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If you have any questions regarding transition services in Connecticut education, contact one of our attorneys at (203) 221-3100.

Transition Services

This Act mandates that the Connecticut State Department of Education (“CSDE”) appoint a statewide transition services coordinator to oversee the coordination of transition resources, services, and public programs across the state. This includes programs offered by local boards of education and regional educational service centers (“RESCs”), in collaboration with other state agencies. The coordinator’s responsibilities include establishing minimum standards and metrics for public transition programs, setting best practices for delivering transition services, and disseminating these guidelines to each school district’s transition coordinator.

They are also tasked with conducting unannounced visits to evaluate program effectiveness, suggesting improvements, and publishing performance data on the CSDE website relative to established standards. Additionally, the coordinator is responsible for setting training standards for school district transition coordinators, maintaining records of their training completions, and developing an online course for educators and staff not directly involved in transition services.

Furthermore, the Act mandates that the State Education Resource Center (“SERC”) develop and maintain an online directory listing transition resources, services, and programs provided by state agencies. The CSDE’s statewide transition coordinator must ensure the accuracy of this listing, post a link to it on the CSDE website, and distribute a notice about the listing to school districts annually. School districts, in turn, are required to share this information with parents during Planning and Placement Team (“PPT”) meetings for students in grades six through twelve.

By July 1, 2024, the Act requires the CSDE to establish a training program addressing legal requirements and best practices in special education and transition services. Additionally, in consultation with other state entities and RESCs, the CSDE must develop a training program on public transition programs for school district transition coordinators, educators, and school paraprofessionals by the same date. This training program must align with the minimum standards set by the statewide transition services coordinator.

Subsequently, each RESC is responsible for providing this training program at no cost to school district transition coordinators, educators, school paraprofessionals involved in transition services, and any other interested educators or school staff seeking to become transition coordinators or deliver transition services.

Coordinating Transitions

The Act also mandates that each school district appoint a district transition coordinator by January 1, 2024. This coordinator can be either the director of pupil personnel or another employee designated as such by the director. The responsibilities of each district-level transition coordinator include: 1) completing the training program established by the CSDE, and 2) ensuring that parents of students in need of special education receive information about transition resources, services, and public programs (specifically, the online listing created by SERC).

They must also ensure that parents are informed about the eligibility criteria and application processes for these resources, services, and programs that are relevant to their students. Additionally, the Act specifies that every educator and school paraprofessional involved in providing special education to students aged fourteen and older must complete the training program developed by the CSDE.

Age Cutoff

Moreover, in alignment with the A.R. federal court decision, the Act (effective July 1, 2023) mandates that boards of education must offer special education services until an eligible student graduates from high school or until the conclusion of the school year in which the student turns 22. Previously, this requirement extended only until the student’s 22nd birthday, which appeared to align with the A.R. court order.

State Education Resource Center Reviews

The Act mandates that SERC conduct a comprehensive review of each public transition program and submit its findings to the General Assembly’s Education Committee by February 1, 2024. This review will encompass, but not be limited to, the following aspects: 1) The range of transition services offered within each program, 2) the quantity and qualifications of staff delivering these services, 3) the program’s proximity to students’ residences or their families, and 4) metrics used to assess program effectiveness, including feedback from students and families, and the placement rates of students into employment, postsecondary education, or adult training programs.

Maya Murphy P.C. has proudly been included in the 2024 Edition of Best Law Firms®, ranked among the top firms in the nation. In addition, Managing Partner Joseph C. Maya has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for his work in Employment Law and Education Law in Connecticut. Recognition in Best Lawyers® is awarded to firms and attorneys who demonstrate excellence in the industry and is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor.

Our firm in Westport, Connecticut serves clients with legal assistance all over the state, including the towns of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Bethel, Branford, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury, Darien, Derby, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Meriden, Middlebury, Milford, Monroe, Naugatuck, New Canaan, New Fairfield, New Haven, Newton, North Branford, North Haven, Norwalk, Orange, Oxford, Prospect, Redding, Ridgefield, Seymour, Shelton, Sherman, Southbury, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, Weston, Westport, Wilton, and Woodbridge. In addition to assisting clients in Connecticut, our firm handles education law matters in New York as well.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an attorney about a legal matter, please contact Joseph C. Maya and the other experienced attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or JMaya@Mayalaw.com to schedule a free initial consultation today.