Military families often relocate every two or three years. Below are suggestions for making the transition easier as your child enters a new school system following your family's move to a new duty station in the states or a Department of Defense Education Activity school 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 copy of your child's educational records.
- Obtain your child's most recent transcripts, grade reports and all pertinent medical records, including inoculation records, prescriptions and 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.
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 key boards 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.
- 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 your child's 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.
It is easier for the receiving school to start the appropriate special education or early intervention services for your child when you hand-carry important information about your child. The current individualized education program will be recognized by the school's special education committee and interim services can be provided within days. 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.