Identification of Student Needs - Placement - Transition Planning

For students who have an IEP, the transition plan must be reviewed as part of the review of the IEP. The discussions and planning that take place as part of the review will be used to update the transition plan.

Why Plan For Transitions?

Some exceptional students have difficulty coping with new or unexpected events. Change, including transitions between activities and environments, is often difficult for students and can lead to increased anxiety and unusual or inappropriate behaviours.

In school, transitions happen at various stages and levels for students. Some transitions occur on a regular basis between activities and settings within the routines of the school day. Other transitions, such as class excursions, occur less frequently. Significant transitions such as entry to school, between grades and divisions, from elementary to secondary school, and from secondary school to the post-secondary destination happen periodically, are more complex, and include significant changes to many aspects of a student’s routines.

Planning for transitions provides the foundations for successful transition experiences that help a student learn to cope with change, develop skills, and adapt to a variety of settings. Transitions cannot be avoided, but helping a student to be prepared for and adjust to change and transition can help to reduce or avoid some of the anxiety and unusual or inappropriate behaviours that they may cause.

Transition planning should begin well in advance of the expected change for the student.  The planning can be complex and requires communication and coordination between those who will be involved in the transition process. Effective planning for significant transitions usually includes parent(s)/guardian(s) and staff from the school, school board, and community agencies who are and who will be involved with the student.

Parent(s)/Guardian(s) should be involved in the sharing of information, collaboration, planning, and process that may be required to ease or facilitate significant transitions for a student. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) can help to identify changes to routines or settings that may be difficult for the student. They can also help to support successful transitions by assisting in determining an effective transition process for an individual student or building skills and/or routines to familiarize the student with different expectations in the new setting.

The purpose of transition planning is to determine the considerations, goals, and actions that will be required to support the student in making a positive transition to the new setting and experiences. It also provides an opportunity for those within the new setting to become familiar with and prepare for the student.