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Transition Services (Ages 16-21)

As your student gets older and progresses through school, her/his special education program is required to focus more intentionally on preparing your student for life after they graduate or “ages-out” of the school system.

Your student’s transition out of the district’s special education program is addressed by adding a transition plan to your student's IEP. Transition services must be included in your student's IEP beginning the year in which s/he reaches age 16, at the very least, or earlier if the IEP team determines it is appropriate.

There are six essential steps to take when creating a transition plan for your student's IEP:

Student helping with boxing donations
  1. Conduct transition assessments (formal and/or informal) to identify your student’s:
    • Strengths (talents/skills)
    • Interests (desired career/line of work)
    • Preferences (desired work/school or living environment)
    • Needs (accommodations, modifications, and other support(s) to minimize limitations resulting from a disability)
  2. Develop appropriate and measureable post-secondary goals based on transition assessment data related to:
    • Education/Training (required goal area)
    • Employment (required goal area)
    • Independent Living (required if determined appropriate by the IEP team)
  3. Identify individualized transition services in the areas related to supporting your student’s achievement of post-secondary goals and/or meeting graduation requirements. Some key example areas to consider are:
    • Instruction – What formal and informal opportunities for learning exist? What does your student need to know and be taught?
    • Related Services – What services are needed for your student to continue accessing her/his special education program?
    • Community Experiences – What opportunities will your student have access to that offer “hands on” or practical learning experiences?
    • Development of Adult Living Objectives – What must be put in place for your student to develop and/or improve her/his independent living skills?
  4. Write a relevant course of study that takes into consideration what types of classes your student should plan to take during the remainder of their time in the school system to support her/his identified post-secondary goals. Multi-year planning may be necessary.
  5. Coordinate services with Adult Service agencies that your student might utilize after s/he is no longer eligible for education services.
  6. Write IEP goals to support the post-secondary goals identified for your student.