• Transition Bill of Rights

    As a student with an individualized education program (IEP) you have certain rights under both Federal and State Laws. This Transition Bill of Rights will help you and your parents understand your rights related to getting an education and other important issues regarding the transition to life after high school. School districts will provide this document annually at a planning and placement team (PPT) meeting to all parents, guardians, and surrogate parents of students who are receiving special education services in grades 6-12 as well as to students who are 18 years of age or older.

    Your parents, guardians, or surrogate parents, or you if you are 18 years of age or older, also have the right to receive Procedural Safeguards in Special Education that explain the rights and responsibilities in the federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). These procedural safeguards are provided at least annually at a PPT meeting by each school district. This publication describes your right to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE) through specialized instruction and related services in your IEP.

    Students with an IEP have a right to:

    1. Receive secondary transition services through their IEP starting at least at age sixteen, or younger if desired and recommended by the student’s PPT. Parents and students, if appropriate, are considered to be important members of the PPT. Receive appropriate individualized education services through the end of the school year in which they turn twenty-one (21) OR until graduation with a regular high school diploma recommended by a student’s PPT.
    2. Attend all PPT meetings including those related to transition planning to represent their education/training, employment and independent living interests, preferences and strengths.
    3. Assist in the development of their IEP with accommodations and modifications designed to meet their unique needs.
    4. Develop realistic and specific post-school outcome goals (PSOGs) that are measurable, based upon their needs, and reviewed annually as part of their IEP.
    5. Receive secondary transition services and related supports to help them prepare to meet their post- school goals in postsecondary education/training AND employment, and independent living skills if appropriate.
    6. Assist in developing annual goals and objectives to include but not be limited to those areas in the CT CORE Transition Skills, areas such as health care, transportation, self-determination, and social skills.
    7. Identify, explore and connect with outside agencies as appropriate, including but not limited to adult service agencies (BRS, DDS, BESB, DMHAS, DPH – see Easing into Secondary Transition).
    8. Be informed on or before their 17th birthday that all parental rights will transition to the student when he/she reaches the age of eighteen (18). Under Connecticut law, students may notify the school district (in writing) that the parents/guardians shall continue to have the right to make educational decisions with the students when they turn 18.
    9. Be informed on or before their 17th birthday that all parental rights will transition to the student when he/she reaches the age of eighteen (18). Under Connecticut law, students may notify the school district (in writing) that the parents/guardians shall continue to have the right to make educational decisions with the students when they turn 18.
    10.  Request consideration for receiving transition-only services between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty-one (21) if all transition goals & objectives have not been met during their previous years in high school. The following conditions are required:

    a)     Students have met all academic requirements for graduation;

    b)     Transition-only services are not needed for graduation; but may include academic, vocational, and independent living types of activities that will help students meet their post-school goals;

    c)     PPT makes the recommendation for transition-only services that must be reviewed at least annually;

    d)     Transition-only services must be a coordinated set of individualized activities but do not need to be a specialized “program;”

    e)     Transition-only services must provide students with the opportunity to spend at least 80% of their time with non-disabled peers;

    f)     Students are entitled to participate in graduation activities upon completion of academic requirements or at the conclusion of transition-only services – this is a PPT decision; and

    g)     If students participate in transition-only services, the date on their diploma or certificate will be the date that they exit high school (either aging out at 21 or with a diploma or certificate).

    In addition, the following should also be considered:

    h)    Transition-only services are typically discussed during the senior year of high school;

    i)      Transition-only services should be based in the local community to the greatest extent possible in order to prepare students for life after high school;

    1. Develop and revise their Student Success Plan (SSP), which is required for all students in grades six through twelve to address career, academic and social/emotional/behavioral skills to prepare for life after high school.
    2. Receive, along with their parents, transition resources and other information regarding IEPs developed by the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and their school such as:
      • Assistive Technology and Education Transition,
      • Building A Bridge: A Transition Manual for Students,
      • Transition Assessment Resource Manual, and
      • Stepping Forward: A Self-Advocacy Guide for Middle and High School Students.

    If you have questions or have a problem asserting any of these rights, first speak to your teacher, school case manager, school counselor and parent/guardian or surrogate parent. If you need additional help, you (or your parents, guardians, or surrogate parents) have the right to file a complaint, ask for mediation and if needed ask for an impartial due process hearing. For more information, you can download a copy of the publication Parent’s Guide to Special Education or obtain a copy from your school.

    If you need help with transition or special education, you can call the Connecticut State Department of Education at 860-713-6923 or visit http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2678&Q=320730