Effective practices , resources and ideas for transition planning Carol Huntley, M.Ed. Transition Specialist Round Rock Independent School District (512) 464-5982 [email protected] The Focus for Today’s Discussion 1. Students with Emotional or Behavioral Disorders 2. Students in the Juvenile Justice System 3. Self-contained Students Over the Age of 18 (getting ready to exit the school system). Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders Data from 2 National Longitudinal Studies show: 1. High drop out rate 2. Take longer to be employed after graduation, underemployment and lower employment rates overall 3. More problems in social adjustment 4. Many become parents very early in life 5. Many arrested in high school or in the first five years after high school Factors Specific to E/BD Disability more often interferes with their education and ability to obtain and keep a job than students with other disabilities Mental illness carries a stigma Gap in funding and service delivery between adult and youth mental health systems of care. Other disabilities (L.D.; I.D.) may be hidden under the E/BD. Those with behavior problems receive more support with transition than those with other mental health issues (depression, schizophrenia, bi-polar) What Works? Build a Relationship with the Family Get to know them with more than contact only at Transition Planning/ARD time Make sure meetings, materials and phone calls are in a language they can understand Invite them to the school for events and/or to visit classes Make time for informal talks and to answer questions outside of a formal meeting Ask questions about things that affect the student’s transition….medical issues; things that happen at home Family Must Be Involved in Transition Planning Hold meeting when they can attend Do they have transportation to the meeting? Make sure they understand issues at hand If they absolutely can’t attend, could they be on the phone? Make sure they understand and know where community supports are and how to access them Supports Available Through the IEP Does the student have a BIP and is it effective? What kind of accommodations are being offered? Are they helping? Does the student receive counseling, either in or out of school? Are Basic Needs Being Met? If the student is using drugs and/or alcohol, what support and help is being offered or can be offered? Does the student come to school poorly dressed or without enough food? If so, what help can be accessed in your area? Is the student taking needed meds to enable her/him to attend school and be stable enough to learn? Transition Planning to Empower the student Use Person Centered Planning Try Visual Transition Planning using PCP techniques Transition plan must include action as part of the planning Process must be positive; stress strengths, dreams; not deficits and problems Employment, Employment, Employment Assess to find out the student’s interests and skills Discuss Co-op or VAC class for credit Students who are employed while in school are most likely to have a job when they leave school Make agency linkages (DARS) Explore Alternative Pathways to Graduation Is a program available on campus for recoupment of credits lost (Atlas? Credit recovery?) Does your district make available an alternative school for students needing shortened days or schooling at night? Use Community Supports Your local county authority (LA) Non-profit organizations such as NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Don’t Overlook the Power of a Mentor Some districts have mentoring programs in place Mentor should be willing to give at least 1 hour a week to be with the student Those mentors that build a relationship with the student’s family can increase the impact of the mentorship What About Incarcerated Students? Ongoing transition, beginning when the student arrives at the detention or correction facility, emphasizing the students vision for his/her future and an action plan for items to be addressed. The transition team should be made up of the student, correctional facility staff, family and school personnel Support services for alcohol and drug abuse counseling, anger management, vocational counseling, training for parenthood Continuation of transition planning when student is returning to the school system Overlap Planning for 18+ Students Needing Ongoing Support Planning should focus on what the student’s day will look like after exiting the school system. Use a chart with a weekly calendar to make a plan Start by writing the times that the student works or volunteers Write other activities and events on the calendar that the student would like to do on a daily or weekly basis. Planning for Transition Overlap For example: First six-weeks: the school will provide support on the job site and student will attend school during other hours Second six-weeks: the person who will provide support attends and learns from the school staff member what kind of support the student needs and what has been provided. The student will add some of his/her activities with whomever will provide the ongoing support. Third six-weeks: the person providing the support takes over and the school personnel steps back or removes to another room or outside, checking back for questions or possible problems. The student is attending all of his/her activities and has transitioned from school to adult life. Resources Cheney, Douglas, ed. Transition of Secondary Students with Emotional or Behavioral Disorders. Seattle: University of Washington, 2004. Jolivette, K., Stichter, Janine P., Nelson, M., Scott, T., & Liaupsin, C. (2000) Improving Post-School Outcomes for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders. Council for Exceptional Children Teaching and Learning Center. Person Centered Planning: Pacer Center Online http://www.pacer.org/tatra/resources/personal.asp Test, D., Mazotti, A., Mustian, A.L., Fowler, C.H., Kortering, L., & Kohler, P. (2009) Evidence-based secondary transition predictors for improving postschool outcomes for students with disabilities. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 32, 160-181. United States. National Longitudinal Transition Study2, Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities. Prepared for Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. SRI Project P11182, November, 2004. Visual Transition Planning, developed by Renee Borders, Austin Independent School District. [email protected] Wagner, Mary. (1995) Outcomes for Youths with Serious Emotional Disturbance in Secondary School and Early Adulthood. Critical Issues for Children and Youths, Vol.5, No. 2, 90-112.