Pages - Section F: Transitions
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Section F: Transitions
Section F: Transitions

Table of Contents:

Entry to School Procedures

The following section is divided into three components:
  • Kindergarten Entry with Early Intervention Services Support
  • Students with Special Needs Entering YRDSB for the First Time
  • Connections for Students (CFS)

Kindergarten Entry with Early Intervention Services Support
All children entering kindergarten in York Region are initially enrolled in their home school. When a child is identified as having special needs by his or her parent(s)/guardians or by Early Intervention Services (EIS) personnel, a transition meeting is held prior to school entry. The meeting may be attended by:
  • a school administrator;
  • parent(s)/guardian(s);
  • child;
  • school staff – Kindergarten teacher, Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT);
  • York Region District School Board Student Services staff (i.e., Speech-Language Pathologist, Physical or Occupational Therapist, Student Services Coordinator);
  • Community personnel (i.e., EIS, Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) Providers, if the child has been receiving service and parents/guardians have provided consent); and
  • others.
The purpose of the meeting is to exchange information about the child’s strengths and needs to facilitate the transition of the child to school. Information and assessment data about the child’s developmental milestones, level of skill development and individual needs are shared with school staff. With parent permission, EIS will share the Transition to School Report to guide the discussion/development of the Student Profile for Transition to School document. By working together, information can be used to proactively plan for experiences and programs that will maximize the child’s strengths. 

The YRDSB and EIS have made a commitment to provide training to their respective staff to facilitate this process of transition to school. Several presentations such as: Using the HELP Assessment Tool to Determine Skill Levels and Develop the IEP and Working Together to Ensure a Successful Transition to Kindergarten have been provided for Kindergarten teachers, Special Education Resource Teachers, special education teachers and support staff. The Ministry document Planning Entry to School: A Resource Guide (2005) is another resource to support the transition to school.

The Early Intervention Services Transition to School Timetable from the Community and Health Services Department of York Region outlines the time period of the activity and describes the transition support provided through the Infant and Child Development Services (I.C.D.S.) and the Inclusion Support Services (I.S.S.).

This section pertains to students with special needs who have not accessed EIS or CFS. When a Principal becomes aware that a student with special needs will be entering school for the first time, the following procedure shall be followed:
  • ​the Principal contacts the CEC Student Services Coordinator when he or she feels the child requires intensive support or specialized equipment;
  • the Principal asks the parents/guardians for copies of assessment reports and any relevant information;
  • The Principal reviews all relevant reports and consults with the CEC Student Services Coordinator to determine which Student Services staff are needed to support the transition;
  • The Principal invites the required staff, parents and child to a transition meeting at the school and completes the Transition to School Profile;
  • The Principal encourages the parents to invite the community service provider as appropriate (i.e., Kinark, Kerry’s Place, Bloorview, the Children’s Treatment Network) when parents request a Community Class placement for their child and it is the recommendation of the Board through the CEC Student Services Coordinator that this would be an appropriate placement, an IPRC meeting will be held after the child is enrolled at the school; and
  • Student Services staff and Special Education Consultants are available to provide additional program support as requested.

The Connections for Students model is centred on interdisciplinary, student-specific, school-based transition teams that are established approximately six months before a child transitions from the Autism Intervention Programme (AIP) to a YRDSB school setting. Transition teams will develop plans tailored to the specific support needs of individual students and provide support for at least six months after a child leaves the AIP programme.

The mandate of each team is to achieve seamless transitions to school by supporting students according to their individual needs. To facilitate this goal, there is a transfer of information about the student’s strengths and needs from the AIP provider to the school staff, enabling both the team members and the transition plans to be tailored to the specific support needs of individual students.

The Connections for Students Transition Process

Step 1 - A clinical decision is made by the staff at Kinark Child and Family Services to discharge the child/youth/young adult from the Autism Intervention Programme (AIP). 

Step 2 - The AIP provider contacts the appropriate Student Services Coordinator to initiate the transition process.

Step 3 - After consultation with parents/guardians, AIP and YRDSB staff, the Student Services Coordinator identifies the student’s placement. Parents/guardians and the school Principal are notified by the Student Services Coordinator of the placement recommendation. If required, an IPRC will be convened once the student is enrolled in the school.

