Achieving Success: Exiting Special Education Support - Transition from High School

  • Beginning with the first IEP, the ultimate goal is to teach students to utilize tools and internalize methods of learning so they no longer require special education supports and services. To be independent lifelong learners. For those students who require special education services until they complete high school, the process of exiting high school is one of the biggest life transitions students will face. Planning for their exit begins formally at age 14 in the Individualized Transition Plan (ITP) portion of the IEP, which the team writes in conjunction with the student to determine their plans for the first two years out of high school. Prior to students exiting high school and entering the post-secondary world, they are provided with linkages to appropriate outside agencies which could include the Department of Rehabilitation, Regional Center, Independent Living Center, and/or the services for students with disabilities office at the college they attend. Throughout high school, the transition teacher meets regularly with all students with disabilities and provides lessons and runs grant-funded student work programs. Seniors in high school meet at least quarterly with the transition teacher, who checks in with students regarding their post-secondary plans and assists them with pre-employment skills, self-determination skills, applying for community college or other training programs, and other needed transition skills.

    Once students leave high school and enter the post-secondary world, the transition teacher touches base with them annually to see what they are doing and whether they need further assistance. Transition teachers are also available to assist students who have left school and need help figuring out their next steps. Students who are in our Transition Partnership Program (TPP) with the Department of Rehabilitation are also assisted with their job search for the first two years out of high school. Our DOTS website has links to a wide variety of agencies, colleges, and community services that anyone can access in the “Transition Resources” section. Our department is delighted to provide support to students during this challenging and exciting time in their lives.