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Transition Planning: Parent’s Perspective to Quality Transition Plans. March 29, 2007 Henrico County Public Schools Dr. Mary E. Morningstar & Dana Lattin Examples from session: University of Kansas

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transition planning parent s perspective to quality transition plans

Transition Planning:Parent’s Perspective to QualityTransition Plans

March 29, 2007

Henrico County Public Schools

Dr. Mary E. Morningstar & Dana Lattin

Examples from session:

University of Kansas

Department of Special Education




Transition was included in IDEA because the first special education students to exit high school were successful in achieving positive postschool adult outcomes such as living on their own, having a well-paying job, and attending postsecondary education in record numbers.

Correct answer is: FALSE.

Beginning in the mid-1980’s, the U.S. Department of Education recognized that the first group of students who had been all the way through special education were leaving school and unsuccessful in adult life. Unemployment, lack of enrollment in postsecondary education, continued dependence on parents, social isolation, and lack of involvement in community-based activities were found among young adults with disabilities.




Many curricula and programs do not support students with disabilities in developing essential adult-life skills.

Correct answer is TRUE

Post-school outcome research indicates that the current special education curriculum, instruction, and planning are not meeting students' needs. The National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 has reported that while outcome for many youth with disabilities is improving, they often do not learn or use the skills in their school programs that they need to achieve productivity, empowerment, and independence.




Students with disabilities transitioning from school to adult life are not often supported by effective interagency collaboration.

Correct answer is TRUE

Limited levels of service coordination and collaboration among schools and community service agencies have created difficulties for students with disabilities in achieving positive post-school results (Johnson, et al., 2002). In many circumstances, students with disabilities leave school without appropriate community supports necessary to achieve successful adult outcomes. Many students remained at home with nothing to do because they were on long waiting lists for adult services.




Students with disabilities are more likely to remain in school and graduate from high school than their peers without disabilities.

Correct answer is FALSE

Dropping out of school is one of the most serious problems facing special education programs across the country. Almost 1/4 of all youth with disabilities exit the school system by dropping out. Youth with ED have the highest drop out rates (from 21% to 64% - twice the rate of nondisabled students). The drop out rate for students with learning disabilities averages 25% (National Center for Education Statistics, 2001). Reasons include: lack of credits to graduate, no parental support for education, inappropriate social interactions. Dropouts have fewer options for employment and usually end up in entry level, low-paying positions.

focusing on transition changes how we provide services
Transition is Results-Oriented

Transition is Coordinated

Transition is Student-Centered

  • Postecondary ed., living, employment, and full participation in the community
  • Accountable for programs leading to successful outcomes
  • IEP reflects what the student is expected to know or be able to do
  • IEP = transition IEP
  • All activities & services within the school = course of study
  • Link with agencies and service providers providing transition services
  • Work with outside agencies (including inviting to IEP meetings).
  • Reauthorization of Rehab. Act
  • Based upon "student needs, taking into account student strengths, preferences and interests“
  • Focus on the vision for the future
  • Age-appropriate transition assessment required for transition planning
  • Students must be actively involved in educational and transition planning
Focusing on Transition Changes How We Provide Services
the idea 2004 focus on critical elements of transition
The IDEA 2004: focus on critical elements of transition:
  • How we define“transition services”
  • How we make decisions about transition services based upon appropriate assessments
  • What is required in a student’s IEP related to transition
  • How we summarize transition performance when students are graduating or exiting school.
iep results process for transition services adapted from o leary 2005
IEP Results Process for Transition Services (adapted from: O’Leary, 2005)

Step 1: Measurable Postsecondary Goals

Step 3: Needed Transition Services

Step 4: Annual IEP Goals

Step 2: Present Levels of Academic Performance

  • Education or Training
  • Employment
  • Independent Living
  • a. Course of Study
  • b. Needed Services:
  • Instruction
  • Related Services
  • Community Experiences
  • Employment and other post-school adult living objectives
  • Daily Living skills & Functional Vocational Assessment (when appropriate)

Step 5:

Summary of Performance

Age Appropriate Transition Assessments

definition of transition services
Definition of Transition Services

“a coordinated set of activities for a student that

  • is designed to be within a results-oriented process that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievementof the child with a disability tofacilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation.”

