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Transition Planning and Resources Project, Flaccavento 1

Running Head: Transition Planning and Resource Project

Transition Planning and Resources Project

Jamey Flaccavento
Dr. Harriot
Summer B 2015

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April (pseudonym) is my first cousin on my mothers side. I was able to access the family
through this relationship. Due to distance, the interview was held via e-mail with her mother and
father. They were happy to assist in this project and interested in reading the final product in
order to help in Aprils future planning. A signed permission form can be found in Appendix 1.
April is a fourteen year old female, born June 28th 2000, attending her Sophomore Year at
Wayne Hills High School. She lives with her mother, father and older brother John in Heritage
Manner (a prominent condo association) in Wayne, New Jersey. The family is tight knit and
supportive. Her parents were High School sweet hearts and have been married for twenty-five
years. They both attended Wayne Hills High School (where April currently attends). Her
grandmother has also worked at the High Schools Resource Room for the past 20 years. Aprils
mother is the principal of a local (out of district) elementary school and her father is in
pharmaceutical sales.
In 2009, April was assessed and found eligible for Special Education and Related Services as she
met the criteria of a student with Other Health Impairment, due to symptoms of ADHD. The
family did not note academic difficulties until she got to higher elementary grades that required
her to be more self-reliant and organized. April is very active in extracurricular activities. She is
captain of the Aerobics team of the Student Dance Association, is involved in Cheerleading,
Lacrosse, Student Council, and volunteers at Kinnelon Elementary during the summer with
autistic children. April shines in social aspects and is loved by peers and teachers alike. Portions
of her IEP emphasize her empathy and enthusiasm while noting her struggles in organizational
skills, focusing and mathematics.
According to Aprils current IEP (annual review after freshman year) she receives In-Class
Support in all of her non-elective courses. April is held accountable for all requirements for
graduation except the HSPA Algebra Assessment due to a documented history of weaknesses in
the area of Mathematics. She is in the presence of General Education Students for 100% of the
school day and will participate in any extracurricular and nonacademic activates she pleases
without modifications. Modifications provided for April are as follows: 1. Notify parent if the
student will be receiving a D or and F on her interim or report card, 2. Notify parent whenever
student fails to complete three (3) homework or classwork assignments, 3. Do not penalize for
spelling errors when there has been no opportunity to check for accuracy (not including spelling
or vocabulary tests or world language courses), 4. Use of a calculator permitted, except where
the nature of the material requires basic understanding, 5. For test-taking: Provide clarification of
test questions or instructions, when necessary, add time up to 50% on tests and quizzes as needed
and asked for, provide a study guide 3 to 5 days prior, 6. Provide clear, concise verbal directions,
7. Ensure comprehension of directions, 8. Use ongoing formative assessments, and 9. Allow for
retake if teachers see necessary at a 75% weighted grade within 5 school days of the original
The pre-transition plan in Aprils IEP is limited. It states that she is enrolled in college
preparatory classes which is aligned with her goal to attend a four year college, but projects that
she will not require related services post-graduation and that her adult living objectives are

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developing in a manner consistent with her nondisabled peers. It is noted that after going away to
college, April would like to pursue a career in education or broadcast journalism.
When it comes to goals for Aprils future I am at an advantage given that I have known her for
her entire life. After discussing her disability as a developing professional with her parents I was
given the opportunity to see her from another angle. April has always been a very social girl with
many friends and strong immediate and extended family relationships. However, she always
seems to be involved in some fashion of friend based drama and her family has struggled with
certain aspects of her disability that show around the house. When asked what is going well for
April lately her parents noted her friendships, however they also noted friendships as being a
current challenge. April has a hard time keeping things neat and is lovingly described as a
hurricane by her father. When asked about her daily life, he responded, When she is happy, the
world is a wonderful place; when she isnt, it is very, very bad. Her parents are supportive in all
of Aprils extracurricular activities and very active in her academic successes and struggles. It
has been noted by both educators and parents that April excels when she is interested in a topic
however tends to retreat when she becomes uninterested or is tired, even in her early years prior
to her diagnosis.
In order for April to make a successful transition into college and then the work world, it is
important that she set and achieve goals based on behavior, life skills, employment and
education. These goals must be set early and assessed throughout her high school career in order
to be effective during her transition to adult life and beyond. The following will outline the goals
developed for April based upon the needs expressed in her parent interview as well as my
personal relationship with her. Each goal is aligned with NJCCCS standards and demonstrate
significant challenging, student appropriate objectives that collaborate with educational teams
and contribute to the students self-determination.
Behavioral Goal
GOAL 1: April will implement self-motivation techniques in order to do her best on all
assignments in all subjects regardless of her interest level in them.
This goal is designed to assist April in being more motivated and dedicated towards
school work in general, not just when she is interested and engaged. It is important for
April to understand that education as a whole should be something interesting to her
given that it is all necessary to her future goals of attending a university and becoming a
professional. Especially if April goes into the field of education she must become
accustomed to being a lifelong learner and applying herself to all aspects of education.
Both her teachers and parents noticed a need for more motivation in subjects that she
struggles in and topics she is uninterested in. This goal will help to do so especially if
teachers, child study team, and family remain involved by reminding her of the large
NJCCCS: 9.1.12.F.2, 9.1.12.A.1

