Guided by ITP standards we developed curriculum for middle and high school students that would highlight key resources and guide learners to play an active role in creating their own transition goals. This series was appropriately dubbed “Life After High School”.
The Youth Employment Network division within Long Beach Unified SPED services and IMAGO co-developed these 25 Life After High School lessons for 7th to 12th grade students. These lessons cover the following five areas:
Independent Living Skills
SMART (setting specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) Goals.
The step-by-step user experience design within this curriculum, along with the ability to track learner responses in the IMAGO platform, gave teachers and counselors unique access to student voice - ultimately streamlining the creation of a students ITP (Individual Transition Plan) and IEP (Individualized Education Plan).
Agency in your future - is a right for all learners.
Federal special education law requires that there be transitional planning services for students with disabilities regardless of which agencies provide support or educational services to the student. Supporting this law are hundreds of forms to review and thousands of resources available to both facilitator and learner, yielding hundreds of questions like: What services are available to me? What are age appropriate goals? How do I make a plan? This process often distracts participants from the mission - to help students reach their fullest possible potential.
It is important for SPED learners to develop a strong understanding of their capabilities and understand when to seek help from their support circle to surpass even their own expectations. Planning for ones future can be intimidating, but collaborative efforts like the Life After High School series have been proven to give learners equitable access to their own future. And bright futures they will be.
Update: May 1, 2018
Three years later, using feedback from active SPED teachers, LBUSD is investing in iterating upon these lessons to make them even more effective.