Information for families
As a parent, it can be difficult to navigate the education system, especially if your child needs specialized services to reach their full potential. One of the most critical questions that you should ask as a parent, is whether your child has access to all the resources they need. Are they receiving the highest quality education possible? Are they engaged and hopeful for their future? Are they adequately preparing for increasing independence and ultimately, life after high school?
If you are unsure whether your current school system is able to provide all of these resources, the first step is to reach out to your district and your child’s IEP team, and schedule a meeting to assess the needs of your child and the district’s ability to meet these needs. Often, the best person to contact to begin this conversation is the district’s Head of Special Education or Director of Pupil Services. If your district does not have this position, reach out to your child’s special education teacher and they should be able to put you in touch with the appropriate people.
Steps to determine the best plan for your child
Initial Meeting: Schedule a meeting with your child’s entire IEP team to determine if their current placement is able to meet all of your child’s needs.
Out-of-District Referral: If the IEP team determines that they are not able to meet these needs within the district, a referral packet is filled out and sent to possible placements that would be able to better provide specialized services and support to your child.
Referral Packet Review: The packet is received and reviewed by our placement staff. This packet contains a broad range of information; including the student’s latest IEP, physical and psychological evaluations, any relevant discharge papers, and a student profile.
Interview and Tour: At this point, if the Connecticut Coastal Academy team believes the student is a good candidate for our specialized programs, the student and parents/guardian will be invited to the campus for a tour and informal interview.
Meeting with District: If the parents/guardian determine that our academy can provide the high-quality education and transition skills their child needs to thrive, they will contact the district with their decision.
Schedule PPT Meeting: The final step is to schedule a Planning and Placement Team meeting at the Connecticut Coastal Academy to revise the student’s Individual Education Plan. This meeting will include the district representative, parents/guardian, and members of our team.
LINKS TO PARENT RESOURCES:
- CT Bureau of Special Education Resources
- IEP Manual and Forms
- Helpful Connecticut Resources for Families
- Laws Relating to Seclusion and Restraint
- CSDE Transition Bill of Rights
- CT Special Education Resource Center
- Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center