Some Key Concepts in School Transition
Transition Timeline: Informal preparation for transition planning is recommended to begin in Middle School. New York State regulations require the development of a formal written transition plan be initiated at the first Committee on Special Education (CSE) meeting held after a child turns 15.
Transition Plan: The Transition Plan is a part of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The plan identifies all areas of life for an adult including vocational/career, training and college, residential, community, social and recreational goals. Transition plans are updated at least once a year, and more often as needed.
The Transition Plan reflects a student’s learning preferences, personal choices, abilities, strengths, interests, goals, and needs. Youth are encouraged to actively participate as much as possible in the development of their transition plan. Based on a student’s specific goals, the school district provides special services and training to achieve measurable objectives within set timeframes.
The IEP Transition Plan can include increasing communication and functional skills, improving self-advocacy skills, developing a self-determination and person-centered plan; practicing workplace accommodations; learning self-care, hygiene and personal health care supports; learning how to use assistive technology; accessing community transportation and mobility training; career or college planning, and vocational and technical skills.
Participating Agencies in Transition: This can include anyone you believe can help develop or implement the transition plan, including school professionals, parents, medical professionals, service coordinator, and representatives from community service providers. An excellent resource is ACCES-VR (formerly VESID)–Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation, which provides “access to a full range of employment and independent living services that may be needed by persons with disabilities through their lives.”
Right to Stay in School until graduation or year in which the student turns 21: A student identified by the CSE has a right to stay in high school until they graduate with a Regents or local diploma, or until the end of the school year in which they turn 21. Students with disabilities access the general education curriculum and work towards a high school diploma and college/career readiness whenever possible. There is also currently an “IEP Diploma” available for students with disabilities who cannot benefit from the high school curriculum, and are unable based on their disabilities to earn a regular diploma. Get more information on the NYS IEP Diploma.