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Life Skills and Independent Living Goals
GOAL 2: April will develop and follow an organization plan for her studies and
extracurricular activities with an emphasis on time management.
This goal is in place to assist April in being self-determined. For someone as energetic
and active as she, following teacher and parent rules gets exhausting. April is involved in
so many activities and already has a hard time keeping track of her school things and
developing and organizational system. This goal allows April to design her own schedule
and system of staying on task. By keeping a planned, list of goals, and timed schedule,
allowing for study time, and time to work on extracurricular activities outside the allotted
school time, April will be able to navigate her day more manageably. April will need to
speak with teachers and directors of her extracurricular activities to get a picture of the
time needed outside of school and what should be done when. Looking at a long term
plan along with adults involved will help her concentrate on one task at a time.
NJCCCS: 9.1.12.B.1
GOAL 3: April will develop and follow an organization plan for out of school/planned
activities such as chores, meals, and spending.
Although April is centered upon her schooling and activities at the moment, other lifeskills need to be planned for as well. This will also assist her in transitioning to living
with a roommate in the future. Aprils family expressed concerns about her messiness
and money management. When April goes away to school she will have to have more of
a control over these things as well as seemingly simple things such as planning her meals.
By mapping out a plan for each day with help from her family (in conjunction with the
plans above) regarding chores, meals, and budget, April will be forced to be more
accountable for everyday life tasks. Aprils IEP noted that no life skills resources were
needed, which technically may be true, however the transition to adulthood is hard for
everyone and could be extremely difficult for someone who has a hard time keeping their
thoughts and things in order. This schedule could be simple and limited such as planning
a day for laundry and a night she shops and cooks for the family.
NJCCCS: 9.1.12.B.1, 9.2.12.A.8, 9.2.12.B.1, 9.2.12.B.2, 9.2.12.B.3
Social Skills Goals
GOAL 4: April will research mediation and calming techniques in order to assist in selfmonitoring her emotions in regards to friends actions.
The necessity for this goal was brought upon mostly by my own personal relationship
with April. I have noticed that many of her friendship issues seem to stem from her
taking things very personably and letting her intense emotions get in the way of her
logical thinking. By researching mediation and calming techniques she will be forced to
learn how to handle friendship disagreements as an outsider and in a calm fashion. This
could assist with the over emotional responses and have April stop and think before
calling off a friendship. The key to this goal is to look at other friend mediation processes

