We may be moving to a new state (not sure which one yet) from CA with our severely developmentally disabled daughter. She's non-verbal and in a self-contained classroom with 2 inclusion classes (art & APE). She has a one-on-one aide because she is an escape artist, non-complaint out of not understanding, and eats non-food items. She also has kidney disease and seizures. Her 3 year IEP will be coming up prior to us moving. I wanted to know if anyone has any tips or "wish I had known" on moving from one state to another. We were going to keep her in her current middle school another year, but with us moving I will probably move her to a high school, because she doesn't transition well. Thank you.
I'm a special education teacher in PA. When we get a student from another state, there is often a lag in receiving all of their documents. It is MOST IMPORTANT to have these documents in your possession: -most recent IEP -most recent Reevaluation Report or Evaluation Report It is helpful to have your child's entire ER/RR history and other medical documents that are necessary, but you need these things just to get services started. The school should really be able to get records sent (with your consent to Release of Records) from the previous school, but it often takes a long time for one school to send records to another school. Depending on the state, the new school will likely have to conduct an Initial Evaluation for that state, as your child will be new to the new state. They may not be able to use the 3 year reeval info that your school just did, so they may issue you another Permission to Evaluate form so they can conduct their own testing. You can always let the school know that you know that these things all need to be done, because it might take the new school and case manager some time to review your file if they don't know how urgently they need to address it.81233
Good luck with your move. As a special ed teacher in California, I would like to echo the advice to take a copy of your most recent iep with you, as well as any other supporting documents that you can. As noted, it can take awhile for paperwork to make its way from one school to another. Along with the iep, I would recommend taking any information/documentation about the decision to provide her with a one-to-one aide, as policies for this may vary from district to district, and almost certainly from state to state. Your plan to have her start in a high school to avoid an additional transition sounds like a good one, if she is old enough to do so in the state you move to. Again, good luck with your move.81243
Once you know where you are moving, call ahead the area's special education department to have an idea of where to go and what you need to bring in order to expedite a school placement. Federal IDEA law is the same but each state and some school district implement services differently. I would also advise to bring with you names, phone numbers, fax numbers, email and physical addresses of key contact people at your child's school and physicians. Some schools have different contact people for health records, special education records and general enrollment records. Some school district require updated medical documents and approval from their health division before providing health related services in schools. Definitely bring copy of the last IEP, and last evaluation reports. If possible, bring a spare copy to drop off at the new school and don't part from your copies (if they get lost or misplaced it may take you a while to get another copy). Your new area school district might be able to provide an interim IEP or provide comparable services while their new IEP is completed. At high school age you want to know about pre-vocational and transition plan, integrated programs in the area schools, gen ed vs special ed schools and which offer the best supports for your child and your family's needs in a new community. If you are using real estate agents, they should be able to get some accurate information for you. Some states have parent support organizations that can help you with information of local school and community based services to ease the transition (such as Parent to Parent). Good luck!81253
The next time you have a question about your rights as a parent of a special education student try talking to the IDEA Parent Training & Information Center (PTI) in your state. They have staff who know everything theres is about special education law and regulations, and whats more, they know the ropes. To find the PTI closest to you got to: www.taalliance.org81270
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