Special Services: Transition Planning

Transition planning is about planning for life! It is term used in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that defines a coordinated set of activities that may address course selection, assessment, planning process and educational and community experiences for students with an IEP as they turn 14 years of age. The intent of transition is to create opportunities for youth that result in positive adult outcomes for life (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition, 2007). Transition Planning is a process whereby post high-school options are discussed, planned for and monitored beginning when students leave 8th grade through high school graduation.

  • It is the planning process where teachers, parents, students, counselors, related service providers and outside agencies all get together to help provide the opportunities for students to help them achieve their future goals.
  • The transition planning begins in 8th grade, where we start to talk to students about their interests and strengths. We ask questions to help begin the conversation about future goals:
    • What kinds of activities do you enjoy?
    • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
    • What kind of job would you like to have?
    • What kind of classes might you like to take in High School?
    • How can we help you get ready for High School? College?  Post High School life?                                

The transition planning process determines what, if any transition services the student needs.  The IEP team must address transition services for the IEP beginning when the student is 14 ½ or prior to entering high school, which ever happens first. Transition services include appropriate, measurable post-secondary goals that are based on age-appropriate transition assessments. Any area addressed is based on the student's needs, taking into account the student's strengths, preferences and interests.