Transition: TRANSITION FROM ELEMENTARY TO HIGH SCHOOL

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Judy:  My daughter w/ Downs Syndrome will be graduating from the 8th grade in 2 years- I really don’t want to enroll her in one of the local high schools. Is it possible for an elementary school to provide her services for high school?

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Amy

Unless your daughter’s IEP team finds solid justification for a more restrictive educational placement (at an elementary school and away from same-aged peers), you will probably be offered an IEP with placement at a high school once she reaches 9th grade.

To place a student away from their same-aged peers is considered more restrictive under special education law than placement with same-aged students–and schools are essentially not allowed to make this kind of placement decision unless:

1) its the only way the student can benefit from special education

or

2) required services are not available at the school the student would normally attend if not disabled

Morning

She should be with her peers for many reasons. She will continue to develop, grow and navigate her way through school and life with assistance. The high school teams are more experienced and specialized to deal with those developmental phases regardless of the disability. Elementary school is for those kids of those age ranges, sizes, etc. for specific reasons and the school culture is geared towards such. Children grow and develop hormonally, emotionally, and physically. I have seen great paras, teachers, etc. work with kids of all abilities and most kids with disabilities look forward to going to the high school–they feel “grown up.” The transitions plans are key in high school especially for after graduation. Tell the district how you feel or consider private placement.