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Transition Planning

Transition planning is a collaborative process

What is a transition?

A transition is the passage from one stage to another and is a lifelong process. Transition occurs when a student moves from home to school, from grade to grade, from school to school, or from school to community. Transition planning takes into consideration all major aspect of each student's life experiences and assists in determining appropriate educational resources and programming. The crossover from youth to adulthood carries expectations of independent living, employment and recreational pursuits. Transition planning is essential if students are to be empowered to improve the quality of their independent lives. Transition Planning recognizes the need for additional planning to design educational programs that provide students with special needs the skills, knowledge and attitudes to meet their future life aspirations.

What is a Transition Plan?

A transition plan is a written document that reflects goals developed collaboratively in response to the specific strengths and challenges of the student in relation to his or her aspirations for the future. Transition planning assists in ensuring successful entry into school, supports students to remain in school, and at the end of their public schooling, ensures that a plan is in place for taking the "next step" towards an independent adult life in the community. The plan may cover a wide range of programming and services such as supporting students' entry into public school, post-high school options, housing, leisure, independent living, and in-school transitioning.  The goals of the transition plan are incorporated into the student's individualized program plan outcomes (IPP). 

How do school program planning teams decide the students that require transition planning?

Transition Planning is an integral part of the individual program planning for all students with special needs. Transition Planning must be a part of the planning process for all students on Individual Program Plans. School to Community Transition Planning is initiated when a student enters junior high school.

Who are the members of the transition planning team?

The team membership may change in response to the student's strengths, challenges and future aspirations and the identified transition. The membership can be home-based, school-based and community based and must include:

  • Parent (s) / guardian (s)
  • Student (when appropriate)
  • School principal or designate teachers involved

 Other members will come from a wide spectrum of service and advocacy providers which may include:

  • School- and regionally-based personnel 
  • Government and non-government agencies
  • Residential and recreational services providers
  • Health-care professionals
  • Advocacy organizations

 What are the roles of the members of the transition planning team?

The role of each participant, both in the planning process and subsequent follow-up, is dependent upon their expertise and the range of services they represent. Specific responsibilities of participants in the implementation, tracking, and monitoring of transition goals that are embedded in the student's Individual Program Planning outcomes will be assigned by the team chair (principal or designate) and recorded. Specific responsibilities assigned to the members of the group are essential to the successful transition process. These responsibilities can be referred to as the "action planning". This outlines the actions the adults involved in the planning will follow to ensure transition planning progress.

When is the transition planning reviewed?

The program planning team reviews the transition planning during the school year by evaluating the students’ progress towards meeting his or her goals. This level of planning is often included in the student's Individual Program Planning meeting. If the outcomes are not being achieved, it may be necessary to revise the transition planning goals or to consider and address the factors that may be barriers to achievement of the outcomes.

How can teams ensure effective transition planning?

Transition planning is most effective when participants systematically use collaborative principles for decision making, carefully document to ensure due process, and thoroughly analyze resources and services available. Resources, finances, and programs are often shared among a variety of departments and agencies and require a collaborative team approach in order to co-ordinate services effectively.

Transition Planning PDF Slide Show

To learn more about transition planning, click here .

Transition Resource Activity Kits

Electronic copies of the transition kits may be accessed through your Program Planning Specialist. The resource kits offer information and activities that may be helpful to some school teams.

Unit 1

  • Career Exploration
  • Employment Literacy
  • Computer / Internet / Job Search Skills 

Unit 2

  • Transit / Street Map Reading / Route Maps / Bus Training
  • Time Management 

Unit 3

  • Numeracy
  • Financial Skills/Budgeting
  • Independent Purchasing
  • Cash Training 

Unit 4

  • Work Experience
  • Interview Skills
  • Life Skills
  • On the Job Skills 

Unit 5

  • Portfolio skills
  • Community Resource Mapping

HRCE Virtual Transition Fair

Click here to learn more.