In the Spotlight: Introducing the Secondary Transition IEP Rubric

Submitted by Missy Wrigley, Technical Assistance Provider

Educators and families work collaboratively to develop IEP goals and objectives to assure students’ access to the general education curriculum in the least restrictive environment. Once the student gets closer to high school graduation, the primary focus of the IEP shifts to secondary transition. By law, this shift begins not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the student turns 16, or younger if deemed appropriate.

Schools participating in CT’s SPDG have the opportunity to strengthen their IEPs by participating in an Educational Benefit Review Process. As part of this process, IEPs are collected, reviewed, and scored using the IEP Rubric developed by the State Education Resource Center (SERC).

SERC’s IEP rubric, as currently designed, does not address specific categories related to secondary transition. So the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and SERC have developed a separate IEP rubric that measures the quality of secondary transition services and planning provided for students with disabilities. The new rubric outlines best practices based on a continuum of transition services.

The IEP Rubric for Secondary Transition defines seven indicators needed for quality Secondary Transition IEP development. The rubric is constructed on the same premise as all IEPs: that all students are entitled to the general education curriculum within the least restrictive environment, and therefore the design of an IEP is focused on student outcomes based in the general education curriculum and/or community-based supports and operates on a continuum specifically targeted to meet the unique needs of the student. The purpose of the rubric is to provide educators and families a means to assess the quality of an IEP and the services provided by shifting the IEP from an emphasis on legal or compliance tasks to an instructional tool that can be used to guide Planning and Placement Teams in how to best support a student in achieving the same general education and occupational standards as his or her peers without disabilities.

The transition rubric will be provided to schools working with transition-age students. A copy of the rubric can also be found on SERC’s website under the Secondary Transition Initiative: As the rubric is still in draft form. We are inviting feedback; please send questions and comments to Missy Wrigley at

Published: January 21, 2015