Step 4 - The school Principal or designate of the school in which the student will be transitioning establishes and leads an inter-professional transition team. The team includes a school administrator, parent(s)/guardian(s), teacher(s), Kinark School Support Programme (SSP) Autism Spectrum Disorder Consultant, and other school and Student Services staff as appropriate.

Step 5 - Approximately six months prior to the planned date of admission to school, the transition team develops and implements a transition plan that is tailored to the specific support needs of the individual student; addresses any specific needs to ensure school and student readiness for entry to school; and provides assistance to teachers as required to support the student’s transition into the classroom setting.

Step 6 - Once the student enters school full-time, the transition team meets monthly (or more frequently as needed) to address any issues related to the transition and program development and provides support for a minimum of six months.

Step 7 - After the student has been in school full-time for six months, the Principal or designate, parent(s)/guardian(s) and teacher will continue to work together to monitor the student’s progress at key transition points in order to provide appropriate support.

Introduction to the Connections for Students (CFS) Documentation Package

The purpose of this resource package is to guide the transition team through the CFS process. As students in the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) transition into school or increase their school hours, the enclosed resources can act as a guide to structure the planning and implementation of the CFS model. These documents are saved on the disc that is included and can be reproduced as needed.
  • These documents provide a running record of the student’s transition, which will facilitate a seamless transition into school. They help to provide a consistent framework which, in turn, facilitates effective collaboration and practice throughout the transition process.
  • These documents are to be completed by the school-based transition team during the monthly transition team meetings.
  • As with all student records, these documents can be housed in the student’s Ontario School Record (OSR).
  • Copies of this document can be made available to members of the transition team upon request.
  • This document outlines and answers questions about the CFS service.
  • It outlines the actions that can be completed both prior to and after entry to school or increase in school hours.
  • These guiding questions are to facilitate information sharing on student strengths and areas of need between transition team members.
  • It is suggested that this form be completed during the initial transition team meeting.
  • This information can be used to assist in the development of the student’s transition goals.
  • This template can be used to collect the pertinent information of all transition team members.
  • This can be photocopied and shared with all members once completed.
  • This template can assist the transition team in tracking the student’s performance and progress in respect to identified transition goals.
  • The principal or designate can ensure the completion of the meeting minutes document.
Transition Team Meeting Checklist (Optional)
  • This checklist can provide a summary of transition steps throughout the CFS process (i.e., from initial transition team meeting to subsequent meetings).
  • Assists with the tracking of step completion (date/person) during meetings.
    Commonly Used Acronyms
    • OAP – Ontario Autism Program
    • ASD – Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • SSP – School Support Program
    • CFS – Connections for Students
    • ABA – Applied Behaviour Analysis

          Transitions within the School Day

          Many transitions occur for students during the school day. Sometimes referred to as small “t” transitions, examples of these transitions include changes from:
          • Arrival to locker
          • Locker to classroom
          • Classroom to recess
          • Classroom to lunch
          • Classroom to washroom break
          • Activity to activity
          • Preferred activity to non-preferred activity
          • Classroom to home, etc.

          Within the School
          For some students, preparation is required in order to transition from one activity to another within the classroom/school setting. Suggested strategies include:
          • Advance warning; 
          • Visual schedules;
          • Timers;
          • Provision of extra time for transitions;
          • First/Then or First/Next/Then; and
          • Positive Behaviour and reinforcement strategies.

          Rotary/Secondary School Schedule
          • Personalized timetables adapted to student needs (colour coded; hand timetabling);
          • Opportunity for student to walk through his/her timetable prior to initiation; and
          • Opportunities for teachers to communicate with each other regarding student strengths, needs, strategies and supports.

