Department of Defense Education Activity

Special Education: Relocation Information

Relocating: Things to Remember

(When You Receive Orders to Move)

The Military Services and DoDEA want to ensure that your child will receive appropriate special education services following your family's move to a new duty station. Some tips that will help you as your child enters a new school system in the states or a DoDEA school overseas are:

As soon as you know that you may have an overseas assignment contact the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) coordinator at your stateside medical facility to enroll in the program or to update your enrollment information. Additional information about EFMP and overseas screening can be found at Military HOMEFRONT.

At least 30 days prior to your move:
  • Notify the school of your impending move and request a copy of your child's complete educational records
  • Obtain a copy of your child's latest Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)
  • Obtain a copy of all assessment information used by the school to plan for your child's special needs
  • Obtain copies of pertinent medical records (both private and military)
  • Meet with your child's teacher and review the progress that has been made since the last IEP was developed. An alternative is to request written progress reports from your child's teacher and other service providers.
  • As appropriate, obtain information about adaptive equipment used by your child (e.g., hearing aids, braces, wheelchair, etc.)
  • As appropriate, obtain information about assistive technology used by your child

As you leave your duty station, you should:
  • Take any special equipment, medication refills, and supplies e.g., hearing aid batteries, that your child may need in the next two months.
  • Hand-carry the information you collected about your child's educational program. At a minimum, it is important to hand-carry a copy of the current IEP or IFSP.

When you arrive at your new duty station, you should:
  • Take the educational information that you hand-carried, including your child's IEP and immunization records, with you when you enroll your child in the local school.
  • Be sure to notify the new school that your child has special needs. Sign appropriate releases so the new school can request official copies of your child's records.
  • Request copies of any publications about the school's special education services.

It is easier for the receiving DoDEA school (or, any stateside school) to start the appropriate special education services for your child when you hand-carry important information about your child. The current IEP will be recognized by the Case Study Committee (CSC) and interim services can be provided within days. Assessment information is used to help the CSC determine your child's eligibility for special education according to DoDEA criteria.

Each state will have different policies or procedures that guide its special education program. Do not expect to use the same forms and procedures that were used in DoDEA. You should expect that every effort will be made to meet your child's needs.

Additional Information for Families

Contact Information:

DoDEA Special Education Coordinator
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria VA 22350-1400