Moving to Texas? Here are some tips to make the transition to a new school a little easier.
Before you move:
- Make sure the services your child now receives are noted in the Individualized Education Program (IEP). Everything should be documented.
- Review your child's goals and objectives. Are they clearly written and measurable? If not, get clarification from your child’s current teacher.
- Think about your child’s evaluations. Are they current? Is your child up for a re-evaluation? Many parents prefer to have the evaluation done by the people who have already worked with and know their child before they move.
- Organize your paperwork in a binder. Make sure you have a complete copy of the most current evaluation and IEP. Before withdrawing your child, request to see their special education folder and get copies of important papers. The school only sends the most recent attendance notes, grades, and IEP when transferring records.
Before selecting a residence:
- Visit the neighborhood school to make sure it is a good fit for your child. Texas schools are site-based, so principals set the tone. That means schools can be very different, even within the same district. Ask a lot of questions. Find out the school’s position on inclusion if that is important to you.
- If you find a school you like, check school board minutes about any plans for “re-zoning.” If you are moving into a high-growth area, there is a chance that your child will change schools at some point.
- Check out Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) School District Locator for contact information and performance data.
- For data on how students with disabilities fare with testing, discipline, and LRE, see TEA’s District Reports. Texas has a low rate of identifying students needing special education services. In districts where less than 8.5% of the students are identified, it may be harder to get services for your child.
Before your first Admission, Review, Dismissal (ARD) meeting at the new school:
Remember that you are part of the IEP process and can agree or disagree with whatever the new school is planning to provide. Know your rights!