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Military Families - Special Education

At OSSE we are committed to ensuring children with special needs in military families receive all appropriate accommodations as quickly as possible. Under federal and District law, any student with a disability is entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) including all identified special education and related service needs. Below is information designed to make the transition to a new school as smooth as possible to ensure your child receives appropriate services.

Checklist for Families with Students Receiving Special Education Services

The following steps are recommended to ensure your child makes a smooth transition to his or her new school and services are minimally interrupted. While these steps are not required, they will allow your child’s new school to immediately provide comparable services and begin the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process.

1. Obtain and update your child’s education records.

Is your child’s IEP current, or is another one due soon? If there should be a new IEP about the time you plan to move, request that the new IEP be written earlier to facilitate your child’s placement in the new school. If you request the IEP several months in advance, your current school should not have a problem moving the meeting up. You want to be sure to schedule this meeting at least six weeks before you will move, so there will be time to get the information finalized and have copies of the new IEP signed and ready to share with the new school.

2. Schedule your child’s triennial reevaluation before you move.

If your child’s triennial reevaluation is scheduled for this school year contact your child’s current school well in advance of the move and request the triennial reevaluation be completed at least six weeks before your moving date. Again, this will ensure that you can get signed copies of the review to take with you to the new school district.

3. If you don’t have time to schedule an IEP meeting before you leave, make sure you obtain a copy of your child’s current IEP before moving or request a copy after moving.

4. Obtain letters of introduction from your child’s current teacher(s) and therapists.

Ask if they could write a letter of introduction to the new teacher(s) and therapists which describes your child, his strengths, areas of weakness, and successful approaches to working with him. The new teacher(s) and therapists will be able to incorporate successful ideas into their programs immediately. Again, be sure to make this request well in advance of needing it, so the teachers and therapists have plenty of time to do this.

5. Obtain and update all of your child’s medical records.

Have the following medical records updated prior to moving:

  • All medical records, including an updated physical, from your child’s general practitioner
  • Updated vaccinations and regular “baby shots”
  • Complete list of medical records from any specialists (neurologists, allergists, etc.)

6. What to Expect After Enrolling Your Child

If you are moving into the District, once your child has enrolled in a public school in the District it is the responsibility of the local education agency (LEA) to:

  • Provide FAPE and comparable services to your child as soon as possible and no later than 20 days after enrollment.
  • Request your child’s student records from their previous LEA within 5 business days of enrollment. This includes any existing IEP’s, supporting evaluation documents, and any other records pertaining to the provision of special education or related services to the student.
  • Determine if it is appropriate to conduct an evaluation of your child 30 calendar days after enrollment.
  • Complete evaluation of your child within 60 calendar days of enrollment (if deemed necessary).
  • Finalize and implement a new IEP within 90 calendar days of enrollment (if deemed necessary).

See the District’s IEP Implementation for Transfer Students Policy.

For more information regarding special education services in the District, contact Yuliana Del Arroyo at [email protected] or (202) 741-0478.


Military Families