Overview of Transition during High School
The purpose of transition services and plannings are to prepare students to move from the world of school to the world of adulthood. IDEA requires that transition planning start by the time the student reaches age 16. Transition planning may start earlier (when the student is younger than 16) if the IEP team decides it would be appropriate to do so. Transition planning takes place as part of developing the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP team (which includes the student and the parents) develops the transition plan.
The student must be invited to any IEP meeting where postsecondary goals and transition services needed to reach those goals will be considered. In transition planning, the IEP team considers areas such as postsecondary education or vocational training, employment, independent living, and community participation. Transition services must be a coordinated set of activities oriented toward producing results. Transition services are based on the student’s needs and must take into account his or her preferences and interests.
What IDEA Requires:
IDEA’s provisions at §300.320(b) regarding what must be included in a student’s IEP no later than when that student turns 16:
(b) Transition services. Beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child turns 16, or younger if determined appropriate by the IEP Team, and updated annually, thereafter, the IEP must include —
(1) Appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills; and
(2) The transition services (including courses of study) needed to assist the child in reaching those goals.