Planning for the Secondary Transition in High School

The secondary transition is a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that is designed with a result-oriented process that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities. These activities can include post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living or community participating.

Planning for the transition begins between ages 14 and 16 years of age. During this time you will identify the student’s interests and preferences, courses of studies that reflect the student’s post-school outcomes, educational and community experiences that have been identified based on post-school outcomes. These options to explore are included in the student’s IEP.

Register your child in elementary school or before age 14 with the Montgomery County Supports Coordinator so that your child is on the county’s radar for services after school. Learn more about registration

Transition planning involves a partnership between the student, the family, school-age services and program providers, post-secondary services and program providers, and local community members.

  • Entitlement vs. Eligibility: School-age students with a disability receiving special education services are ENTITLED to receive services to access a free appropriate public education as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). However, ELIGIBILITY for services and supports for youth once they exit school is determined through the requirements of the agency outside the public school system.
  • Job Skills: Getting Ready for Work: Learning and practicing job skills while youth are still in schools helps youth with disabilities to be more successful at finding and maintaining employment. This family friendly 1-page guide describes skills for youth that lead to success in the workplace.
  • Planning for the Future Checklist: Students can use this checklist to get ready for life after high school. They can bring it to their meetings with school and/or agency supporters to talk about their progress and how best to plan for their future.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Training and Technical Assistance (PATTAN) has numerous resources, trainings ad links on the secondary transition.
  • Pennsylvania Secondary Transition Guide
  • Upcoming Events