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and see things from both sides without having an attachment to the situation. Then, in
turn, April can compare them and apply these strategies for her own life. This will arm
her with techniques for any friendship issue that is sure to arise in High School as well as
future college friendships, which can be even more volatile due to living situations. This
should be discussed and incorporated with guidance counselor visits.
NJCCCS: 9.1.12.B.1, 9.1.12.B.3, 9.1.12.C.1
Employment Goals
GOAL 5: April will keep a log of her likes and dislikes about the field of education
while volunteering over the summer at Kinnelon Elementary.
April knows that she enjoys her volunteer experiences with students with autism during
the summers. This goal is in place to have her look at the pros and cons of her
experiences more closely and with the future in mind. Aprils mother is a principal and
was once a classroom teacher like her grandmother. Her interest in education could be
based on family and not her own researched opinion. By keeping a log of her thoughts
and ideas when in the field she can analyze her true opinion of the education field. This
could also help her to reign in her area of interest. Does she enjoy working with the
special education population? Does she like working with the younger or older students?
She should discuss this log with her mother as well as counselor to assist in the analysis
of her thoughts.
NJCCCS: 9.1.12.B.3, 9.1.12.C.1, 9.2.12.A.1, 9.3.12.C.1, 9.3.12.C.3, 9.3.12.C.5,
9.3.12.C.6, 9.3.12.C.7
GOAL 6: April will apply for summer internships in the broadcast journalism field and
keep a similar log as goal 5 during her experience.
April also demonstrates an interest in broadcast journalism. More specifically, she would
like to be an anchorwoman for ESPN. Her personality and sports knowledge would be a
good fit for this profession however she has never seen what goes into pursuing a career
in this field or what happens behind the scenes. This goal would have April look into the
career path necessary and hopefully get a firsthand experience. By working with teachers,
getting involved in the TV Production class in school, and speaking with her counselor
about her thoughts in her log, April could get a realistic feeling about whether or not this
career path is correct for her.
NJCCCS: 9.1.12.B.3, 9.1.12.C.1, 9.2.12.A.1, 9.3.12.C.1, 9.3.12.C.3, 9.3.12.C.5,
9.3.12.C.6, 9.3.12.C.7
Post-Secondary Educational Goals
GOAL 7: April will fill out a chart by researching five schools she is considering
attending. The chart will take into account accommodations at the university,

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extracurricular activities available, and major selection among other things she finds
April is adamant about going away to a four year school which is a very attainable goal
for her. This goal will help her to decide which school is the best fit for her. Does the
school offer accommodations for students with disabilities? Aprils IEP designates that
these are not necessary, however they could be a great advantage for her. With all the
personal and social transitions going on the first year in college, April does not want to be
behind on her schooling because she is unable to get the assistance she needs. Even
without accommodations, most schools offer writing centers and tutoring practices. By
researching these things about knowing how they work April will be more willing to seek
out assistance once she gets to college. Aprils parents and a trusted teacher should be
heavily involved with this research.
NJCCCS: 9.1.12.B.3, 9.1.12.C.1, 9.3.12.C.2, 9.3.12.C.3, 9.3.12.C.4
How Students with Disabilities can Effect General Family Life
The contextual factors regarding family are essential to analyzing and planning for a
student with disabilities. According to Bowens Family Systems Theory, the family unit
has one emotional skin. One of the eight factors that can effect this skin is the Nuclear
Family Emotional System. This is broken into four categories, one of which involves the
impairment of one or more children. When asked how April influences family recreation
time her parents answered, She controls it. Also, it was noted that, despite efforts from
the parents not to let Aprils exceptionality take over their time, her brother gets upset at
times because of this. Overall Aprils parents state that she has not put stress on their
marriage, however her disability has placed stress on the family as a whole as Bowen
suggests will happen (Eight Concepts).
Family Characteristics
A familys characteristics are factors that can describe it from the outside; what is their
culture, how large is the family, what is their socioeconomic status? The disability of a
child can also shape a familys characteristics. Aprils family is culturally Jewish, selfdescribed as family and food focused. They live in an upper middle class neighborhood
and have a strong bond with a large group of friends, extended family, and neighbors.
Aprils diagnosis of ADHD did not greatly affect the family characteristics as other
disabilities may have. They parents noted that no significant funds were needed to
provide April with the appropriate help.
Family Interaction
Family interaction is the way in which the family works either as a whole or separately
and how that whole (or parts of it) adapt to stressful situations. Aprils family most
definitely functions as one unit however, many of those functions circulate around April.
John, her older brother, is much more reserved and easy going which naturally leave
Aprils ever changing, energetic needs at the center of attention. In the words of her

