For children and young adults, with special needs, transition from one setting to another can be a significant challenge to the student, his/her family and for those providing programs and support services. Successful transition plans are the result of a planned collaborative effort between the family, school, and community agencies involved with the child.
Regulation 181/98 in The Education Act and Program Policy Memorandum (PPM) 140 require school boards to provide plans for transition in the Individual Education Plan (IEP) for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and students over the age of 14, with the exception of gifted students. Entry to school and leaving school to a post secondary destination are significant transitions for a student that require extensive planning.
Entry to School
The goal of planning for entry to school is to help children adjust quickly to the school setting, enjoy learning and develop a positive attitude towards education. A good start to school improves a child’s chances of success from school entry to graduation. For children with special needs, entry to school is more complex and requires careful planning and coordination. An entry-to-school plan should provide adequate time for children and parents to learn and practice the skills and routines that will facilitate a smooth move from preschool to school.
The York Catholic District School Board has established an Early Facilitation process in partnership with community agencies; such as Early Intervention Services, as a short term transition process for high needs preschool children who have never been registered in an elementary school. The process begins before the child enters school and is complete once the child is in school.
Helping Students with Special Needs Prepare for the Future
As part of the Individual Education Plan (IEP), a plan for the student’s transition from secondary school to a post-secondary setting must be developed with input from the student, parent(s)/guardian(s), the principal, school staff, community agencies, and post-secondary institutions, as appropriate. The plan should reflect the student’s needs and goals for his or her future. The transition plan must include the following elements:
- Specific goals for the student’s transition to post-secondary activities. The goals must be realistic and must reflect the strengths, needs and interests of the student.
- The actions required, now and in the future, to achieve the stated goals. The actions identified must consider the student’s identified strengths, needs, and interests.
- The person or agency (the student, parents, educators, providers of specialized support and services, community agencies) responsible for or involved in completing or providing assistance in the completion of each of the identified actions.
- Timelines for the implementation of each of the identified actions.
(Excerpt from MOE website, Transition Planning)
The YCDSB continues to work collaboratively with York Region community service providers to host information nights for families interested in transition planning. These sessions will be posted in our “Upcoming Events” section of the website.
- Transition to Adult Checklist
- Sample Seven-Year Plan for High Functioning Students in FLS Program
- Sample Seven-Year Plan for Students in Educational Support Program
- Planning Entry to School: A Resource Guide
- Connections: A guide to transition planning for parents of children with a developmental disability