          Transition from One School Year to the Next

          For some students, preparation is required to ensure a successful transition from one school year to the next. Suggested strategies include:
          • the student meets new key staff member(s) before the summer;
          • an opportunity for the student and/or family to drop into the classroom(s) the week before the first day of school;
          • an opportunity for the student to become familiar with the new environment before the first day;
          • an opportunity for the student to “walk through his/her new timetable” before the first day;
          • give consideration to and/or allow the student choice in such things as: location of desk/locker;
          • the creation of a social narratives, transition book/binder, introductory letter; and
          • the SERT(s) and classroom teacher(s) meet prior to the first day of school, if possible to discuss the student’s strengths, needs, strategies and required supports. 

          There is a variety of tools to facilitate the transfer of information, including:
          • All About Me Portfolio
          • Individual Pathways Plan (IPP)
          • Transition Plan in SSNet once the student has pre-registered in their new YRDSB school
          • Checklist for Students with Special Needs Entering School (K-grade 12)
          • Day Treatment Re-Entry Plan (for students returning to their home school from a day treatment setting)
          Suggestions to support seamless transition:
          • The Special Education Resource Teacher contacts the Special Education Resource Teacher at the new school prior to the student attending the new school to share student information and program strategies.
          • Arrange a visit at the new school to:
            • decrease anxiety;
            • familiarize the student with the new surroundings;
            • provide an opportunity for the student to meet the new teacher and for the teacher to become familiar with the student; and
            • ​provide an opportunity for the family/student to prepare for the transition to the new school environment.
          • Ensure the OSR is requested by the School Office Administrative Assistant (SOAA) of the receiving school as soon as the student first attends the new location.
          • Once the student is demitted from the original school location, the SERT from the original school must release the student from his/her caseload on SSNET.
          • The SERT at the new location adds the student to his/her caseload once the student is attending the new school and active in the Trillium system.
          • If the student has a SEA claim, the SERT contacts the Technology Resource Teacher (TRT) of the appropriate CEC with the student name, personalized equipment, new location and date for the transition.
          • The SERT makes arrangements for the transfer of equipment.

          One of the outcomes of local collective bargaining between YRDSB and ETFO-YR, was an agreement to further support the transition planning for students with high needs that require a safety plan and/or medical care plan when internally transferring mid-year from one YRDSB school to another.

          To this end, the following Mid-Year Transfer Checklist has been created and is to be used by both the sending and receiving school staff when these transfers occur.

          The checklist, Mid-Year Transfer Checklist, is to be used when a student move is being initiated, with support from the area Student Services Coordinator. The purpose of the checklist is to support the effective transition planning for identified high needs students (including those with documented significant health concerns) and/or students with safety plans (due to their significant needs).

          To this end, the transition plan checklist is to be completed by the sending school and shared with the receiving school and impacted staff prior to the child starting in the new school on transfer.

          Student Services Coordinators are to be involved in this process where the mid-year transfer is the result of a change of program for the student.

          Screenshot of the Mid-Year Transfer Checklist
          The purpose of the Mid-Year Transfer Checklist is to support the effective transition planning for identified students (including those with documented significant health concerns) and/or students with safety plans (due to their significant needs). This will be used when a student is transferred mis-year from one YRDSB school or program to another.  Student Services Coordinators would be involved in this process where the transfer is the result of a change of program for the student. 

          The transfer checklist shall be completed by the sending school and shared with the receiving school and impacted staff prior to the child starting in the new school on transfer. Receiving school staff should be aware of the needs of the student to support a smooth and safe transition between schools. 

          Based on the needs of the student, the following information, if applicable, will be shared with the receiving school:
          • Individual Education Plan (IEP) or Individual Action Plan (IAP)
          • Safety Plan
          • Transition Plan
          • Essential Routine Health Services Plan
          • Emergency Health Care Plan
          • Recent IPRC and involvement of IDT staff
          • Transportation
          • Communication systems, behavioural systems currently being used
          • SEA equipment to be transferred.

          The Mid-Year Transfer Checklist​ is available on the Board Wide Web for all YRDSB staff to access.  

