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What to expect from the ECI Transition Process

Brighton Center What to Expect from the ECI Transition Process

At Brighton, we want every parent to be informed of the ECI Transition process so their child can get the best possible education and care. Here’s what you can expect from the ECI Transition Process.

The ECI Transition Process

1. Referral

Referral to public school must take place at least 90 days prior to the 3rd birthday.

After the referral paperwork is provided to your child’s zoned Independent School District from ECI, an evaluation team member contacts the parents to arrange an intake for completion of the district evaluation packet.

2. Evaluation

Once consent is signed, the school district will schedule the evaluation within 45 school days.

Parents must sign permission to proceed with testing and the evaluation appointment is scheduled. (Parents can request a formal assessment in all areas)

Afterwards, when the evaluation and assessments are complete, the team will schedule an Admission Review & Dismissal (ARD committee) meeting. (Parents can request to review the evaluation report before the meeting)

3. ARD Meeting

ARD meeting is held within 30 calendar days following the completion of the evaluation report or by child’s 3rd birthday.

The ARD (Admission, Review & Dismissal) of Special Education Services is a legal Meeting that …

    • determines the category of the disability criteria (if any)
    • determines if there is an educational need for special education services
    • develops the Individual Education Program (IEP) which defines services and placement

Required ARD Committee Members

    • parent(s)/legal guardian(s)
    • administrator
    • general education teacher
    • special education teacher
    • evaluation specialist
    • any other appropriate person(s)

4. Services

If child is eligible, services begin on the 3rd birthday.

Continuum of Services for Preschool

(Your child’s zoned Independent School District) offers eligible students a continuum of services in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). Placement is based on the individual needs as determined by the ARD committee (of which, as mentioned above, parent(s)/guardian(s) are required members).

Services May Include:

  • Speech services provided at the child’s home campus
  • Prekindergarten with support services
  • Blended Prekindergarten with Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)
  • Self-contained Preschool classroom
  • Community based services


Early Childhood Special Education refers to services the student receives by the school district rather than a specific place.

Who is eligible for ECSE

Children aged 3-5 become eligible for ECSE based on assessment qualifying the student as an individual with a disability in one of the following disability categories:

    1. Specific Learning Disability
    2. Other Health Impairment
    3. Autism Spectrum Disorder
    4. Emotional Disturbance
    5. Speech or Language Impairment
    6. Visual Impairment, including Blindness
    7. Hearing Impairment
    8. Deaf-Blindness
    9. Orthopedic Impairment
    10. Intellectual Disability
    11. Traumatic Brain Injury
    12. Multiple Disabilities
    13. Non-categorical Early Childhood

The specific services provided are determined by the ARD Committee based on the needs of your child.

Need to Know Terms

ECI: Early Childhood Intervention
ECDR: Early Childhood Developmental Review
FAPE: Free Appropriate Public Education
FERPA: Family Education Rights and Privacy Act
FIE: Full Individual Evaluation
IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IEP: Individualized Education Program
LEA: Local Education Agency (Your child’s zoned Independent School District)
LRE: Least Restrictive Environment
ECSE: Early Childhood Special Education

  • Independent School Districts do not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its program or activities. Brighton Center has Special Education Consultants who can assist parents and answer specific questions regarding student programs or concerns.

ECI Transition Process Summary

Being more informed about the ECI Transition Process can help ensure your child receives the assistance they need.

Brighton Center Child and Parent Smiling

“Brighton offers families hope, caring, understanding, education and every bit of it is 100% from their hearts. Our daughter has benefited from ALL of the services that Brighton has to offer. They have become like another family to us and they will always be a part of our lives.“

MARY RUDY, Lulu's Mom