TRANSITIONING FROM PRESCHOOL TO KINDERGARTEN
A new chapter is emerging for your child who is moving on from preschool services to school-age supports and services! This transition process may bring on many different types of feelings, especially as the preschool year starts to wind down. To help make this process less overwhelming, use these essential tips and resources for a more effective transition experience.
Tips to use during your child’s transition meeting
(Use these tips while your child is in their last year of preschool services. If you are unsure if your child has had this meeting, do not hesitate to contact your school administration.)
- Make a list of your child’s strengths and challenges
- Make sure your child’s records are up to date and be prepared to share information about your child (social, emotional and behavioral needs, healthcare needs, communication or assistive technology needs and any other helpful data to be shared with new receiving school staff).
- Come prepared to ask the Who, What, When, Where & How Questions:
- Who will be working with my child?
Who will be making sure your child’s needs are being met and making sure the IEP is being implemented (teachers, related service providers, paraprofessionals)?
- What do these services look like?
What are the strengths and concerns that you have for your child and are they being addressed in the IEP for the coming school year? What data or evaluations are needed if any? What services have been decided and written into the IEP and do you have questions about what those services look like?
- When will your child receive their services (time and frequency)?
- Where will my child’s services be met?
Children with disabilities are to be educated alongside their peers without disabilities, to the maximum extent possible. The general education classroom should be the first option for placement the IEP team should consider, however, this decision is based on your child’s individual needs. Other placement options include placement in special classes, special schools, home, hospital, or other private or public institutions under IDEA(See Rules and Regs pg. 69 [§300.115]
- How often will you be receiving progress about your child’s goals?
You should count on receiving a report as frequently as you receive a report card. This progress report should tell your child’s progress (measured in percentages) toward the goals that were identified and written in the goal section of the IEP. If you have concerns that need to be addressed before that time, do not hesitate to communicate with your child’s teacher.
Anxious about the first day?
It is normal and natural for any parent to be anxious about the first day, disability or not. Consider these possibilities when you are communicating with the school or team.
- Discuss with the kindergarten teacher about strategies and modifications that may help your child feel safe and welcomed during the first week of school.
- Ask the team about resources to help establish a system or routine with your child that you can work on during the summer while at home.
- Ask about making a visit to the new school with your child to learn about the expectations and routines.