          When a student transitions to another school board within Ontario:
          • The OSR and SEA equipment will be sent to the new school upon request by the new/receiving school.
          When a student transitions to a school outside of Ontario:
          • The OSR is not sent out of province
            • Encourage parents to provide copies of assessments, the IEP and report cards to the new school; and
            • A letter from the current school staff outlining key student learning strengths, needs and program strategies may be written. Review the letter with the current administrator before sending to the new school.
          • SEA equipment is returned. Contact the Technology Resource Teacher for the CEC for further assistance.
          Elementary to Secondary Transition

          The successful transition of exceptional students from one program to another, or from elementary to secondary school requires effective communication among the staff. To facilitate the sharing of information regarding the student’s strengths and needs the following activities will be implemented:
          • facilitating the sharing of previous assessments, both formal and informal, and program information with the receiving school;
          • ensuring students entering the Board who are receiving special education services in another board are brought to the attention of the Student Services Coordinator for Community Class placement or to the attention of the Principal and SERT/Subject Head at the school for other placements.
          • inviting secondary Subject Heads to a pre-IPRC meeting at the elementary school to discuss programs and course selection for students with special needs;
          • inviting secondary special education personnel to the IPRC meetings for grade eight students from their feeder schools;
          • sharing of information between the elementary staff who support grade eight exceptional students and the secondary special education staff who will support them in grade nine;
          • holding information evenings for all parents, including a Special Education session for parents of exceptional students who are expected to attend secondary schools;
          • facilitating visits by parents, special education staff and exceptional students to schools when necessary;
          • promoting ongoing discussions between the guidance and special education
          • personnel from both elementary and secondary panels regarding course options and selections for exceptional students;
          • establishing peer helpers and/or mentors to be assigned to some exceptional students; and
          • collaborating of Special Education Resource Teachers, special education teachers, teachers, guidance staff to inform and counsel students and their families regarding course requirements, selection and modifications.
          • Upon pre-registration at the appropriate YRDSB secondary school, a SERT at the secondary school can review the current IEP, Transition Plan and Safety Plan in SSNet. 

          Explanation of Steps in the Process

          1. Identifying Students for In-Depth Transition Planning
          The Student Services Coordinator will provide assistance to the Principal and SERT in the selection of students and the identification of possible program placement for students with significant exceptional needs (i.e. students in Community Classes; students with Special Equipment Amount (SEA) claims) for those who require in-depth transition planning. This process should begin during the pre-reviews in the grade seven year.

          Note: Elementary SERTs/Principal must notify the Student Services Coordinator of any student(s) who are age appropriate for Grade 8 and note that at age 14, students should be transitioned to secondary. Effective September 2014, all students with an IEP are required to have a Transition Plan as part of their IEP.

          2. Early Discussion of Transition Process
          At IPRC reviews, in the grade seven year, the SERT encourages the family and student to begin thinking about the student’s goals and needs for secondary school. Parents and students are encouraged to visit the open house at their local high school to begin exploration of programs to ensure a well informed decision is made.

          3. Engage Parents in Discussion of Program Choices
          Discussions with the appropriate Student Services Coordinator will enable the SERT from the elementary school, (or designated staff) to become familiar with programs offered in the various secondary schools. The SERT should be prepared to discuss program option(s) with the family and the student in order to direct them to the appropriate secondary school. Discuss programs not locations as program locations and available space can change from one year to the next.

          It may be necessary for the SERT or appropriate Board personnel to help the family and the student understand individual strengths and needs and how they relate to the criteria of the program being recommended. Use the November Elementary Progress Report Card interview and/or annual IPRC as a time to discuss the transition process and student strengths and needs.

          4. Proactive Planning for Exceptional Students with Intensive Support Needs in Grade Seven
          The elementary school SERT will contact the Student Services Coordinator in the new year (i.e. after January) of grade seven to advise of the student’s needs. These needs may include: support personnel, specialized equipment and any building modification requirements. The Student Services Coordinator, family and student should discuss educational programs and destinations as well as the criteria required for placement in secondary school special education programs. The elementary SERT would remain the family’s primary contact throughout this process. The role of the SERT during this period
          will be to support the parents/guardians and student and provide the Student Services Coordinator with pertinent data regarding the student.

          Consider whether an updated assessment is required for programming, transition and/or Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) Central East eligibility.

          Encourage secondary school special education staff to come to the elementary school to talk with a small group of parents who may have questions about secondary school programs.