Definition of Transition Services

(B) based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths,preferences, and interests; and

(C) includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. (Section 602, (34).

beginning no later than the first iep in effect when the student turns 16 and annually thereafter
Beginning no later than the first IEP in effect when the student turns 16 and annually thereafter –

A student's IEP must include appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and where appropriate, independent living skills. The IEP must include those transition services (including courses of study) needed to assist the student in reaching postsecondary goals. (Section 614)

what do measurable postsecondary goals mean
Goals stated so that we can measurethe extentto which they were achieved & schools role in planning

We are NOT talking about IEP goals (“measurable annual goals”)

We are talking about postschool outcomes explicitly stated and then planned for with: 1.transition assessment, 2. transition services, 3. IEP goals, 4. interagency collaboration to ensure most likely achievement

Education/training & employment are required

Examples (from NSTTAC):

Upon completion of high school…

I will enroll in the Associates Degree program at Ocean County Community College in August of 2009. (separate, education/training)

I will get my undergraduate degree in history and education, to become a high school social studies teacher. (combo: education/training & employment)

Paulo will independently prepare for work each day by dressing, making his bed, making his lunch, and accessing transportation. (separate, independent living)

For younger students….

I’d like to work with animals

I’d like to work with computers

I would like to live in my own apartment with a roommate

What do “measurable postsecondary goals” mean?

Ed O’Leary (2006)

based on age appropriate transition assessments

The ongoing process of collecting data on the individual’s strengths, needs, preferences, and interests as they relate to the demands of current and future working, educational, living, and personal, and social environments. Assessment data serve as the common thread in the transition process and form the basis for defining goals and services to be included in the IEP (DCDT Position Statement, Sitlington, 1996)

Based on age appropriate transition assessments….
  • What are age appropriate transition assessments?
  • What is the purpose of transition assessments?
transition services including courses of study
Transition services (including courses of study)
  • Transition services must be based upon the student’s needs, strengths, preferences and interests and focus on the desired postsecondary goals for the student.
  • The transition services that must be considered by the IEP team during the planning process include:
    • instruction,
    • community experiences,
    • related services,
    • the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives,
    • and when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluations.
courses of study
Courses of Study
  • “multi-year description of coursework to achieve a student’s desired postschool goals”
  • “meaningful to the student’s future and motivate the student to complete his or her education”
  • “attention on how the child’s educational program can be planned to help the child make a successful transition to his or her goals for life after secondary school”

(O’Leary, 2005).

one year before the student reaches the legal age of majority
One year before the student reaches the legal age of majority:
  • Beginning not later than one year before the student reaches the age of majority under State law… students and parents are to be notified of the specific rights which will transfer to the student once he or she turns 18 & documentation must be found in the IEP.
  • Documentation of this notification must be included in the IEP at this time.

- Notification of meetings

- Notification and consent for evaluation

- Selection of participants of IEP meetings

- Approval of the contents of the IEP

- Approval regarding change of placement


Course of Study

Postsecondary Goals




Transition Services:


Community Experiences

Related Services


Other Adult Living

Daily Living

Functional Vocational Assessment

Activities, Strategies & Assessments

Goals and Objectives

To-do List

Interagency Linkages

Transition Assessments




School Staff




Age of Majority Requirements

Interagency Linkages:



Persons Involved

Date of Completion


caught in transition
Caught in Transition…


“… a local educational agency shall provide the child with a summary of the child's academic achievement and functional performance, which shall include recommendations on how to assist the child in meeting the child's postsecondary goals.”

IDEA 2004 Sec. 614c (5)

A comprehensive evaluation..

“shall not be required before the termination of a child's eligibility under this part due to graduation from secondary school with a regular diploma.”

summary of performance
Summary of Performance
  • For students who are graduating (exiting) high school (either with a regular diploma or due to exceeding the age eligibility for special education), schools are now required to provide the student and his or her family with a summary of academic achievement and functional performance, along with recommendations on how to assist the student to meet postschool goals.
  • These requirements do not require additional evaluations or reevaluations before the change in eligibility take place.
  • The IDEA does not specify what this performance summary should look like or what kinds of information need to be included. Schools should be planning creative ways to capture a students transition summary report.
Family Members


Education personnel

School support staff

Community members

Peers and friends


Postsecondary Ed. staff

Community Service Providers

Who should participate in transition planning & IEPS?

who is responsible for transition outcomes
Who is Responsible for Transition Outcomes?

In the case where a participating agency, other than the educational agency, fails to provide agreed upon services, the educational agency shall reconvene the IEP team to identify alternative strategies to meet the transition objective.


Transition Planning Process

Develop a Vision for the Future

      • Develop Transition IEP
      • Measurable Postsecondary Goals
      • Transition Services & Course of Study
      • Goals, Objectives/Benchmarks
  • Interagency Linkages

Identify Preferences, Interests and Needs

Using Age Appropriate Transition Assessments


Implement IEP

  • Instruction • Community Experiences • Related Services • Functional Evaluation • Goals & Objectives • Courses of Study • Interagency Linkages
  • Evaluate Results
  • Reconvene the IEP Team
  • Expand Upon Existing IEP
  • Reevaluate & Revise Annually