Transition Planning: Setting Lifelong Goals


by Jennifer Graham and Peter Wright, Esq.

As we enter the second half of the school year, many parents hear the clock ticking louder and louder as graduation nears.

We hope you have been working closely with your child’s IEP team through high school to ensure that appropriate transition goals have been established and your child’s progress toward these goals has been measured and documented.

IDEA 2004 requires Transition Services to be “results-oriented” to “facilitate the child’s movement from school to post school activities . . .” [1] The law requires that the IEP Transition Services be in place by (before) the child’s 16th birthday.[2]

In this article, we provide you with two checklists and some advice to help your child make a successful transition from school to employment or further education.

IDEA 2004 Transition Checklist

IDEA 2004 describes the required components of the transition plan. During your child’s high school years, it is essential that the IEP team adhere to these requirements.

  • The student must be invited to participate in IEP meetings to discuss his/her goals for life after high school.
  • You may request several IEP/Transition Planning meetings during the school year.
  • You may invite representatives of local agencies to these IEP meetings to discuss transition goals and services to support those goals.
  • The IEP, including the transition plan, should be based on person-centered planning, and reflect the student’s interests and skills.

Read more. Wrightslaw.