Transition Basics

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 (IDEA 2004) requires that transition planning is integrated into every student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child is 16, or younger if determined appropriate. In Massachusetts, with the passage of Chapter 285 on August 6, 2008, school districts are required to plan for needed transition services beginning when the eligible student is 14 years old.

Purpose of this section:

  • Outline, explain and provide examples of transition planning in the IEP
  • Introduce both required and recommended forms that can be used for transition planning
  • Provide further reading and resources

Transition Requirements in the IEP:

Each IEP must contain certain components related to transition planning. A tool used nationally to conduct comprehensive transition planning is the NSTTAC Indicator 13 Checklist, which outlines 8 components:

  1. measurable postsecondary goals related to education or training AND employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills
  2. measurable postsecondary goals are updated annually
  3. measurable postsecondary goals are based on age-appropriate transition assessments
  4. transition services in the IEP that will reasonably enable the student to meet his/her postsecondary goals
  5. transition services include a course of study that will reasonably enable the student to meet his/her postsecondary goals
  6. annual IEP goals related to the students transition service needs
  7. evidence that the student was invited to the IEP meeting where transition services were discussed
  8. if appropriate, evidence that a representative of any participating agency (involved in transition planning for the student) was invited to the IEP Team meeting, with prior consent of the parent or student who has reached the age of majority