Planning for transition prior to the IEP meeting

The following actions should be initiated or completed before the IEP meeting where secondary transition is discussed. A quality transition plan is developed through interactions, conversations, and discussions informally held by IEP team members prior to the meeting. It is not necessary to convene a full IEP team meeting to prepare this information and develop the age 14 statement or other elements of the transition plan. The family, the child, or other individuals with a connection to future planning may initiate these discussions at any time.

Review and update the Future Planning Statement with the family and child (by age 14 or earlier)

  • Review age-appropriate transition assessment data reflecting the child's aptitudes and interests related to postsecondary employment, postsecondary education, training, and independent living.
  • Based upon direction provided by the child and family, and considering information from the child Profile, IEP Step 3, develop a child-centered statement about immediate in-school and postsecondary plans. This should include statements about postsecondary employment, postsecondary education or training, and independent living.
  • Discuss high school courses of study and supports needed for the child to be "transition ready" upon graduation, or exiting at age 22 (these will be documented in age 14 statement of the IEP, Step 4). Future planning may also include references to community activities, recreation, leisure time, and social relationships. Develop a consensus on postsecondary (after graduation) goals with the child and family before the IEP meeting, if possible.
  • The child and/or family may want to present their future planning information at the IEP meeting, making the process person-centered.
  • Questions to ask and consider in developing the Future Planning Statement include:
    • Where do you see yourself (the child) living after high school?
    • How will you continue to learn after high school (2 year, 4 year college, on the job training, military)?
    • How will you support yourself (earn an income) after high school?
    • What will you do for recreation and leisure?
    • How will you be involved in the community?

This future planning statement will be put in the IEP Step 1, and should be reviewed with the child, parents and other IEP team members at the IEP meeting.

Transition Planning Tool: Summarize the information from this process on the Transition Planning Tool in the pre-planning discussion section.

What do we already know about the child? What does the child know now, and what can the child do?

  • For the Child's Profile, IEP Step 3, and for the Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance, IEP Step 6, review and summarize current data and information available from the Evaluation Team Report, age-appropriate transition assessments, and other assessments - academic, behavioral, daily living, adaptive, etc. If any data is out of date or more data is needed, complete and summarize the appropriate assessments before the IEP meeting.
  • Summarize the data to focus on the child's strengths and needs relevant to the child's plans for the future. Discuss this information with the child and parents for documentation in the IEP. This information will help the team identify the appropriate high school courses of study and transition service needs of the child. Also include the child's participation in co-curricular and other school activities.
  • Discuss how the child's disability affects involvement and progress in the general education curriculum. In other words, how does the disability interfere with learning and/or daily living? This information will help the IEP team determine what services and supports the child may need to access the general education curriculum during high school, including behavior supports if needed. It should also be used to support future planning and the development of postsecondary goals.
  • Begin thinking about how the child's current skills match the skills and abilities he or she will need in adult life based on future intentions. Consider the child's social behavior, academic potential, supports that will allow the child to be appropriately independent and self-reliant in adult life,
  • To promote self-advocacy, help the child develop the ability to clearly state what supports and accommodations are needed for learning and daily living, and to understand the concept of self-advocacy.

Transition Planning Tool: Summarize the information from this process on the Transition Planning Tool in the pre-planning discussion section.

As a student approaches age 14, the types of assessments conducted should be closely aligned with the child's future intentions. Choose specific assessments, formal and informal, that will identify the child's strengths, aptitudes, preferences, interests and needs in relation to future plans. Any discussion of transition services, proposed courses of study, and postsecondary goals should consider the results of these assessments and be guided by child/family input. The transition assessment process should include information that is already known about the child, as discussed above.

The assessment data appropriate to the child's postsecondary plans should be available to the IEP team prior to the IEP development for age 14. Document the results of these assessments and maintain the results over time so that summary data are always available to IEP team members.

Some examples of age appropriate transition assessments are listed below and can be explored in detail at Other assessments can be accessed through the OhioMeansJobs K12 web site at or through a local career assessment specialist.

Informal Assessments may include

  • Child interviews
  • Locally developed questionnaires and inventories
  • Direct observations of child's behaviors and abilities
  • Task analysis
  • Checklists for children, parents, teachers
  • Parent and family input

Formal Assessments may include

  • Intelligence tests
  • Achievement tests
  • Career assessments
  • Aptitude tests or inventories
  • Adaptive behavior/daily living skills assessments
  • Commercially available career and employability assessments
  • Self-determination assessments

Programs and Agencies that could assist in this process could include

  • School guidance counselors
  • School psychologists
  • Career Center Vocational Counselors
  • Transition specialists (work study, job training, career assessment specialists, and vocational special education coordinators)
  • Career-technical centers
  • Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission counselors (BVR)
  • Job and Family Services Workforce Investment Act (WIA) at county One-Stop Centers
  • DD case managers
  • Mental Health services
  • Other local agencies and/or non-governmental organizations

Parent and Child Notification

  • The IEP team meeting invitation to the child, parents and other individuals, must indicate that one of the purposes of the meeting will be the development of a statement of the transition services needs of the child. This should occur no later than the IEP which will be in effect on the child's 14th birthday, and will apply to every subsequent IEP meeting where transition will be discussed or reviewed. (Form PR-02)
  • With the consent of the parents, or child who has reached the age of majority, the invitation should note that school district intends to invite a representative of any participating agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services.
  • Make sure that this written invitation goes out to the child and parent in a timely fashion, and that it is documented in the child's file in some clear way.

Transition Planning Tool: Summarize the information from this process on the Transition Planning Tool in the Age Appropriate Transition Assessment section.

Last Modified: 8/19/2014 11:07:57 AM