As Permanent Change of Station (PCS) season grows near, families are preparing their checklists, sorting through their belongings and ensuring items are in place for a smooth transition of their family.

If your child is receiving special education services, you may also be concerned about how to best prepare for a smooth PCS transition with your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) governs how states and public agencies, including the DoD, provide early intervention, special education and other related services to eligible children from birth through age 21.

The transfer of an IEP should ensure comparable services to those in the current IEP are supported by the new school for an interim period until the IEP is adopted or a new IEP is implemented.

While federal and state laws are in place to support children with special education needs, there are a few simple steps you can take to make your child’s next IEP transition as smooth as possible.

  1. Get organized with an IEP notebook. Contact your EFMP office to see when their next special education training will be offered, or visit MilitaryOneSource to download a copy. 
  2. Hand carry your IEP notebook during your PCS. 
  3. Share a copy of the current IEP before school starts, if possible, so the school can become familiar with your child’s particular IEP services.
  4. Schedule a phone call with the school’s special education lead or your child’s teacher in order to share some information about your child and yourself – you’ll be a team, working together for the best educational outcomes for your child.
  5. Speak with your Exceptional Family Member Program Family Case Worker, or one of the attorneys supporting EFMP families to learn more about your rights and responsibilities and how to become a more effective advocate for yourself and your child. 
  6. Take the Moving With an Individualized Education Program MilLife Learning course to learn how to help make sure your child gets comparable services wherever you go.


For more information or to speak to someone about transitioning your child during the next PCS, contact your installation’s EFMP.