          Explanation of Steps in the Process

          1. Elementary and Secondary School Meetings to Begin the Grade 8 Transition Process (Late October – November)
          The Student Services Coordinator and Special Education Subject Heads will organize information sessions to discuss:
          • Secondary special education programs
          • Criteria for placement
          • Proposed location of classes
          • Pathways
          • Transportation
          • Transfer of IEPs, equipment, OSRs, etc.
          • Parent Information Evenings
          • Course option sheets
          • Substitution of credits
          • Accommodations for Literacy Test
          • Service delivery model(s)
          • Community Class Student Profile forms
          • Transition Plan
          • IPRC expectations

          2. Pre-reviews for Grade 8 Students
          CEC Student Services Coordinators will schedule pre-reviews for each respective CEC and distribute this information to elementary schools and secondary school Special Education Subject Heads. Pre-reviews for grade 8 students should be completed before the end of November. Whenever possible, invite secondary heads to pre-reviews. Data gathered at the pre-reviews, such as Community Class Student Profiles and parental wishes will be shared with the Student Services Coordinator to assist with placement and Community Class organization for the following school year.

          3. On-going Dialogue Between Secondary Special Education Subject Heads and Elementary School Personnel
          Following the pre-reviews, dialogue should continue between panels detailing specific needs of individual students and families.

          4. Consultation with Parents in Elementary Schools
          By the end of November, elementary SERTS will discuss secondary school programs with parents. At this time, the transition timeline will be shared, i.e., Parent Information Evenings at secondary schools, opportunities for school visits, etc. The Special Education Subject Head from the secondary school can be invited to the elementary school to talk with a small group of parents students with special education needs.

          5. CEC Parent Information Sessions
          Secondary schools will host parents and students at annual Parent Information Evenings. Special education programs and services will be discussed in detail. Parents will be encouraged to contact Special Education Subject Heads to discuss their specific concerns. Include SEAC information or invite SEAC or community agency representatives.

          6. Choosing the Secondary School Program
          The family will discuss with the elementary Principal and/or SERT which program they feel is most appropriate for their child given his/her strengths, needs and options available.

          Parents will be invited to attend the Grade 8 to 9 Open House evenings at the appropriate secondary schools (#5 above). They will be given an overview of the Grade 9 program and course and level options (i.e., Applied, Academic, Locally Developed, Open or non-credit).

          Course selection will be completed by the student and parent with the support of the elementary SERT, and in consultation with the secondary Special Education Subject Head.

          If a Community Class has been recommended, visits to these classes will be arranged by the elementary school in conjunction with the CEC Student Services Coordinator. Parents/guardians should be given sufficient time to make informed, tentative decisions.

          7. IPRC Scheduling
          ​a) ​The Student Services Coordinator will schedule and attend all IPRC’s for
          Community Classes. Personnel from the elementary and secondary school, as
          well as parents and, the student where appropriate, will be in attendance. For a student requiring a placement other than a Community Class, the elementary school will schedule the IPRC and invite a secondary school representative.

          Paperwork required as appropriate:
          • Statement of Decision – top half and dates completed
          • Course selection sheets – for Head to verify appropriate courses selection
          • IEP (a hard copy for the secondary school including Transition Plan, Safety Plan, Emergency Health Care Plan or Essential Routine Health Services Plan, if applicable).
          • Transportation forms will be completed where eligible
          • SEA profile cover sheet
          b) The elementary SERT will invite support staff to the IPRC where appropriate.
          • Speech and Language Pathologist
          • PT/OT
          • Vision and/or Hearing Itinerant
          • Interpreter
          Note: If a student has an IPRC at one school but requests a transfer to another secondary school, the IPRC and other information must be shared with the Special Education Subject Head at the new receiving school, once the transfer has been approved.

