Exploring Notification: How Data are Communicated to Initiate Transition Webinar Cover

Webinar Recap: Optimizing Data Communication for Seamless Transitions

Author: Linh Le
Contributors: Ginger Elliott-Teague, Howard Morrison

Exploring Notification: How Data are Communicated to Initiate Transition Cover Slide

Effective data communication plays a pivotal role in ensuring seamless transitions for children moving from one educational program to another. The “Exploring Notification: How Data Are Communicated to Initiate Transition” webinar, held on August 3, 2023, provided a deep dive into this critical aspect of early childhood education.

The Transition Begins with Notification

The webinar hosted by Ginger Elliott-Teague, Howard Morrison, Michelle Lewis, Ruth Littlefield, and Susan Kessler, zoomed in on the significance of transition notification – a critical step in a child’s educational journey from Part C to Part B 619. Participants were treated to a wealth of insights, including key resources, state-specific examples, and strategies for effective data communication between Early Intervention (EI) and Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) programs.

The Case for Improved Data Communication for Notification

The question at the heart of the discussion was clear: “Why Improve Data Communications?” The challenges of weak data communication processes are substantial:

  • Missing and late notifications
  • Disconnected Local Education Agency (LEA) and State Education Agency (SEA) notifications
  • Inefficient processes
  • Disorganized or wasteful documentation
  • Overburdened families and a lack of service continuity

The benefits of implementing high quality processes are equally significant:

  • Reduce staff workload
  • Increase LEA engagement
  • Provide answers to service and program-critical questions

IDEA Requirements and Key Definitions

A central point of discussion was the IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) requirements. It was emphasized that notification effectively constitutes a referral to the SEA and LEA of residence from the early intervention program. Although IDEA outlines the notification requirements for all children served by Part C who are potentially eligible for Part B, states vary in their notification processes. Certainly, some processes are more efficient than others, but there is no single right notification process.

The presenters clarified key terms:

  • Data Sharing: The practice of providing partners with information they can’t access in their own data systems.
  • Data Linking: Manually connecting information from one data source with information related to the same entity from another source.
  • Data Integration: Combining data from different sources into a single data system.

Real World Examples

To illustrate the possibilities of data sharing, linking, and integration for transition, this webinar shared several real-world examples. Some state EI programs share individual notification letters with the SEA and relevant LEA, while others provide periodic datasets that can be linked to ECSE datasets for monitoring and analysis. Others use more automation, integrating the EI and ECSE systems so notification occurs in real time to both the SEA and LEA. Susan Kessler from Alaska reported on her state’s processes, which involve both data sharing and data linking.

Next Steps

The presenters offered guidance on what comes next for states seeking to improve their notification processes:

  • Revise transition interagency agreements that specify data sharing responsibilities, timelines, and processes to match current needs.
  • Consider creating and using a single unique child identifier across both Part C and Part B.
  • Move toward a statewide data system to support accurate and efficient data transfer.
  • Develop processes for real-time data access for state and local Part C and Part B staff.

Additional Practice Improvements

It is important to establish routine communication between state and local Part C and Part B staff to coordinate notification data sharing, resolve discrepancies, and ensure timely access to services. States might also improve their transition notification training and technical assistance to increase transition knowledge and build interagency relationships.


The “Exploring Notification” webinar offered a comprehensive look at the significance of data communication in the transition process and provided actionable insights to improve this vital aspect of early childhood education. It’s a reminder that effective data communication is not just a process; it’s a bridge to a brighter educational future for all children.

Resources for Ongoing Learning

DaSy Center Resources

Other Resources

About the Authors

Photo: Linh Le

Linh Le is a Communications Specialist at SRI International. She currently supports communications for the Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy), managing the center’s social media efforts and blog.


Photo: Ginger Elliott-Teague

Ginger Elliott-Teague, PhD is a Senior Education Researcher and DaSy Technical Assistance (TA) Specialist at SRI International. She is a former Part C and Part B Data Manager and has led state efforts to link and integrate data within and across EI and ECSE programs.


Photo: Howard Morrison

Howard Morrison is a DaSy Technical Assistance Specialist with SRI. Howard specializes in early childhood education on a variety of topics, data linking and integration, data use, data governance, data sharing agreements, school readiness, public-private partnerships, community engagement, and state systems. He has worked on several large national TA projects, developing resources and leading TA efforts.


Published May 2024.