Core Transition Teams increase capacity at the local level to develop, provide, and manage an effective transition process for students. It has been shown that this coordination of services from multiple agencies provides effective case management and enhancement of post school outcomes for students. Recognizing that communities will have their own individual approach, it is important that all high school special education staff, Agency of Human Services (AHS) staff, and community partners have access to the support of a Local Core Transition Team.
For Individual Students
- Ensure a mechanism for consent and confidentiality of student information.
- Work with school staff to identify students with disabilities who are age 14 or older who may need “transition services” that involve inter-agency partners (VR, DS, etc.)
- Identify available resources and supports pertaining to individual students needs and desires for life after high school.
For Systems Improvement
- Share resources and information, make connections with providers and provide training to encourage the use of best practices.
- Provide input and information to local and regional school and policy boards regarding broader transition issues, especially when there are local obstacles (policy, practice, procedure) that stand in the way of successful transition.
- Liaison with the other transition initiatives.
Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Transition Counselors or other agreed upon community partner will convene the Team as the facilitator. Core Transition Teams should include key members from the school, adult agencies and the community who are involved/concerned with the transition of students from school to adult life. Potential members may include, but are not limited to:
- Special and regular education teacher
- Special education coordinator
- School counselor
- Principal and/or special education director
- Work-based learning coordinator
- Family members
- Vocational training specialist
- Vocational Rehabilitation representative
- Youth employment specialist (VABIR)
- Business account manager
- Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired representative
- Department of Mental Health representative
- Department of Labor representative
- Department of Health representative
- Department for Children and Families representative
- Local JOBS coordinator
- Post-secondary education representative
- Adult Learning representative
- Vermont Family Network representative
Depending on the needs of the school and community, teams typically meet either monthly or quarterly throughout the school year. It is suggested that these Teams meet directly before or after other regularly scheduled meetings if they have similar partners involved. When discussing individual student issues, the focus is student centered and the planning should revolve around that student’s individualized desired outcomes. Teams often work best when the roles of facilitator, timekeeper, minute taker, and observer are shared, and the success of the team is a shared effort among providers.
- Establish a clear Purpose and Mission; “Why are we here?”; revisit this with the team often
- Establish co-leadership and membership responsibilities
- Identify outcome-related next steps, i.e., Transition Fair
- Maintain a group structure/process
- Keep meetings simple and be mindful of school calendar
- Have an agenda, facilitation, and take minutes
- Identify and involve key players, especially education
- Assure that all team members are or become skilled in transition issues (provide training)
- As members leave, replace them
- Establish open communication and use of communication hub when appropriate
- Establish that it is inclusive of all community organizations
- Utilize Sub-committees/work groups, especially in larger teams
- Focused themes
- Identify needs (gaps)/what’s going well