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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



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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.
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