Skip to Content

Secondary Transition - Guidance for Quality IEPs



In Iowa, secondary transition planning should begin no later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child turns 14, or younger if determined appropriate by the IEP team.

The ultimate goal of transition planning is to make the adjustment from high school as easy and successful as possible. It should be based on specific knowledge and experiences of targeted future environments and activities, as well as transition assessment information.

The transition of youth with disabilities from high school to learning, living and working in the community is a process that involves ongoing planning, preparation, and revision. It is not a single event or a series of isolated events.

281--Iowa Administrative Code 41.43

IEP Team Members

IDEA requires that students be invited to their IEP meeting if the purpose of the meeting is the consideration of postsecondary goals and needed transition services. If the student does not attend, the LEA must take steps to ensure that the individual’s preferences and interests are considered in the development of the IEP.

All team members required to attend IEP meetings of student younger than 14 are also required to be team members for the IEP meeting of which transition is the purpose. The IEP Team

IDEA also requires that any agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services be invited to the meeting. The parent or student who has reached the age of majority must consent to the invitation of the participating agency personnel.

If agencies are providing services to the student prior to the IEP meeting then the LEA may invite a representative of the agency as someone who has special knowledge or expertise about the student. Parent consent is not needed when the agency is providing services prior to the IEP meeting.

IDEA does not require any further action if an agency representative is unable to attend. Effective practice, however, would encourage the LEA to find other means for the agency representative to provide input to the IEP.

Agreement to Excuse Attendance at IEP Meeting

Preparing for the Meeting

Since transition planning must be based on age appropriate transition assessment Iowa has developed a website which defines and provides assessment resources. Transition assessments must be completed prior to the IEP meeting at which transition will be discussed.

Iowa Transition Assessment website

The Meeting Notice needs to be sent to parents notifying them that the meeting will include consideration of postsecondary goals for the student, transition services needed to assist the student in reaching those goals, and that the student will be invited to the meeting. Link Five – Meeting Notice form

The Meeting Notice should also be sent to the student, all other required IEP team members, and representatives from outside agencies that will be attending the meeting.

It is possible that parents and other people invited to the meeting will need extra information or supports in order to prepare for the meeting. For many, the concept of transition is new and they are unaware of the information they can contribute to the meeting.

Key Roles of IEP Team Members

During the IEP Meeting

The IEP meeting is the time when the services, supports, and activities a student needs in order to have a free appropriate public education are discussed, identified, and documented on the IEP.

The transition discussion begins as a broad conversation that focuses over time based on the student’s individual need. There are four factors that help to determine when focused preparation should start and at what intensity level services should be provided. These factors are:

  • Student knowledge and skills
  • Student learning characteristics
  • Complexity of support needs
  • Number of environments effected

Factors to Consider when Determining Intensity of Services and Timing of Detailed Preparation

The development of the secondary IEP is not a linear completion of the IEP which begins at the top of Page B and moves sequentially to the end of Page G. Rather, it is a dynamic conversation that incorporates a variety of information and perspectives to determine the most appropriate services, supports and activities to prepare the student to pursue further education, employment and independent living.

Documentation on Pages A and B on the IEP

Page A:

  • Enter the student’s birth date, this will trigger the selection of the PLAAFP for students ages 13-21.
  • Beginning at least one year prior to the student’s eighteenth birthday (effective practice would begin at age 14), or at the time of the student’s marriage, the IEP shall reflect that the student has been informed of the rights that will transfer to him or her.Page A - Transfer of Rights

Page B (PLAAFP):

List the student’s interests and preference that relate to the post secondary expectations for living, learning, and working. It is important that the interests and preferences be from the student’s point of view.

Documentation of Transition Assessments on Page B of IEP

Transition assessment information for each area of living, working and learning must include:

  • Information sources: These are the people who provided the assessment information, and/or the tests that were used. It may also include the assessment method. For example, listing student interview or employer observation provides both the source (student, employer) and the method (interview, observation).
  • Results: These are the specific data that were identified during the assessment. They may include specific skills the student demonstrated or could not do or specific test scores. If test scores are used, some interpretation of the score in terms of the targeted postsecondary expectation should be provided

It is not necessary to provide all the assessment results, just those that are relevant to pursuit of the student’s postsecondary expectations for living, learning and working.

There should be enough information to determine that the postsecondary area was assessed and whether the student has need for special education services, supports or activities in that postsecondary area.

Documentation of Postsecondary Expectations on Page B of IEP

A postsecondary expectation must be written for living, learning and working. It is expressed in a statement that must:

  1. project beyond high school,
  2. be based on assessment information, including interests and preferences, and
  3. be observable.

Ensure that if yes is checked indicating a need in a postsecondary area that the IEP does include goals, services, or activities to address that postsecondary area.

Documentation of Course of Study on Page B of IEP

The Course of Study must include:

  • A general statement listing the means by which it will be determined that the student has met the requirements to graduate. Any adjustments to the district’s standard graduation requirements must be supported by district policy and be based on need as a result of the individual’s disability. The revised criteria for graduation should also be rigorous and clearly measurable.
  • The student’s current status should be described in terms of the completion of the requirements in order to meet the target graduation date.
  • Target graduation date is the date that the student is expected to have completed the graduation requirement including specified courses and activities.

List additional courses that are not already included in the graduation requirements and are necessary for the student to pursue their postsecondary expectations. Also include any activities that the student needs to accomplish in order to pursue their postsecondary expectations.

Other IEP Documentation Requirement

All goals must support pursuit of postsecondary expectations.

All goals must meet the requirements of a well-written goal. Goal Page and Measurable Annual Goals

All areas of postsecondary expectations must have a goal or service/activity unless information from the transition assessment does not indicate a need.

Follow up/ Implementation of the IEP

Following the IEP meeting:

  • All service providers must be given access to the IEP, and those who were not in attendance must be made aware of their responsibilities for implementing the IEP.
  • Begin or continue services as described on page F.
  • Implement the procedures for progress monitoring.
  • If there is disagreement on the IEP team, the district must provide Prior Written Notice of a Proposed or Refused Action. Prior Written Notice

If a participating agency fails to provide agreed-upon transition services contained in the IEP of a student, the district that is responsible for the student’s education should, as soon as possible, initiate an IEP meeting to identify alternative strategies to meet the transition objectives and, if necessary, revise the student’s IEP.

Summary for Postsecondary Living, Learning and Working

This form consists of eight sections and must be completed at the senior exit meeting or in the senior year. It must be current at the time of the student’s exit. Although not required, it is recommended that the form also be completed with students who drop out of school.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on May 21, 2018 at 11:38pm.