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Creating Transition Elective Courses. Susan Teague & Rhonda Heller Owasso Public Schools. Identifying the Need. Through our participation in the OTI Regional Meetings our team identified two key areas in which we could better meet the needs of our students:

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Creating Transition Elective Courses

Susan Teague & Rhonda Heller

Owasso Public Schools

identifying the need
Identifying the Need
  • Through our participation in the OTI Regional Meetings our team identified two key areas in which we could better meet the needs of our students:
    • Many students lacked a knowledge of the IEP process, self-advocacy skills, career awareness, and independent living skills.
    • The existing elective choices that were appropriate for students with disabilities did not offer .
establishing transition electives
Establishing Transition Electives
  • The Team proposed creating elective courses to address the transition needs of our students.
  • Approval from Administration (Principals and Director of Special Services) was sought.
  • The Course Titles and Course Numbers were selected from the list of approved titles provided by the State Department of Education.
establishing transition electives1
Establishing Transition Electives
  • Teachers who would be teaching the courses were selected based on their involvement with the Transition Team or their desire to help develop and teach the elective courses.
  • The transition elective classes are taught by special education teachers and count as time outside of general education.
  • Each year we have expanded the number of course sections to provide a broader variety of elective options to students.
developing the courses
Developing the Courses
  • Course content was established. Separate courses were developed so the content could be appropriate to students at various ages/developmental levels.
    • Grades 7 & 8
      • Life Skills focuses on awareness of independent living skills (health, hygiene, meal planning, cooking, etc.).
    • Grades 9 & 10
      • Life Skills focuses on basic independent living skills and career awareness.
      • Career Exploration includes independent living skills, but puts more emphasis on career exploration and job skills.
      • TechNow I focuses entirely on career exploration though the use of technology.
developing the courses1
Developing the Courses
  • Grades 11 & 12
    • Life Skills focuses on basic independent living skills and career awareness.
    • Career Exploration includes independent living skills, but puts more emphasis on career exploration and job skills.
    • TechNow 2 allows Tech Now 1 students to continue with more in-depth career exploration though the use of technology.
work study programs
Work Study Programs
  • Community-Based Employment - we have put an emphasis on finding a broader variety of worksites to allow more options for matching a worksite with the student’s interests and strengths. Students receive support and supervision from a Job Coach while at a jobsite.
  • The Job Enclave allows students who need more assistance to be successful working in a group under the direct supervision of a Job Coach.
work study programs1
Work Study Programs
  • Goodwill Industries Work Adjustment Training Program
    • Students must be between the ages of 18 to 22 and have completed the credit requirements for graduation.
    • Students must be Vocational Rehabilitation clients.
    • Students must be able to work independently as determined by the Certified Employment Specialist.
work study programs2
Work Study Programs
  • The program hours follow the regular school calendar from 8:00 – 11:00.
  • The program alternates the classroom setting with job training at the Goodwill Store in two-week intervals.
  • The Employment Specialist teaches a structured vocational curriculum, provides hands-on work experience, and facilitates the development of work habits, social skills, and reading and math reinforcement related to transitional activities.
work study programs3
Work Study Programs
  • The Work Study program includes one special education teacher acting as the Transition Employment Coordinator and three job coaches.
  • While participating in Work Study, we inform parents and students of the Pelivan service operating in our area. We encourage parents to authorize their child to use this service occasionally for transportation to and from the work site. Use of the service allows the family to become more comfortable with public transportation and increases self-confidence as the student learns to function more independently.
funding sources
Funding Sources

Principals at each building site have purchased books and other materials from their budgets.

State Personnel Development Grant

(2008, 2009, 2010)

Special Education Funds

Stimulus Money

student selection
Student Selection
  • Students are referred by the IEP team from the previous year when they feel there is a need for direct instruction in these areas.
  • In meetings, the parents and students are informed about the class content and offered the opportunity to select it as an elective choice.
student selection1
Student Selection
  • Since these courses do count as time outside of the regular classroom setting, LRE is a consideration. The team, including the parents and student, determine if the benefits of the course content outweigh the benefit of being in a regular education elective course.
  • Parents and students have been very receptive and to date, no parent or student has refused the opportunity to enroll.
program evaluation
Program Evaluation
  • All students 14 and older or those who will be 14 within the IEP year participate in Transition Assessments (Casey Life Skills, AIR Self-Determination Scale, OK-CIS). Transition assessments are done as a group during the first two weeks of school.
  • Most of our courses are in their first or second year, so the benefits and outcomes are primarily based on anecdotal evidence and teacher/parent observations.
  • Our goal is to document improvement in basic life skills and self-determination as measured by higher scores in these areas on subsequent assessments.
contact information
Contact Information

Susan Teague

(918) 272-8041

Rhonda Heller

(918) 272-8349

More information and several of our forms are available on our website.

At this time our “Transition Forms” section is password protected. Please email us if you would like the password.