Interactive Roles and Time Lines in Transition
Transitioning Students with Exceptional Needs from School to Community
High School Entry – (Age 14 to 16)
years where overlap may occur
Age 16 to 17 Age 17 to 18 One year Before Graduation Graduation Year
  • become aware of options & transition planning process
  • think about potential community experiences, graduation date, adult options
  • provide information on strengths/ interests/ dreams
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  • Explore the residential support services of personal preference or plan to reside in family home
  • understand the implications of leaving school before completing graduation requirements, or availability of adult supports
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  • make informed decission about
    • employment
    • move to post-secondary education/training, work/community opportunities
    • accessing a variety of supports/services from community based service providers.
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Students are the central member of the transition planning team. Their role is critical in goal setting and decision making. Students and their support networks should be active participants in transition planning. Support networks may include parents/legal guardians, siblings, relatives, friends, teachers, advocates, foster parents or group home staff. Students, with help from their support networks, may participate in transition planning by:

  • attending studen specific planning
  • sharing information on his/her interests, skills and hopes for the future with the team
  • becoming aware of options and the planning process
  • participating in assessment designed to identify current skills and needs
  • expressing his/her opinions in the decision making process
  • thinking about potential community experiences, graduation date, adult options
  • choosing preferences for residential support services or planning to reside in their families home
  • understanding the implications of leaving school at age 16 or 17, or graduation before adult supports are available
  • at age 18, contacting Employment and Income Assistance for assessment of program eligibility
  • at age 18, considering a move to an adult residential facility with support from adult programs (ex: Community Living disABILITY Service)
  • planning for post secondary education/training, work/community placement, or vocational/day service
  • choosing supports that match individual preferences/needs
  • working hard to complete school requirements


(including: Legal Guardians, Foster Parents, Caregivers and Support Networks)

Parents, legal guardians, foster parents, caregivers and others legally authorized to make decisions are also key members of the transition team. They can ensure that transition planning reflects the interests and values of the student. The school principal must ensure that parents and students have the opportunity to have a person of their choosing in the process and attend planning meeting, etc. The suggested roles of these team members include:

  • attending student specific planning meetings
  • sharing their knowledge students’ interests, strengths and needs with the team
  • supporting the students in the transition process
  • participating in the decision making process
  • encouraging and helping students participate in transition planning
  • finding information on available services and resources, currently or after graduation
  • supporting implementation of the plan
  • sharing information about students’ progress
  • becoming familiar with the Vulnerable Persons Act

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