Secondary Transition

The Secondary Education Process for Students in Special Education Ages 14-21

  • May 9th, 2011
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Secondary Transition in a Standards Aligned System: Road Map for IEP Development

Graphic of Secondary Transition in a Standards Aligned System Road Map for IEP Development

Secondary Transition is the process of preparing students for adult life after they leave high school. Transition planning begins at age 14, or younger if determined appropriate by the IEP team, as students consider their goals for the time after graduation through career awareness exploration activities. The transition process continues through high school as academic instruction and community experiences help clarify and support students’ goals. The entire process is based on individual student’s needs, taking into account each student’s strengths, preferences, and interests.
Transition can be thought of as a bridge between school programs and the opportunities of adult life, including higher education or training, employment, independent living and community participation.
Pennsylvania educators facilitate students’ successful transition by using a six-step process to develop the IEP; guide the way for students, families, educators, and service providers; and prepare students to cross the “bridge” to adult life.

Six Step Process for Addressing Secondary Transition

Six Step Process for Addressing Secondary Transition (Click on each step category for additional information)
Step One Use assessment to identify the student’s post-secondary desired goals or vision
Step Two Describe The Student’s Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance, Embedding Assessment Data)
Step Three Establish Transition Team Partnerships
Step Four Design a Transition Plan That Includes Courses of Study and Services and Activities
Step Five Determine Measurable Annual Goals That Address Skill Deficits and Lead to Post-Secondary Goals
Step Six Monitor Progress and Adjust Instruction Based on Data

Steps One through Five represent a process that continues each year until graduation.

When the student is ready to graduate or exit high school, the team must provide a *Summary of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (SAAFP)

IDEA 2004 requires that school districts provide a Summary of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (SAAFP) to students with disabilities who are exiting high school. The SAAFP contains a summary of the student’s academic and functional performance, as well as recommendations for assisting the student in meeting post-school goals. The SAAFP should clearly state what students need to do to achieve their post-school goals. It should also help students to identify needed supports to achieve their post-school goals, to articulate individual strengths, and to better understand the impact of their disabilities as they enter adult life.

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