Transition Now and Then: Insights on Our

Transition Now and Then:
Insights on Our Changing View of
Transition from DCDT Position Paper
Wisconsin Transition Conference
Joanne Cashman, IDEA Partnership
Stacie Dojonovic, DCDT and PA CoP
Dale Matusevich, DCDT and DE CoP
Linda Maitrejean, CESA 11 and DCDT
Aligning Transition Services With Secondary Education Reform:
A Position Statement of the Division on Career Development and
• Society has witnessed significant improvements in the lives of
students receiving transition services over the past 30 years. The
field of transition has developed an array of evidence-based
interventions and promising practices; however, secondary school
reform efforts have often overlooked these approaches for youth
without disabilities. If we are to see improvements in
postsecondary outcomes for all youth, reform efforts must begin
with active participation of general and special educators and
critical home, school, and community stakeholders. In this article,
the authors discuss the evolution of transition in light of reform
efforts in secondary education. They review and identify secondary
educational initiatives that embrace transition principles. Finally,
recommendations are provided for advancing alignment of
transition services with secondary education reforms.
One System:
Cradle to College and Career
A two -way Interaction of general and special
educators throughout the education pipeline
A system that values engagement by
youth, families and the community
The Issues We Know
• Achieving Academic Proficiency in the Common Core
• Overcoming Social and Emotional Barriers to Learning
• Self-determination and Self Advocacy and Student
• Career Exploration, Career Assessment and Workplace
• Student Retention/ Drop Out Prevention
• Graduation with a Diploma
• Transition from HS to Post–Secondary and Employment
• Success for All Students
One System?
• Are we in these issues together...special and
general ed?
• Are families and the community actively engaged
with us in the search for solutions?
• Is there a way that we can begin to examine
these issues and more together?
Envisioning a Pipeline
“If people begin to see the
educational system as a
single entity through which
people move, they may
begin to behave as if all of
education were related.”
Harold Hodgkinson in
“All One System’, 2000
What is the Logic ?
• Regardless of the type of system a state or local community
chooses, it is important to note that the goal is the same: to
create a system of education that links and coordinates each
education level into a seamless system fundamentally guided
by the principle that success in college begins in prekindergarten.
Education Commission of the States
What Keeps Us from Seeing the Pipeline?
• Focus on our own immediate
issues and needs
• Fragmentation across levels and
content areas
• Divisions across general, special
and technical education
• Ineffective articulation between
secondary, post–secondary and
• Lack of relationships that
undergird communication
• Insufficient opportunities to learn
about levels that precede and
follow our own
• Infrequent opportunities to track
goal attainment throughout the
entire pipeline
Questions in the Pipeline
Think/ Pair /Share
Do you know how the elementary schools in your district are doing academically?
Do you know what academic supports are available?
Do you know how the elementary schools in your district are doing behaviorally?
Do you know what behavioral supports and interventions are available?
Can you describe the process for transitioning students from one grade to the next?
Do you know the attendance rates for your elementary schools?
Do you know how needed supports and interventions are communicated across grades?
Y N Do elementary and middle school teachers have the opportunity to talk about the data on student
performance and student needs?
Y N Is there a comprehensive transition process from elementary to middle school?
Y N Do you know how the middle schools in your district are doing academically (test data and class
Y N Do you know what academic interventions are available?
Y N Do you know the suspension data for your middle schools?
Y N Do you know what career education takes place in middle school?
Y N Do you know the attendance rates for your middle schools?
Is there a comprehensive transition process from middle to high school?
Can you describe your school’s approach to support in the ninth grade?
Do you have a picture of how many students are on track for accumulating graduation credit?
Do you have a picture of the career education and career assessment takes place in the HS years?
Do general education, special education and CTE teachers talk together about common goals and
common responsibilities?
Y N Do you know the drop out rate for your high school?
Y N Do you know how your graduates are doing in post-secondary?
Y N Do you know how your graduates are doing in employment?
How many ‘Yes’ responses did you have?