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father, when things are bad with April, things are very bad with the whole family. April
will cook and clean from time to time but tends to leave more of a mess in the end.
Homework is another struggle altogether which sometimes leads to a fit. The family
describes the positive ways in which April effects the family as follows, she is the
nonstop center of attention and entertainment, she is smart, an incredibly fast thinker with
an exceptional memory who is able to repeat back entire statements that she was truly not
listening to. The parents hope that they instill within their children to surround
themselves with good people, trust their instincts, recognize what is truly important and
put everything else second.
Family Functions
Family functions describe the day to day life of a family. These seem to be dictated by
April who is usually rushing to get ready for school in the morning and from place to
place in the afternoon. The family is involved in many of Aprils after school activities
and seems to enjoy participating in them with her. John is looking into different colleges
currently which has been a regular family experience as well. Dinners are always had
together, sometimes with extended family or friends.
Family Life Cycle
The family life cycle describes the state at which a family is in based on the general ages
of the children. Since both April and John are in their teenage years, this family would
fall into the adolescence stage. John recently received his drivers license which allows
him more freedom and leaves him with less time around the house. When John goes
away to college there will be a large transition for the household. Aprils disability has
not had a large effect on the family cycle, especially since it does not make her any less
mature and the siblings are so close in age.
Wayne Township is a large township in Passaic County New Jersey. It is about thirty minutes
west of New York City which makes it popular for commuters. Wayne is made up of many small
boroughs which can be seen on the map to the right. According to City Data, Wayne is home to
53,657 people 47.5% male 52.5% female with the median resident age being 40 years (about
three years older than the New Jersey median age). Waynes
household income and house value is much higher than the average
of NJ as a whole at $100,378 and $497,547 compared to $69,667
and $311,600 respectively. As of March 2012 the cost of living
index in Wayne was 321.2 which is very high in comparison to the
U.S. average of 100. The diversity of Wayne is very low with 86.5%

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if the population being white alone. The other races represented are depicted in the chart below.
In overall comparison to New Jersey as a whole, City Data describes Wayne as the following:

Unemployed percentage below state average.

Black race population percentage significantly

below state average.

Hispanic race population percentage significantly

below state average.

Renting percentage significantly below state


Length of stay since moving in significantly above

state average.

Number of rooms per house significantly below

state average.

House age significantly below state average.

Institutionalized population percentage significantly

above state average.
Percentage of population with a bachelor's degree or higher above state average (Wayne,
NJ- City Data).
Wayne has ten public Elementary Schools, three Middle Schools and two High Schools as
well as a plethora of private schools for all ages and a few vocational schools for regional
April attends Wayne Hills High School, one of two public High Schools in town. It is located at
272 Berdan Avenue and is run by Principal Ms. Maureen Weir. According to the NJ State School
Report Card, Wayne Hills High School has Very High Performance reaching above 80% of all
targets. While WHHS outscores 60% of schools statewide in academic achievement, compared
to its peer schools it is behind, ranking above only 29%. The School Report Card defines peer
schools as those with similar demographics and number of students qualifying for Free/Reduced
lunches. In the areas of college and career readiness and graduation and post-secondary success,
Wayne Hills ranks average to high among the state as well as its peers.
Although Wayne tends to lack in diversity (as depicted above), a large variety of languages are
spoken at students homes. English remaining the high majority at 74.4% but with Arabic,
Spanish, Korean, Russian and Polish being spoken throughout as well as 10.9% claiming
other. The difference here could be that although various languages are spoken at home,
families still consider themselves white and are represented as so in the previous graph. There
seems to be more diversity than implied through race subgroup analysis alone.
While all the information in the School Report card proves interesting and telling at the least, the
most important for this project are those statistics relating to students with disabilities. The graph
to the below shows the percentile of students in the school with disabilities at 11-14% within the
last three years (the other two categories represented being Economically Disadvantaged and
Limited English Proficient). According to the NCLB Progress Targets, the only category not
met by Wayne Hills is that of Language Arts and Literacy for Students with Disabilities. Out of
43 valid scores only 62.8% passed falling short of the 77.8% targeted. The Student with

