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Moving to a New School? Here’s What to Know About Transition IEPs

Moving to a New School? Here’s What to Know About Transition IEPs

Published: May. 24, 2022Updated: Aug. 3, 2023

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Transitions are difficult for most of us, and they can be especially challenging for our kids. When your child is moving from preschool to kindergarten, or to middle or high school, the school will hold a transition IEP meeting to set your child up for a successful move. During our event on April 21, 2022, special education advocate Dr. Sarah Pelangka took us through transition IEPs and explained how to introduce our kids to their new team and school. Here are the top highlights from the event!

Transitioning from preschool to kindergarten

Dr. Pelangka says that the longest transition IEP meeting will be when a kiddo is moving from preschool to kindergarten. In fact, she recommends requesting your triennial IEP meeting just before the transition because there’s so much to discuss. Listen to her explain why in this clip:

During our live event, Kris S. asked in the chat, “Is there a source for the language we can reference for transition meetings, if they say someone from the new campus is not attending our transition meeting?”

Undivided Navigator Kelly Hatfield said, “Not all districts have members from the incoming team attend the transition meeting. What I’ve done is requested a SpEd contact from the incoming school and scheduled a separate meeting with them prior to school starting.”

From elementary to middle school

The leap from elementary to middle school can be HUGE. There’s no longer a playground, kids have to switch classrooms every hour, and they have to start using lockers and changing clothes for PE. To reduce overwhelm on the first day of school, Dr. Pelangka recommends going on a campus tour to make plans for all these big changes. Check out her advice for what to look for in this clip:
No matter what school your child is moving to, scheduling a campus tour is a great idea before the transition IEP meeting. Check out our K-12 school tour checklist for a list of potential questions to ask as you’re planning how your child will navigate their new campus.

To high school and beyond

When your child is entering high school, your transition IEP meeting will touch on whether they're planning to work toward a diploma and the requirements to do so. You'll also start attending annual Individual Transition Plan (ITP) meetings. These meetings will help your child outline their goals for the future, like what kind of post-high school education, job, and living situation they’re interested in. The school is then responsible for putting supports and services in place to help your child prepare.

Watch this clip to hear Dr. Pelangka’s explanation of what to expect in an ITP meeting and how you can help make sure the goals are measurable and meaningful.

Be sure to check out our article about the transition to high school for more information on extracurriculars, diplomas, modifications, and more.

Watch the full recording

If you missed the event or want to review what we learned, you can watch the full recording here. If you have questions about making sure your child has all the services and supports they need, be sure to attend our next live event to ask your question in the chat and hear from our experts and fellow parents! Keep an eye on our Facebook page to learn more.



Transitioning from preschool to kindergarten

From elementary to middle school

To high school and beyond

Watch the full recording

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Brittany OlsenUndivided Editor

An editor and cartoonist who loves using words and images to simplify and share ideas. She has ten years of experience as a copy editor and lives near Portland, Oregon. She often spends her free time going on nature walks with her dog or trying new bread recipes.

Reviewed by

Lindsay Crain, Undivided Head of Content and Community


Dr. Sarah Pelangka, Special Education Advocate, BCBA-D, and owner of KnowIEPs

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