Preparing for Your Move
Military families are often on the move. Below are suggestions for making your child’s transition easier as he/she enters a new school system following your family's move to a new duty station in the states or overseas.
Relocating: Things to Remember
At least 30 days prior to your move:
- Notify the school or early intervention agency of your impending move and request a full copy of your child's educational records. Obtain a copy of all pertinent medical records, including inoculation records, prescriptions and medication dosages.
- Contact the new school district or early intervention agency for specific information about programs on or near the installation where you will be living. Use the state, school district and installation information sections of the Education Directory for Children With Special Needs to identify the districts in your new location and find information about early intervention agencies. The directory provides helpful tools to assist families with infants and toddlers and school-age children transitioning to a new educational program. The Education Directory, along with other available resources and tools, can be found here.
- Contact your installation EFMP family support staff to initiate discussion of any immediate needs and resources, if applicable, and to provide a warm hand-off to the gaining installation EFMP family support staff.
If your child has special needs and is receiving early intervention or special education services, request a copy of the following information:
- Latest individualized education program or individualized family service plan, including the most recent progress report
- Your child's most recent eligibility determination report for special education services, including early intervention
- The names of textbooks or other materials that have been effective for your child
- Adaptive equipment and assistive technology, such as communication devices or modified keyboards that your child uses in school
As you leave your duty station, you should:
- Hand-carry a copy of your child's inoculation records and the information you collected about your child's educational program (consider copying all documents to a thumb drive as a backup).
- Take any special equipment, medication refills and supplies (for example, hearing aid batteries) that your child may need in the next two months.
- Keep contact information for your child's current teacher or early intervention specialist in case there are questions at your new school or early intervention agency.
- Provide the staff at your child's current school with the contact information for the special education staff at your child's new school to speed the transfer of information.
When you arrive at your new duty station, you should:
- Take the hand-carried educational information, including immunization records, with you to enroll your child in the local school.*
- Notify the new school that your child has special needs. Sign appropriate releases so the new school can request official copies of your child's records.
- Request copies of any publications about the school's special education services, including your parental rights.
- Connect with your new local EFMP family support staff to explore available community resources and services.
More information about moving with an IEP can be found here.
*It is faster and easier for the receiving school to start the appropriate special education or early intervention services for your child when you hand-carry important information and documents directly to them. This allows the current individualized education program to be recognized by the school's special education committee much sooner, and interim services can be provided with less delay. Each state has different policies or procedures that guide its special education and early intervention programs. Do not expect to use the same forms and procedures that were used at your previous location. You should expect that every effort will be made to meet your child's needs.