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Disabilities Population met the target set for math with a confidence interval applied, however
the numbers show these score falling short as well.
While the overall graduation rate at WHHS is
90% only 77% of the students with disabilities
graduated. .6% of this population dropped out.
These statistics may also be effected by the
extensive special education program at Wayne
Hills. Some students remain in school until age
21 and their data may skew the percentiles. Out
of the school wide total of Students with
Disabilities at Wayne Hills, 58/5% enrolled in
post-secondary institutions, 45.8% of that being
in two year schools and 54.2% in four. This is
compared to an 88% school wide enrollment
(84.4% being in four year) in higher education
institutions (School Report Card).
April is in with the general education student body 100% of the day. She was in the In-Class
Support classes for all academic subjects including English, Algebra, Biology and World History
her Freshman year but only for Geometry and Chemistry for her Sophomore year. Students are
different in each class based on individual needs.
As per Aprils IEP, when compared to others at her age level [Aprils] standard score are high
average in broad written language, written expression, and brief writing. Her broad reading,
reading comprehension, brief reading, and basic writing skills scores are in the average range.
Her standard scores are low average (compared to age peers) in broad mathematics, math
calculation skills, math reasoning, and brief mathematics. Most teachers stated that she is an
energetic student with strong opinions who struggles in organizational skills and grasping new
concepts quickly.
Broadly stated, assessment is the process of using measures of student performance and
behavior, including tests, to make educational decisions (Venn, 2007, p 3). In the past,
assessments were only tests and written work, however, contemporary educators use both formal
and informal assessments to measure students levels and progress. In terms of transition,
assessments teachers have always looked towards such as social skills and behaviors must be
used but also more complex concepts such as employability and self-determination. The
following section will look at each of the goals laid out for April and discuss how assessments
will be made based on her progress toward and completion of them.
Goal 1: April will implement self-motivation techniques in order to do her best on all
assignments in all subjects regardless of her interest level in them.

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In order to assess this goal I will begin by discussing the importance of all educational endeavors
in regards to her future plans. We will then work together to find a self-analyzing and selfmotivation technique that works for her. This way, when April sees herself becoming
uninterested and distancing herself from the tasks, she can remember the importance, employ the
technique, and get back on task. Whichever she chooses will be kept track of on a small record
sheet located in her planner (that will be with her in each class as well as home). On a weekly
basis I will meet with April, read her notes regarding the techniques and their effectiveness and
discuss them. I will measure the progress at first by how often and thoroughly she is completing
her record sheet and later by noting the grades on her assignments that she typically is
uninterested in compared to before her goal was set.
Goal 2: April will develop and follow an organization plan for her studies and extracurricular
activities with an emphasis on time management.
The school gives each student a planner at the start of the year to keep record of their
assignments as well as many other things. To begin this and Goal 3, I will go over with April the
proper way to use the planner and other planning options that are available to her. After
reviewing these and deciding on a planner we will build an hourly Event Recording Form (Venn,
2007, 286) to fit inside her planner. At the start of each week I will assist April in filling in each
hour of the planner. As the day goes by, April will check off which hour went as planned and jot
notes for when things went differently. I will assess this goal by observing how well April does
at planning and keeping track of her days. It will be measured by how often she fills out her
checklist and noted if there are specific days or times she neglects. Improvement will be
measured by how much more often April completes the tasks she laid out and how smoothly
planning skills progress.
Goal 3: April will develop and follow an organization plan for out of school/planned activities
such as chores, meals, and spending.
This goal will be assessed with help from the family. It will be easier for April to motivate in
these tasks if everyone in the family has similar responsibilities. A simple chore chart and
schedule will be posted in the kitchen and each member of the family will have a day in which
they do one chore listed. When the chore is completed it is checked off. I will assess this goal by
speaking with her family members about how often and with what level of resistance these
chores are completed. It will be measured by the checks placed in the chart in comparison to the
other members of her family.
Goal 4: April will research mediation and calming techniques in order to assist in selfmonitoring her emotions in regards to friends actions.
In order to assess this goal, April will complete multiple Self-Esteem Indexes (Venn, 2007, 293)
at varying times of happiness and turmoil in her friendships. This way, she can analyze the
results and begin to self-monitor how her reactions to her friends are effecting her on a deeper
level. I will assess her progress here when time allows comparing the self-esteem index given at
a happy and stressful time with friends before and after applying the techniques researched. April
will also research and practice a few mediation and calming techniques. This can be simple such

