a teacher with student, a teen smiling at a library, a smiling teen, and a child with Down's Syndrome in front of book shelves

Preparing for Your Move

Below are suggestions for making the transition to a new school district easier for your child, your family and the district staff. Remember, you are your child's best support. A courteous, persistent approach is usually most effective.

To help track your activities and progress, a checklist of the steps below is provided for your convenience.

Suggestions to consider before you leave your current location:

  1. Review your new location at MilitaryINSTALLATIONS.
  2. Use the State, School District and Installation Information section to identify and review districts that serve your new location.
  3. Notify your current service coordinator that you will be leaving and where you will be going. This will allow time to prepare for your transition.
  4. Use a three-ring binder or notebook to organize your child's records and other pertinent information.
  5. Make sure you have paper copies of your child's:
     
    • Most recent transcripts and grade reports
    • Most recent eligibility report from when your child was determined eligible for special education services
    • Current and past individualized education programs, including progress reports
    • Special education assessment reports, including:
       
      • School psychology
      • Occupational or physical therapy
      • Speech-language pathology
      • Other reports contained in special education file
    • Names of particular textbooks or other materials that were effective for your child
    • Medical reports
    • If applicable, reports from service providers not connected to school, such as a private therapist
    • Inoculation records to ensure your child can be enrolled on arrival
    • Prescriptions for medications and dosages
  6. Ask your child's classroom or special education teacher to write a brief narrative about your child's current educational program that you can share with staff at your child's new school. A convenient form is provided for your use.
  7. Keep the name and contact information of your child's current teacher in case you or the staff at your new school have questions.
  8. Contact the special education director of the prospective school district to learn specific information about services they provide. A list of Sample Questions to Ask School Districts is provided.
  9. Provide the staff at your child's current school with the contact information (phone, email) for the special education staff at your child's new school to speed the transfer of your child's information.
  10. Contact the Exceptional Family Member Program family support staff at your new installation to learn more about the school district. A list of Questions to Ask Exceptional Family Member Program Family Support Staff at Military Installations is provided.
  11. Write down the time, date and name of the person to whom you spoke, as well as some brief notes. A printable worksheet, developed by the Center for Parent Information and Resources, is included for your convenience.
  12. Try to contact your new school district at least two weeks before you arrive to help ensure that preparations have been made to implement your child's program before the first day of school.
  13. Review your educational rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. You should have received a copy of your rights from your current school, but you can also request a copy at any time. A general description of these rights is available in the Center for Parent Information and Resources article, "IDEA - the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act."