          8. Exchange of Information and Proactive Planning
          Once the needs have been identified, if necessary, the appropriate Board personnel will consider the request for additional resources, if applicable. It is important, at this point, to ensure that the family has given written consent to obtain information from other agencies, if applicable. The following list contains examples of steps taken by Board personnel to address equipment and staffing needs:
          • Obtain necessary information regarding specialized equipment (i.e. computers, toileting needs, augmentative communication equipment, etc.) SEA Profile cover sheet provided to Special Education Subject Head);
          • Student Services Coordinators consult with school administration/SERT to establish need for educational assistant support for the next school year;
          • As required, make referrals to school health support services (Community Care Access Centre), for required services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy or nursing services (Policy 662);
          • Ensure all medical issues have been identified for medically fragile students, appropriate forms completed, and an Emergency Health Care Plan and/or Essential Routine Health Services Plan be prepared (Policy 662);
          • Identity transportation needs and arrangements will be made by the elementary school;
          • Identify school support staff who are likely to be involved with the student (i.e. Speech and Language Pathologist, Psychologist, etc.);
          • Principal makes requests for accessibility and environmental accommodations, if necessary, to the Student Services Coordinator. If building modifications are not feasible, an alternate school setting will be chosen by the Student Services Coordinator; and
          • Ensure safety issues have been identified and a plan is in place for the first day of school. If appropriate, an updated Safety Plan (Memo S33) must be provided to all relevant staff.​
          9. Student Visits the Secondary School
          As part of the IEP process, the elementary Principal provides an opportunity for the family to discuss which type of setting is most appropriate for their child given the strengths, needs and programs available.

          Encouraging the student and the family to visit the secondary school provides an opportunity to:
          • Introduce the student to the new school and some of the classroom teachers;
          • Prepare both the student and the teachers for a smooth transition;
          • Experience some of the routines of the new school;
          • Assess the physical set-up of the classroom(s); and
          • Determine if changes are necessary prior to the student’s entry (i.e. mobility around classroom, toileting facilities, seat/desk placement, etc.) During these visits, a student “buddy” should be arranged to assist the student in becoming acquainted with the school setting. This will be an opportunity to facilitate social connections and to develop beginning friendships among students with and without disabilities.
          Exceptional students may be invited individually or in small groups to visit and experience the secondary school environment.

          10. Transferring of Equipment and IEPs
          a) Whenever possible, the SERT and a classroom teacher from the secondary
          school will be invited to visit the student in the elementary school setting. This gives the secondary school personnel an opportunity to meet the student and observe how he/she is supported in the present learning environment.

          b) In order to facilitate a smooth transition the following steps will be followed:
          • Prior to transfer, where the student has personalized equipment, the elementary SERT will complete the SEA transfer form, and ensure the equipment has been properly labelled. The SEA Profile cover sheet is to be faxed to the Special Education Subject Head. If student has been permitted to take SEA equipment home for the summer, the Special Education Department Head is alerted; and
          • The elementary Principal will ensure that all OSRs have been received by the secondary schools by June 30.
          c) Secondary Special Education Subject Heads will communicate with the sending school of those students who are registered for September and coming from other school boards.

          11. Addressing Transition Concerns
          The secondary Special Education Subject Head will ensure that all teachers are aware of exceptional students in their classes at the start of September. Detailed information is shared immediately for students with Medical and Safety plans and for any other students who may be at greater risk. Throughout the first semester, on-going contact will be maintained as appropriate between the elementary SERT and the secondary school department head to address transition concerns as they arise.

          12. OSRs
          Out of Board OSRs: SERTs should review new OSRs or work closely with the Guidance department staff at the secondary level to ensure students with special needs are recognized upon registration in the school.

          Administrators are required to request the OSR of a new student immediately following registration in a York Region school. Transfer of OSRs should be expedited for students with special needs in order to facilitate the timely development of an IEP and the setting of an IPRC meeting, if appropriate, to meet student needs.


          Staff assists students in clarifying their educational options and career alternatives as they make decisions related to post-secondary opportunities. The Individual Pathways Plan (IPP) and the Individual Education Plan (IEP), with the Transition Plan, will all be instrumental in this process.

          Effective September 2014, all students with an IEP are required to have a Transition Plan as part of their IEP. Each year of school presents different opportunities and challenges to the student who is identified as exceptional. The student’s goals and the actions planned in support of those goals should become more clearly focused as the exit/graduation date approaches. The specific goals and actions required should be clearly noted in both the Transition Plan and the student’s IPP. Transition Planning: A Resource Guide (Ministry of Education, 2002) provides examples of planning that may
          occur at different stages prior to leaving secondary school.

