Transition to a New School

Moving to a new school is difficult for most students. Planning for the move can also be part of an IEP, often in chart form, outlining an annual goal and specific responsibilities of team members and timelines. 

Will the new school use my child’s IEP from the old school?

If you move within the same state, stay in the same school district, but your child will be going to a different school. In this case, the same school system is responsible for your child’s education, just in a different school. Your child’s IEP would be transferred to the new school and implemented as written.

If you move within the same state, but to a different school district. This means that a different district becomes responsible for your child’s education. That school system has the choice of adopting your child’s IEP as is or it can develop its own IEP for your child (with your involvement as a team member). Until it develops its own IEP,  the new school system must provide FAPE to your child, including services comparable to those described in the IEP developed in the previous school district.

If you move to a different state altogether. Obviously, a different school district becomes responsible for educating your child. That new district must provide FAPE to your child, including services comparable to those described in the IEP from the previous state, until it conducts a full and individual evaluation of your child to  determine if he or she is an eligible “child with a disability” in that state. The new district may decide that an evaluation isn’t needed, in which case it is not required to conduct one. Should the district decide to evaluate your child, it will need your permission as parents. If your child is found eligible for special education services in the new state, a new IEP will need to be developed according to local policies.

What timelines apply?

The school should immediately provide a free and appropriate public education. For in-state transfer students, the new school can do this by either:

  1. Use the student’s current IEP from the previous school and provide comparable services or 
  2. Provide a comparable interim placement and within 30 school days write and implement a new IEP

For out-of-state transfer students:

  1. Within 30  days of enrollment, the new school must complete an initial REED, write a new IEP based on evaluation results, and implement the IEP. 

More information at:

More Michigan Alliance for Families webpages related to other times of school transition:

Transition from Grade to Grade
Transition to a New School
Transition To Preschool
Transition to Kindergarten
Transition from Elementary to Middle School
Transition from Middle School to High School
Transition to Adulthood
Retention/Social Promotion

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