Secondary Transition Planning
Preparing for your child’s future…
Why We do it… It’s the Law!
The Federal Law (IDEA 2004) defines secondary transition as “a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that is designed within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with the disability to facilitate the movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment…adult services, independent living or community participation”.
- A process to plan for future goals in the areas of post-secondary education, employment, independent living and community participation.
- Begins at age 14 (or younger)
- Addresses individual needs
- Focused on individual preferences and interests based on assessment data.
- Promotes movement of youth/ young adults from high school to adulthood.
- Move from a system of ‘entitlement’ to a system of ‘eligibility’.
What Can Parents Do?
- Be involved in your child’s IEP. Attend meetings and ask questions to ensure you understand its content.
- Ensure that your child’s IEP has transition goals in the areas of post-secondary education, employment and independent living beginning at age 14 and that these goals are appropriate.
- Ensure your child participates in the IEP meeting.
- Communicate with your child about their future plans/goals.
- Obtain information about attending a “Get It Done Day”.
Why is It Important?
By learning as much as possible about the options available for transition planning, you are:
- Ensuring you understand all of the post-secondary options for your child
- Furthering your child’s education
- Planning for your child’s future careers
- Helping your child gain independent living skills
Who is Involved?
- Special Education Teachers
- General Education Teachers
- School Administrators
- Related service providers when appropriate
- Outside agencies as deemed necessary
What is “Transfer of Rights?
IDEA 2004 requires that at least one year before the student reaches the “age of majority” and legally becomes an adult, the school must
(1) alert the student of their new, upcoming responsibilities, and
(2) provide notices of upcoming meetings to the student as well as the parents, while all other notices will go only to the student.
States determine what the “age of majority” is, so it can vary from state to state. But when the student reaches that age (18 years old) he or she will assume legal control over educational placement, educational records, eligibility, evaluations and programming, and any mediation or due process needed to resolve disputes
What is a “Summary of Performance (SOP)”
A summary of performance is a document the school must provide before the student graduates from high school or turns 22 years old. It summarizes academic and functional performance levels and transition needs at the time the student completes school. It must be specific, meaningful, and written so the student can understand it. It must make recommendations about how to help the student meet his or her postsecondary goals. The SOP should be reviewed at the student’s final transition planning meeting.
For more information, please visit the ISBE website here.