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Student-Led Transitional Planning


Jeri Stickney Phillips

Statement of the Problem

            Most Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Transition Plans (TPs) are conducted with very little input from the student at Anywhere High School (AHS). In the past, IEP and TP meetings were not conducted with all members involved. Further, interventions were poorly written and implemented. The Special Education Department (SPED) Department has been working to improve methods and implementation. Since the SPED Department has begun strengthening procedures and practices, one area that needs to be strengthened is substantial involvement of the student in the planning and implementation process for his or her own IEP/TP. In view of the fact that all IEPs are automatically written with Transitional Plans at AHS, this report includes IEPs; however the focus of the report is on student-led transition plans.

The Transition Plan is important to student’s success as an adults. Students who passively sit through meetings with little or no input often do not understand the IEP/TP process or the interventions decided for them at the team meeting. As a consequence, they may not feel vested in their education. Students need to be trained on how to be an active member of the IEP/TP team. This active involvement will help create ownership of intervention planning and implementation. Therefore, part of the transition process needs to include instruction and practice on how to actively participate in meetings and eventually lead meetings. This active involvement of the student will create the ownership necessary to maximize his or her understanding, participation, and success.

Literature Review

Transitional planning is an important component of Special Education Individual Education Plans (IEPs). An important focus of transitional planning for high school students is assisting students to shift from adolescence to adult living. This focus comes in tandem with a student’s growing maturity to take charge of decision making, strategy development, implementation of strategies, and evaluation of effectiveness of decisions.

Currently, the Special Education Department at Anywhere High School (AHS) accounts for 14% of the total student population. As a consequence, this high percentage substantially impacts performance indicators. This review contains 5 intertwined themes.

  1. Special Education Law
  2. Individual Education Plans
  3. Transition Planning
  4. Advocacy
  5. Self-Determination


  1. Develop skills within TP classes for students to participate and lead transition planning
  2. Train all Case Carriers
  3. Require Case Carriers to include TP student-led component in IEPs
  4. Develop phases 1, 2, 3, 4 for each year
  5. Develop questionnaire to determine best way to provide skills
  6. Develop evaluation of progress at each semester


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