          Depending on the student’s pathway, transition meetings with the student and family are to be arranged by the SERT to explore options related to Work Experience placements, community resources, Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, Specialist High Skills Majors Program, and planning for post-secondary education and living.

          The IEP Transition Plan is intended to guide the “transition” actions required through secondary school to post secondary destinations. The Plan should be updated regularly and identify specific skills and actions to support the student in meeting the minimum requirements to achieve his/her outlined goals. Post secondary goals/destinations may include one or more of the following:

          ​Post Secondary Goals​

          May Include:​
          1. ​Further Education 
          • Community College
          • University
          • Apprenticeship
          • Literacy Programs​
          ​2. Work
          • Paid Employment
          • Supported Employment
          • Volunteerism​
          ​3. Community Living
          • Day Programs
          • Independent Living
          • Recreation and Leisure​

          Transition Planning:
          • Must be documented in the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP);
          • Is an ongoing, collaborative process which is teacher led;
          • Should outline the actions that are necessary year by year (up to seven years with an IEP) to assist the student in achieving his/her goals; and
          • Documentation should include a record of collaborative involvement of student, parent(s)/guardian(s), school and community partners and must include graduation/exit date.
          Some Strategies Include:
          • Providing/considering specific information regarding appropriate educational and employment opportunities (for example, Cooperative Education or Work Experience Program);
          • Visiting post secondary institutions or work placements;
          • Providing presentations by personnel from post secondary institutions or businesses;
          • Providing individual staff contacts in post secondary institutions or businesses;
          • Providing post secondary workshops for students regarding the provisions of accommodations available at the post secondary level and guidance with course selections;
          • Assisting parents/guardians, where additional support is required, in making connections with community agencies;
          • Teaching self-advocacy and facilitating a student meeting with a psychologist to review information in the psycho-educational assessment in order to have a better understanding of the diagnosis;
          • Teaching skills (i.e., executive function, self-advocacy, financial literacy, interpersonal, stress/time management, problem solving, etc.) necessary for successful transition;
          • Discussing with students and parents the importance of self-advocacy and disclosure (advantages, disadvantages, and other considerations);
          • Providing information regarding summer transition programs, financial supports, including OSAP, bursaries, etc.;
          • Considering post secondary education requirements, such as an addendum to the psychological assessment, for those students who require access to university/college programs; and
          • Considering post secondary Developmental Services Ontario (DSO) requirements for those students who will benefit from adult developmental services (refer to Transition Meeting Record form WEP-81 and Transition Planning Resource Document).
          The Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT) develops the Transition Plan in partnership with the student and parent and includes as appropriate:
          • Guidance Counsellor
          • Student Success teacher
          • Cooperative Education teacher (re: apprenticeship)
          • Student Services staff (Work Experience Program Coordinator, Special Education Consultant, etc.)
          • Administrator
          • Community Service Agencies

          Students who are in Community Classes may be working towards a Certificate of
          Accomplishment or an Ontario Secondary School Certificate (OSSC) and will likely require a more comprehensive transition plan, which addresses both the written plan and planning process. Transition planning is used to identify learning goals and guide the student’s Individual Education Plan throughout secondary school. Post-secondary transition planning is a partnership involving the Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT), school and resource staff, parent/guardian, student and community service provider(s). The student should be involved in the planning process and given the opportunity to express his/her goals and interests. The transition plan is twofold:

          1) It should include the outlined actions for students to achieve specific/generic skills and knowledge. Generic skills are needed to make the transition to work, further education and/or community living. Examples of generic skills to support a successful transition to adulthood include:
          • Self-advocacy skills
          • Study skills
          • Vocational/job skills
          • Employability skills (e.g. dress, punctuality, responsibility)
          • Daily Living skills for independence
          • Interpersonal skills
          • Stress management skills
          • Problem solving/decision making skills
          • Financial Literacy
          Adapted from: Transition Planning: A Resource Guide, 2002 Ministry of Education

          2) Provide a step-by-step guide to access resources and points of transition (e.g. Application to Developmental Services Ontario-DSO, Ontario Disability Support Program-ODSP, Community Living, etc.) and identify who is responsible for each action.