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as reading some peer mediator stories and practicing stepping back from situations in order to
realize their true severity and not to overreact. These will be assessed by a journal in which she
can react to varying events in her friend group and how she goes about handling them. The
measurable portion of this assessment will come from the different Self-Esteem Indexes.
Goal 5: April will keep a log of her likes and dislikes about the field of education while
volunteering over the summer at Kinnelon Elementary.
Goal 6: April will apply for summer internships in the broadcast journalism field and keep a
similar log as goal 5 during her experience.
Goal five and six, both being employment goals, will be assessed similarly. To start, April will
complete a Vocational Interest Inventory such as the Occupational Aptitude Survey and Interest
Schedule or the Strong Interest Inventory (Venn, 2007, 330) to assist us both in honing in her
employment interests. This test will be given before and after her summer internships in both the
school and broadcasting in order to see if her experiences have changed her interest at all. I will
assess her completion of the tasks as well as her likes/dislikes by reading her log. The logs will
consist of notes as well as answering simple yes and no questions about her feelings towards the
job that day. This will be measured and analyzed in order to get a greater understanding of if
either of these professions is a correct fit for her.
Goal 7: April will fill out a chart by researching five schools she is considering attending. The
chart will take into account accommodations at the university, extracurricular activities available,
and major selection among other things she finds important.
The assessing of goal seven is the most test-like. Here, I will assess April on her completion of
the chart and understanding of its results. Once completed I will have April answer a few
questions about her opinions on the schools based on her research. This will give me insight as to
how she comprehended the data in relation to how it will affect her.
Family Involvement:
Parental involvement is one of the most significant factors in the transition outcomes for
students from youth into adulthood (Wehman, 2013, p.37). Therefore, in order for April to
succeed to her highest potential, the family as a whole must be educated and aware of the issues
surrounding exceptional students as well as how to become and advocate for her. The following
will give a brief description of national, state, and school resources the family can use in order to
become more familiar and well read on the subject.
Council for Exceptional Children
The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), is the recognized leader in advocacy for special
education policy. The website has a perihelia of information for parents, students, and educators
alike involving current issues, legislation, personal blogs, and abilities to take action. Some of
the most interesting sections for parents include reality 101 which provides articles on all
issues for exceptional learners from various sources, tools of the week, and policy insider. I
would suggest that Aprils family take advantage of these as well as the career center and for
families sections under resources.

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State of New Jersey Department of Education: Families- Children with Special Needs:
This page in particular is concise but describes student and parents rights in regard to the
schools in New Jersey. Upon perusing the rest of the Department of Education website parents
can become acquainted with all aspects of their childs education from a legal perspective. The
goal of the familys page is to empower them to enable their children to get the best education
for them. Here, parents can find answers to most of their basic questions in regard to the state
and apply for grants and aid.
Wayne Hills High School: School 2 Life, School 2 Work:
This page is a simple introduction to transition services and what they can do for the student.
Some areas listed that the transitions coordinator can be of assistance with are as follows: PostSecondary Education- Community College vs. University
Technical Schools-such as Berdan Institute, Chubb, Lincoln Tech
IDEA vs. ADA accommodations
Independent Living
Transportation, Van Modifications, Access Link, New Jersey Transit
Health-Related Supports
Estate Planning and Guardianship
Self-Advocacy Skills
Contact with Government Agencies and navigating the paperwork
Eligibility and Referral Process for Adult Services
The contact information for this coordinator is provided and her job is strictly to assist in

