 30 days of the date of that request.  At this IEP meeting the new school district should review your child’s IEP, your child’s progress and transition at the new school, and determine whether to continue with the previous IEP, or make changes to it based on all the information available to the IEP team at that time.  This is when you have the opportunity to express any concerns you have with your child’s IEP or educational program that you would like the new district to address or be aware of.

These are just a few helpful tips that parents should be aware of in preparing for their child’s transition to a new school district.  Once the district becomes aware that your child is eligible for special education and related services, it has immediate obligations, which were established to make the transition into a new school district as smooth and efficient as possible.  It also gives you, the parent, the opportunity to get familiar with your new district’s IEP team within the first month of your child’s enrollment.  Keep your district accountable from day one!