          Transition Planning Meeting Guideline and Responsibilities
          Board resource staff, including Work Experience Program (WEP) Coordinators, is available to consult and assist with transition planning meetings. A recommended guideline for hosting transition meetings is a minimum of three times i.e., during the student’s 2nd, 6th and final secondary school years, and/or more often.

          The Community Class teacher will:
          • Invite parents/guardians to the transition planning meeting;
          • Include the student in the transition planning meeting, where appropriate;
          • Invite Student Services staff, the WEP Coordinator, school staff and community service provider(s), where appropriate;
          • Chair the transition meeting;
          • Complete the Transition Plan in SSNet as part of the IEP;
          • Provide a copy of the completed Transition Plan to parent/guardian; and
          • For follow-up meetings, refer to the Transition Plan on the student’s IEP to determine completed, pending, and/or new actions.
          The Work Experience Program Coordinator will:
          • Inform the student, family and teacher of community services and resources and how to access them;
          • Inform families of current trends and issues related to developmental services and supports for adults within York Region;
          • Liaise and coordinate with representatives from community agencies;
          • Attend case conferences and transition meetings to plan for senior students’ transitions from secondary school to adult life options; and
          • Provide parent/guardian with the book Connections: A Guide to Transition
          • Planning for Parents of Children with a Developmental Disability and the Transition Planning Resource Document.
          The Principal will:
          • ​Ensure that Transition Plans are developed and maintained in accordance with Board policies and Ministry regulations.

          Education Programs in Care and Treatment Centres

          A school board and a government approved agency establish an education program in a care and treatment centre through a formalized partnership. In some cases, an agency has a joint agreement with two school boards. Ministry funding requires that a written agreement be negotiated on an annual basis. Provincial policy and Legislative Grant Regulations establish guidelines for:
          • the development of educational programs;
          • the funding of teacher and educational assistant salaries/benefits;
          • provision of consultative services; and
          • purchase of instructional supplies and equipment.
          The Ministry of Education investigates and approves all agreements prior to confirmation of funding and monitors and renews existing programs on an annual basis.

          Referral Process
          When a student is experiencing significant difficulty attending school because of his/her treatment needs, the parent/guardian and the school work together to make a referral to an appropriate day treatment service. Prior to a referral being made, a Day Treatment Referral Checklist is completed by the school with reference to Referral Criteria: York Region Central Intake for Day Treatment Services. A pamphlet, Education Programs in Care and Treatment Centres-York Region, is available following this section. 

          Some agencies receive referrals from the parent/guardian and some agencies receive referrals from the professional community.

          Agencies providing day treatment programming support referrals through the York Region Central Intake for Day Treatment Services Committee. Referrals received by each individual agency are reviewed monthly by the Central Intake Committee for consideration of the appropriate and timely placement. The central intake process requires only one agency to be contacted for the referral to be considered by all agencies delivering day treatment services.

          Admission Process
          A student is admitted to a day treatment program through the agency’s admissions process. Relevant information is shared by the sending school with the receiving day treatment team. Involvement of the parent/guardian is critical both to the acceptance of the student and the ongoing success of the student in the program.

          Placement Process
          In most cases, the day treatment program is intended to be a short-term placement. The ultimate goal for each student is successful re-entry to a school or transition to post-secondary education, job training or employment.

          To support successful re-entry to a school, school staff, day treatment centre staff, the Student Services Coordinator, the Principal of Care and Treatment, and involved community agencies/resources collaborate to support the student’s success throughout the referral, admission, placement and re-entry process.

          While students are clients of the agency, day treatment programs follow the school year calendar. Some variations in student attendance may exist based upon the particular needs of the students and program.

          The Program
          A collaborative interdisciplinary team, including the parent/guardian and student develops a program that addresses both the treatment and educational needs of the student.

          The range of agency professionals varies and may include child and youth workers, social workers, Speech and Language Pathologists, Psychologists, