Guiding Principles for Transition Plan Development
- Transition efforts should start early and continue until transition occurs. Schools should take a proactive approach to transition. Transition efforts should begin at age 14 and not wait until a student is nearing the end of public school.
- Planning must be comprehensive. A district must focus on more than just school to post-school environments and services and develop a plan that encompasses transition needs from first grade through high school and provides supports for all students with special needs.
- The planning process must balance what is ideal with what is possible. Even though it is important for students with special needs, their family members, and school staff to dream about adult opportunities, reality must be a factor in developing and implementing transition plans.
- Student participation is essential. The one person most affected by transitions is the student with special needs so students and their family members must be involved in the entire process in order to incorporate their dreams, wishes, and ideas.
- Family involvement is crucial. Family involvement in the transition planning and implementation process is vitally important because family members have information to contribute related to the future of their child.
- The transition planning process must be sensitive to diversity. Diversity among students and their families must be taken into consideration when developing a transition plan because different cultures expect and desire different outcomes from school.
- Everyone uses supports and services. All individuals who make changes need supports during transitions but students with special needs may need more extensive supports.
- Community-based activities are important. Including community-based teaching and training opportunities is an excellent means of easing transition difficulties.
- Interagency commitment, cooperation, and coordination must be improved. Without the active involvement of all agencies involved in providing services to children and their families, important transition efforts may be overlooked.
- Timing is crucial if linkages are to be made and a seamless transition to life after high school is to be achieved. Waiting until students have difficulties is too late to provide appropriate support services.
- The transition planning process should be considered a capacity-building activity.
- Ranking of transition needs must occur. Part of the transition planning process should be to rank order the transition needs of students.
- Transition planning is beneficial to all students. Preparing for change is a good way of avoiding pitfalls that often occur when there are changes.
© ______ 2006, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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