If you are planning a kindergarten transition IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting, your child has an IEP in place and has been receiving special education services through your public school district since sometime after the age of three. It’s now time to have your final IEP meeting before your child starts kindergarten. Services and placement for entering elementary school will be determined in this meeting.
So what can you, the parent, do to prepare for a successful meeting? Before your meeting, ask the school for any available assessment results, so that you may review the information and findings. You should also have had the opportunity to visit the programs being considered for your child. If you have not, you can request to do so or can ask to be provided with descriptions of these programs. If you are bringing in additional outside information, make sure you provide this to the school prior to the meeting. Having a video of your child’s progress and the supports he or she needs to learn in a school environment may be very helpful to the kindergarten teacher and your child’s new school team. Also, if you intend on bringing anyone outside your IEP team to your meeting, you need to inform the school prior to the meeting. People you might consider involving in this meeting:
- Care providers
- Case workers
At this meeting all assessment results will be reviewed and you will be able to ask any questions you have. You can also discuss assessment results from anyone working with your child outside the school setting if you so desire. In this meeting, you will be discussing and reviewing the progress your child has made on preschool goals that were set prior to your child starting preschool. Needs for continuing special education services will be determined at this time, and if necessary, new goals and objectives will be developed. At this point, you will also be determining what, if any, related services your child will need. The team will also determine what type of classroom placement (e.g., self contained, regular education, a combination of both, etc.) is appropriate for your child. Any services and all placements should follow along with your child’s assessed needs and identified goals.
All decisions regarding services and your child’s placement are a team decision and should be made after a thorough review of his/her needs. It can take more than one meeting to make these decisions and you should not feel rushed to make any decisions right away. You may take additional time, outside the meeting, to review and sign the proposed IEP document from this meeting. The IEP should also include a transition plan to assist your child with adjusting to the new program (e.g., visits to the new program prior to starting in the fall). After the meeting has finished, a “Transition Summary” should be given to all staff that will be working with your child in kindergarten.