Less than 11
Nationally, the connections are startling…
8th graders who:
Fail English have only a 12% likelihood of graduating from HS
Fail math have a 13% likelihood of graduating
Have high rates of absenteeism have only a 13% chance of graduating
Have poor behavior have only a 20% chance of graduating*
• What is the implication for students with and without disabilities:
For elementary
For middle school
For HS
For the system
For families and the community
*Balfanz ,et al ( 2007) in Breaking Ranks, A Field Guide to Leading Change, P. 7
National Association of Secondary School Principals( NASSP)
‘Next Steps for High Schools and School Systems,
‘Using the Right Data to Determine if High
School Interventions Are Working to Prepare
Students for College and Careers’
National High School Center, 2010
Treat the problem of poorly prepared ninth-graders as a P-12 problem, not just a high
school problem (Dougherty & Rutherford, 2010).
Develop content and performance criteria in the elementary and middle school grades
to identify the extent to which each student is on track to readiness for high school,
college and careers.
Emphasize the importance of accelerating students onto the “ramp to college and
career readiness” in elementary and middle school.
What is the impact of these recommendations for special education?
For transition?
Do Some Current Strategies Work
across the age and grade span?
We believe that are at least 2 coherent practice
strategies that work across the pipeline:
o Response to Intervention (RTI)
o Working with Intention at Transition Points
…and integrating Transition under IDEA!
Responsiveness to Intervention
…Also called Multi-Tiered Systems of Support
What Is RTI?
RTI is not entirely new. Many elements have been in practice
for years in successful schools. RTI is the systematic and
intentional application of these elements in a coherent
approach to better outcomes.
Good core instruction
Universal screening
Progress monitoring
Tiered interventions using evidence-based practices
Data-informed decision-making
Problem solving
What is an ‘RTI Approach’ to Improved
Student Outcomes
• A look at how all students are doing
• A ‘tiering’ of all interventions
• A simple data system that gives information and points the
way to better decisions
• An expectation the faculty will have quality professional
development on ‘what works’
• An expectation that all faulty will use the framework to assess
their success in meeting student needs
• An expectation that faculty will use proven strategies in
designing core instruction and interventions
Can an RTI Approach be Applied to Transition?
• RTI approaches have been applied widely to
reading, math and behavior
• Can it be applied to transition?
Transition Points
Every year is a transition
..but some have critical importance
Using the Pipeline Analogy,
Here are Our Windows on Cradle to College and
Our Task: Work with intention at every transition point!
Application of Subject Area
Knowledge; Demonstrated
Mastery, Choose Own Path
Literacy, Numeracy and
Behavioral Health
• Early
Readiness and Early Learning
• Elementary
• Middle School
Subject Area Competence,
Personal Growth and Active
• High School
• Postsecondary and
Continuous Learning, Personal
Mastery, Continuous
Adjustment and Openness to
What Does It Mean to be
‘Intentional at Transitions’?
• Major transitions are important; every major transition!
o EC to School Age
o Elementary to MS
o MS to HS
o HS to post-secondary and employment
• Early academic, social and emotional skill development sets the stage.
• Being intentional means planning for changes, thinking about
adjustment, watching for early warning signs and crafting
• Every year is a transition…but the ninth grade year is critical!
• Focusing at transition points gives us a way to think about Transition
under IDEA as a part of the whole system and to learn what might be
helpful to other students.
Who Else is Focused on These issues?
• Breaking Ranks: A Comprehensive Approach
• Breaking Ranks: A Field Guide for Leading Change
• National Partner in Ready by 21
• Common Core State Standards: College and Career
Ready Standards
Ready by 21: Insulating the Pipeline
Ready by 21: The Forum on Youth Investment and
The American Association of School Administrators (AASA)
Common Core and
21st Century Assessments
• General and Alternate Assessment
o Most students will take the general assessment
o 1% may take the alternate assessment
• 21st century Assessments
Embedded Accessibility
Tied to instructional accommodations
Impact on instruction
Moving beyond seat time to ‘any time , any place’ learning
Potentially, new opportunities for transition skills
What Resources are Available to You on
Common Core
• Tools
o Collections
o Dialogue Guides
o Participation in creating new tools
• Focused webinars
• Virtual Mentoring
Revisiting the DCDT Position Paper
Aligning Transition Services With Secondary Education Reform:
A Position Statement of the Division on Career Development
and Transition
“If we are to see improvements in postsecondary outcomes
for all youth, reform efforts must begin with active
participation of general and special educators and critical
home, school, and community stakeholders.”
Will we seize the opportunities?

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