Questions Part C tiny-k Programs Can Ask to Analyze Their Transition Practices
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), identifies responsibilities and requires specific actions for both Part C tiny-k Programs and Part B LEAs to support transition from early intervention services to early childhood special education services for those children receiving early intervention services under Part C tiny-k Programs. Those requirements are designed to enhance supports for children and families and make the transition from Part C tiny-k Programs to Part B LEA preschool services or other community programs as smooth and seamless as possible.
Below is a list of activities and questions that could be posed by a local Part C tiny-k program to examine their partnerships, activities and evaluation of current practices and what might be improved to support their transitions for children and families.
- Identify materials/strategies provided by:
- US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) that clarify law and regulations related to transition (e.g., OSEP Frequently Asked Questions; Part C of IDEA, Final Regulations, Nonregulatory Guidance);
- state agencies responsible for IDEA Part C and Part B and examine how those materials/strategies may be used for local transition planning and activities and be incorporated into local efforts to support of children and families as they move from one program to another (e.g., State of Kansas, State-level Interagency Memorandum of Agreement, Kansas FAQ on Transition); and
- technical assistance programs that support evidence-based transition practices (e.g., ECTAC , National Early Childhood Transition).
- Examine the status of collaborative activities and/or memorandum of agreement between the tiny-k Program and the local school district(s), special education cooperative(s) or inter-local(s) in partnering to make administration and staff aware of requirements under IDEA for transition.Determine if:
- the tiny-k program has an interagency memorandum of agreement (MOU) for transition or a MOU that has a section addressing transition;
- the MOU is signed by all necessary partners; and
- the MOU is reviewed on a regularly scheduled basis.
- Identify and list all resources your program has available to support transition practices including materials and activities. Questions to support this effort include:
- What materials does the program have and distribute related to transition practices?
- Are materials designed for and distributed to diverse audiences (parents, professionals, other community providers) or are their multiple materials each designed for a particular audience?
- Where are materials distributed (agencies, other service programs/providers, community partners, families)?
- When are materials distributed (i.e. when families first enter the program, when staff are first hired, on a regularly scheduled basis for community programs/providers/partners)?
- Is there an identified point of contact in the sending and a receiving programs with identified and specific responsibilities for transition?
- Do print materials have a consistent message and information (e.g., who to contact, where to contact, how to contact)?
- Does the program have an easy to use checklist of all transition requirements with identified timeline, person responsible and how to evaluate each step in the transition process?
- Is there a written plan for evaluation of transition materials, activities and practices?
- Does training occur on a regularly scheduled basis for staff regarding transition legal requirements as well as local practices and activities? Additional questions:
- Do all staff attend training?
- Are community partners invited and participate (e.g., Part B, Head Start, other community early education programs)?
- Examine specific service areas when transition problem are identified:
- Are there LEAs where there are challenges with transition (i.e., SPP transition indicator, family concerns)?
- Are there communities within a LEA where there are transition challenges?
- Are there individual programs within the LEA where there are transition challenges?
- Are there individuals associated with the LEA where there are transition challenges?
- Examine transition practices:
- Are referrals being made for potentially eligible children within required timeline?
- Does every IFSP include a transition plan?
- Are transition conferences scheduled in a timely matter allowing all parties time for arranging schedules to participate?
- Are transition conferences occurring within required timeline?
- Are parents declining a transition conference at a high percentage?
- Are parents declining a transition conference then changing their mind and requesting a conference?
- Are parents choosing to exit Part C prior to required referral to Part B?
- Does the Part B program accept Part C information to aid in their determination of eligibility (i.e., assessment, parent reports, records, IFSP document)?
- Are Part B staff consistently invited and do not participate in the transition meeting?
- Are there staff who consistently vary from required timelines for referral, scheduling of meetings and inviting participation of necessary individuals? In addition:
- Are there service teams in the Part C program that are consistently challenged regarding transition practices/responsibilities and meeting timelines?
- Are there individuals in the Part C program that are consistently challenged regarding transition practices/responsibilities and meeting timelines?
- Following a completed transition are their individual staff who have a low rates of satisfaction expressed by Part B providers and/or families?
- Are transition activities and practices examined and evaluated on a regularly scheduled basis at the:
- Community level;
- program level;
- team level; or
- individual staff level?
Lindeman, D.P. & Miksch, P. (2012) Questions Part C tiny-k programs can ask to analyze their transition practices.
University of Kansas, Kansas Inservice Training System, Parsons, KS.