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Transition to a New School


Going to a new school can be an exciting time for both students and parents. Whether moving from elementary to middle school or middle to high school, it’s a time to make new friends and participate in school-related activities. However, moving to a new school may provide challenges for families impacted by a bleeding disorder. With some research and helpful tips, transitioning to a new school can be eased by having students, families, and school personnel involved in the process.

This section of Next Step provides information on:

  • A Student's School Rights
  • A School's Responsibilities

Parents and kids will also find helpful resources for themselves and to give to school personnel.

Transition to a New School

Communicating with your child’s school and educating the staff about your child’s bleeding disorder are important parts of the back-to-school routine. The National Hemophilia Foundation’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MASAC) Transition Guidelines for People With Bleeding Disorders suggests that parents of 9- to 12-year-old children should conduct school in-service trainings to teach staff about their child’s condition and any recent changes that have taken place.

If you have been educating school staff about your child’s bleeding disorder, you should continue to do this whenever your child transitions to a new school, be it middle or high school. If you move into a new community, you should meet with your child’s school staff and have more in-depth discussions. Remember, your Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC) or local hemophilia chapter can help with in-service trainings.

As your child starts attending classes in a new, and possibly larger, school you may have some questions or concerns. There will be more staff, more students, and different class requirements. The tips below will help make the transition to middle school and high school a smooth and successful experience.

Your Child's Rights in School

Your child’s right to a proper education is protected under 2 important federal laws, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 is a civil rights law that means 2 important things for students:

  • A child with a disability cannot be discriminated against in a school environment.
  • A child with a disability is entitled to receive services and accommodations at school to ensure complete so that he or she can freely participate in all school programs and activities.

For more information, go to Educational Rights and Sample 504 Accommodation Plan.

Resources to Give Your Child's School Staff

The School's Responsibilities

It is the school's responsibility to:

  • Review your child’s bleeding disorder health records that you provide.
  • Provide your child with reasonable accommodations to meet his or her needs.
  • Clarify the roles and obligations of specific school staff and provide education and communication systems necessary to ensure that your child’s health and educational needs are met in a safe and coordinated manner.
  • Ensure that your child receives prescribed medications in a safe, reliable, and effective manner and has access to needed medication at all times during the school day and at school-related activities.
  • Be prepared to handle health needs and emergencies and to ensure that a staff member who is properly trained to administer medications or other immediate care during the school day and at all school-related activities, regardless of time or location, is available.
  • Ensure that all staff who interact regularly with your child receive appropriate guidance and training on routine needs, precautions, and emergency actions.
  • Promote a supportive learning environment in which students with chronic illnesses are viewed to be the same as other students, except in regards to health needs.
For a sample letter, go to Sample Letter for School.