The State Department of Education has been responding to inquiries related to the transition of children from the Birth to Three System as they relate to district policies and practices regarding school registration. These questions are associated with delays in the scheduling of transition conferences, the lack of school district participation in transition conferences and/or delays in the special education process due to school district policies and practices that require a parent to register their child for school prior to any special education evaluation and eligibility activities taking place.
Please know that school district policies and practices that require a parent to register their child for school before the determination of eligibility is not appropriate. The Department is of the understanding that this practice is related to the district’s desire to obtain a state assigned student identification (SASID) number in order to enter the child into the district’s data system. Again, while this activity may be well-intended, it is not an appropriate policy and/or practice, nor is it required by the state. All state vendor data systems have the capability to be operational without a SASID number for a child.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA Part C) requires that the child’s service coordinator convene a transition conference. The IDEA Part B defines a school districts’ obligation to participate in such a conference. School districts cannot deny or delay their obligation to participate in a transition conference, nor deny or delay obligation to conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine if the child is eligible for special education because of a district policy that requires the parent to register their child. The obligation to provide a child their free appropriate public education (FAPE) no later than age three must be met and cannot be delayed due to a district policy and/or practice that inappropriately requires school registration before any special education evaluation activities can occur or that results in the delay of the development of the child’s individualized education program (IEP).
To reach the author of this article contact Maria Synodi at (860) 713-6941 or firstname.lastname@example.org.