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Resource Brochure

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Evidence-based practices are defined as those that are grounded on rigorous research designs,
have a demonstrated record of success for improving student outcomes, and have undergone a
systematic review process using quality indicators to evaluate the level of evidence(Evans
Getzel, p.381). All goals presented for April, or at least the premise from which they have
steamed, are based on such practices.
Behavioral Goal
Aprils behavioral goal is based on motivation. She tends to succeed when working on
something she finds interesting. These behavior goals are set to have April look at all of school
as something interesting and worthwhile in order to better her future. Abd-El-Fattah and Patrick
(2011) studied what types of motivation inspired students to work in various fashions. They
found that a combination of self and outside inspiration is the best way for students to succeed in
motivation towards education as a whole. Aprils goals involve teachers of all kinds as well as
her parents and family. By speaking of these goals with them and being held accountable, based
on this evidence-based practice, she has a better chance of succeeding.
Life Skills and Independent Living Goals
Aprils Life Skills goals involve her setting her own time table and following it. In this sense she
is creating her own simple daily, even hourly, goals. Research shows that setting a goal increases
the likelihood that that task will be completed (Wehman, 2013, p.51). Self-determination has
proven to be one of the most effective tellers of students with special needs continuing their
education (Evans Gretzel, p. 382). Therefore, by setting goals in general, as well as establishing a
strong self-determination, April is setting herself up for strong future life skills and independent
Social Goals
There is evidence in literature indicating that when social skills are taught in the classroom,
students problem-solving skills, interaction skills, and cooperation skills increase, and problem
behaviors displayed by these students decrease (Pinar, 2013, p. 2248). While April is naturally a
social girl, like the Life Skills goal, I thought it would be beneficial to look into certain aspects of
her social life that could be improved in order to provide a smoother transition into college and
adult life. While April would not be being taught social skills as described by the researches
above, she would be self-teaching how to handle certain social situations.
Employment Goals
Students who work before graduation are known to have a much higher likelihood of
employment after [school] (Wehman, 2013, p.35). Aprils employment goals require her to
work and/or volunteer in places similar to her future career interests. By recording and analyzing
her own notes as well as likes and dislikes, April will be able to gain a greater grasp on her own
thoughts as well as increase her overall self-determination. Willems and Gonzolaez-DeHass
(2012) emphasize the positive correlation between students who work in a school-community
partnership situation and their future employment (p.9). Aprils employment goals (as well as her
social goals) have her working and learning through-out different parts of the community and
work force.

Transition Planning and Resources Project, Flaccavento 16

Post-Secondary Educational Goals
Sometimes students want to attend a certain school but are unaware of what it takes to get there.
It is the job of the teacher and the parents to guide the student into learning the requirements for
each school they look into as well as the schooling required to pursue a career in a certain path
(Mastropieri, 2014, p. 417). Evans Getzel and colleagues states that only 35% of college students
with disabilities disclosed them to their institution (p. 382). Given this statistic, it is important to
look into what a school offers in terms of help for all students and make sure that April knows
how to receive tutoring at any and all universities she may attend. This goal makes sure she does
Modifications for Other Disabilities
Given that Aprils disabilities do not hinder her general life functioning or communication
abilities, setting and obtaining the goals set was relatively easy. For a student with English as a
Second Language or Communication Disorder, goals would have to be more centered on
communicating with employers, teachers, and the general public. Here, assistive technologies
and even continuing language courses may be a necessity. For those with autism or limited
functioning, goals would have to be more centered on life skills. April is completely capable of
living a successful life without her Life Skills goals, however, by setting and reaching them, she
will be able to make the transition into adult life more smoothly. For others who cannot go into
adulthood without a structured plan, goals would have to include looking into assistive homes or
deciding on a caretaker.
In order to express Aprils progress to parents and teachers I will send them weekly email
updates as well as meet with them on a monthly basis. I will also be able to reach with any
questions or concerns. To assist them in modeling goal setting and following skills for April, I
will provide them with research guidelines to remember such as the following laid out by
Wehman (2013). Remember to be a goal setter to and model the process, when you hit your
targets, make a big deal of it. But dont forget to mention the bumps in the road and what you did
to surmount themMake goal setting a habit [and] bring your child (or student) into the process.
Inspire self-confidencecoach, cheerlead, and celebrate success. Help overcome obstacles
Rather than ignoring the failure or berating your child for lack of follow-through, help him or her
to systematically pinpoint the specific obstacles that got in the way (20).
If the goals are not met, or seem to be falling short throughout the process, I will employ
Wehmans (2013) Phase Three: Adjust Goal or Plan. Here, both teacher and student look at what
has been learned, what actions have been taken, what barriers have been removed, what has
changed about what the student doesnt know and what the student is looking to gain knowledge
on. Through answering these questions, the teachers arsenal of assessment and instruction
strategies, they can guide the student in self-evaluation, comparing desired progress to actual
outcomes, reevaluate the goal and to set a new, more attainable goal (59).
Although the goals set for April are not directly related to her individual academic classes, they
will assist her in their completion. The Life Skills goals, for instance, have April setting aside
specific blocks of time to complete work and speaking with individual teachers regarding how
much time she should leave for such assignments. Aprils transition goals also promote self-

