For children who have participated in Part C programs and who are eligible for preschool services, the state must assure a smooth and effective transition. An individualized educational program (IEP) must be developed and implemented by the child’s third birthday. The lead agency must notify the child’s local school district that a child currently served under an IFSP will shortly reach the age of eligibility for preschool special education services. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 303.209(b)(1)(i); 34 C.F.R. Secs. 300.101(b) & 300.124(a) & (b); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56426.9(a) & (b).]
For children who may be eligible for these preschool services, the lead agency must convene a conference with the parents and the school district at least 90 days (or up to 6 months) prior to the child’s 3rd birthday to discuss potential preschool special education services. [34 C.F.R. Secs. 303.209(c)(1); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56426.9(b); 17 C.C.R. Sec. 52112(a).]
Six months before the child’s third birthday, the service coordinator must:
- notify the parent of a child who may be eligible for special education preschool services that transition planning will occur within the next 3 to 6 months; and
- notify the local school district that there will be an IFSP meeting at least three months before the child turns three. Everyone must agree on a date for this meeting at least 30 days after the service coordinator’s notice. [17 C.C.R. Sec. 52112 (b).]
For children who may not be eligible for special education, a transition plan must still be developed by the lead agency, the family and relevant service providers. This plan must assure a smooth transition from Part C to other appropriate services for which the child is eligible. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 303.209(c)(2); Gov. Code Sec. 95020(d)(8); 17 C.C.R. Sec. 52112(c).] Regardless of Part C requirements, the school district must follow federal and state special education special education requirements such as child find, referral and assessment requirements and protections, parent referral and due process procedures. A parent may file for due process for denial of eligibility and/or services.
Federal law provides that families are included in transition planning. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 303.209(d)(1)(ii).]