Moving to High School

You and your child should begin to plan for this transition as early as sixth grade. Planning early will give your family time to consider which high school options will best support your child in fulfilling goals for college, careers, and independent living. Here are some recommended steps you can take with your IEP team to prepare when your child is in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade.

Grade 6

Transition to Middle School

At your child’s annual IEP meeting:

  • Ask how your child’s special education programs/services will help your child meet the challenges of seventh grade.
  • Discuss whether changes to your child’s IEP may be needed to support growth and progress in seventh grade and prepare your child for eighth grade and high school.
  • If your child has an IEP , complete the Level 1 Vocational Interview, a helpful tool for matching your child’s academic program to your child’s college and career goals.

Grade 7

Think about High School

At your child’s annual IEP meeting:

  • Ask about your child’s progress and how your child’s special education programs/services will help your child meet the challenges of eighth grade and high school.
  • Discuss whether changes to your child’s IEP may be needed to support growth and progress in eighth grade and prepare your child for high school.
  • To better understand the high school admissions process, attend family workshops the summer before your child begins eighth grade

Grade 8

Apply to High School

At your child’s annual IEP meeting:

  • Ask about transition planning and the special education programs/services that will help your child achieve your child’s goals.
  • Discuss high school graduation requirements and diploma options.
  • In June and over the summer, attend high school orientations and/or information sessions at your child’s future high school.

Find Out More

Other Considerations for Students with IEPs

Students in District Schools

Every high school is expected to welcome and serve students with disabilities. Students who have IEPs take part in the same admissions process as their non-disabled peers. They:

  • May apply to any high school program listed in the NYC High School Directory:
file-pdf file-word file-word file-excel file-excel ar bn zh ko ru ur en fr-FR fr-HT es Español
  • Are held to the same admissions requirements as non-disabled students. This includes
    • Taking the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT)
    • Applying for all screened and audition programs.

Students in Specialized Programs

Students in ASD and ACES Programs
  • Must complete the same high school application as their non-disabled peers.
  • If you want your child to continue in a specialized program you must also complete a high school application for that program. Your child's guidance counselor can give you the high school application. Return the completed application to your child’s current school.
Students in BSE Programs

Talk with your IEP team about how your child's language needs will be met in high school. For more information, visit the page on specialized programs or contact Specialized Programs at specializedprograms@schools.nyc.gov.

Students in District 75

Talk to the IEP team, of which you are a member, to determine if your child will require a District 75 program for high school. Some children may transition to a less restrictive environment at this time.

Students Continuing in District 75

Is your child in a District 75 program for high school? If so, your child will not participate in the high school admissions process. The District 75 placement office will contact you in May or June with information about where your child will attend high school.

Students Exiting District 75

If the IEP team determines that your child no longer needs a District 75 program, he or she will participate in the high school admissions process.

Testing Accommodations

If your child’s IEP or 504 plan lists testing accommodations, they will be provided during all of the following (provided that the accommodations do not change what the test or activity is measuring):

  • SHSAT administration
  • School-based screening activities
  • Auditions

Was your child declassified in grades 8-12? The IEP team can recommend that they continue to receive testing accommodations in high school. The continuation of testing accommodations or the “safety net” should be included in your child's last IEP, which is used to document declassification support services.

Back to Top