Transition Planning and Resources Project, Flaccavento 17

determination. This is so because, although goals are set and monitored by teachers and parents,
they are person-centered around her. They have been hand crafted to fit her needs and will grow
and change just as she does in order to better her future. April is given the opportunity to selfmonitor, self-assess, and hopefully witness herself succeed in ways she was unware she could
A. The CECs code of ethics is as follows:

Special education professionals are committed to developing the highest educational and quality of life potential
of individuals with exceptionalities.
B. Special education professionals promote and maintain a high level of competence and integrity in practicing
their profession.
C. Special education professionals engage in professional activities which benefit individuals with
exceptionalities, their families, other colleagues, students, or research subjects.
D. Special education professionals exercise objective professional judgment in the practice of their profession.
E. Special education professionals strive to advance their knowledge and skills regarding the education of
individuals with exceptionalities.
F. Special education professionals work within the standards and policies of their profession.
G. Special education professionals seek to uphold and improve where necessary the laws, regulations, and
policies governing the delivery of special education and related services and the practice of their profession.
H. Special education professionals do not condone or participate in unethical or illegal acts, nor violate
professional standards adopted by the Delegate Assembly of CEC.

C. This project contributed to my understanding of empowerment and working with families

by allowing me to grasp the transition process from an in-depth view. I had an
exceptional attachment to this case considering it was my cousin. In order for students to
be successful, students and parents must be empowered and in order to be empowered
they must be knowledgeable. Just as it is the transition teachers job to guide the student
to their future as an adult, it is their job also to empower and educate the parents and rest
of the family.
D. While working on this project I noticed many similarities between myself and my cousin.
A lot of the qualities that are based on her disability I always considered to just be a
hindering part of my personality. This project empowered me to look getting tested for
ADHD as well and seeing if treatment could assist in my adult life.
E. This project was especially interesting in regards to family characteristics because it was
based on my family. I noticed that even my own aunt and uncle were weary of writing
down certain aspects of their lives that I know would have affected the transition project.
Therefore, it can understood how little we may know about students families no matter
how close we believe we are to them. Teachers must remember that they may not know
everything and that other family characteristics could be playing a role in student
behavior and outcomes.
F. Turnbull & Turnbulls Guiding Values for Teachers include expectations, positive
contributions, student strengths, self-determination, student relationships, and citizenship.
By creating these goals and objectives for April, the transition planning itself lead the
way to incorporate all of these. Self-determination is a must and has been discussed at
length throughout the project. Aprils strengths were accessed through her ability to work
hard at things she found interesting as well as incorporating them into her future career
goals. Expectations were set as challenging, but not so challenging that they felt
undoable. Student relationships were fostered through her work in the school as well as

Transition Planning and Resources Project, Flaccavento 18

her knew knowledge of relationships through her peer mediation courses. Finally,
citizenship was cultivated by having April work with so many different parts of the
community and fostering an identity of her own.
G. Doing this project on someone with a mild disability made me think of the great
difficulty it must be for those with severe ones. This inspired me to look for volunteer
situations in which I can work with adults with disabilities who are going through/have
gone through the transition project. I recently saw a video describing a car wash with
80% employees being persons with autism. I hope to get people looking for positions as
such partnered with organizations like that one.
H. I remain active in the Special Education world currently by having a subscription to
Special Ed Advocate which sends me weekly emails of new legislation, journals, and
articles. I plan on remaining a part of that organization as well as participating in the
professional development program described by the New Jersey Bar Foundation (the
program described in the brochure is available for teachers as well) as well as take part in
any and all professional development activities that seem interesting and relevant to my
I. I believe the largest component for being a lifelong learner is a constant curiosity and
hunger for knowledge that ironically cannot be taught. I have a love for teaching and a
desire to do my absolute best which innately drives me to continue learning in order to
better myself, and my students.

Transition Planning and Resources Project, Flaccavento 19

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