SDST Secondary Transition Process

Secondary Transition is the process of preparing students for adult life after they leave high school. Transition planning begins at age 14, or younger if determined appropriate by the  IEP  team, as students consider their goals for the time after graduation through career awareness exploration activities. The transition process continues through high school as academic instruction and community experiences help clarify and support students’ goals. The entire process is based on individual student’s needs, taking into account each student’s strengths, preferences, and interests. 

Transition can be thought of as a bridge between school programs and the opportunities of adult life, including higher education or training, employment, independent living and community participation. 

Pennsylvania educators facilitate students’ successful transition by using a six-step process to develop the  IEP; guide the way for students, families, educators, and service providers; and prepare students to cross the “bridge” to adult life.

Six Step Process for Addressing Secondary Transition

Step One

Use assessment to identify the student’s post-secondary desired goals or vision

Step Two

Describe The Student’s Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance, Embedding Assessment Data)

Step Three

Establish Transition Team Partnerships

Step Four

Design a Transition Plan That Includes Courses of Study and Services and Activities

Step Five

Determine Measurable Annual Goals That Address Skill Deficits and Lead to Post-Secondary Goals

Step Six

Monitor Progress and Adjust Instruction Based on Data

Steps one through five represent a process that continues each year until graduation.

When the student is ready to graduate or exit high school, the team must provide a *Summary of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (SAAFP)

IDEA  2004 requires that school districts provide a Summary of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (SAAFP) to students with disabilities who are exiting high school. The  SAAFP contains a summary of the student’s academic and functional performance, as well as recommendations for assisting the student in meeting post-school goals. The SAAFP should clearly state what students need to do to achieve their post-school goals. It should also help students to identify needed supports to achieve their post-school goals, to articulate individual strengths, and to better understand the impact of their disabilities as they enter adult life.

(Taken from PATTAN

Planning for the Future Checklist

21 and Able in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, PaTTAN, local school districts, family members, youth, and community agencies created the Planning for the Future Checklist. The checklist is designed to support youth with disabilities, as well as their family and IEP team members, to ensure they are reviewing all aspects of transition planning at age appropriate intervals.

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. 

Montgomery County Intermediate Unit Transition Network & Coordinating Council

The Montgomery County Transition Coordinating Council invites students, parents, community members, school-based personnel, service providing agencies and anyone with an interest in the Secondary Transition Process to become involved with the work of the Council to improve the process of Secondary Transition for all stakeholders in Montgomery County PA. All meetings and webinars are open. For more information, Contact: Kris Koberlein, Council Chair -