Tips for Developing a Cohesive Transition Plan
1: Have All Members at the Table
Transition discussions are critical, so it is vital to have input from all members of the ARD committee. Family members can provide important information about the student’s needs related to upcoming transitions and information about self-determination skills observed at home. Schools should invite all prospective service providers to attend the ARD committee meeting to ensure the development of a cohesive plan that best addresses the specific needs of the student.
2: Discuss Transition at the Annual ARD
All the standard components and any remaining family concerns about transition to the school setting should be discussed at the ARD committee meeting to ease remaining concerns or fears parents may have regarding the next key steps for their child. This will result in an IEP that has relevant supports in place to help the student be successful in future environments.
At each ARD committee meeting, the committee should look ahead at long-term outcomes for the student. Discussing self-determination skills is a great way to begin these discussions. Self-determination skills are skills that a child will need as an adult. Addressing self-determination skills can begin at a very early age to help prepare the child for lifelong success.
3: Transition Supports
Any necessary visual supports, reinforcement systems, teaching techniques, assistive technology, and prompting strategies should be shared with the elementary staff. The IEP should be clearly explained and outlined in the ARD committee meeting. In some situations, a child might require additional supports to begin the school year, which may be eliminated over time as the child adjusts to the new setting. With that in mind, always remember to monitor and review a student’s progress to determine if the plan is successful. ARD committees can always reconvene if the plan needs to be adjusted.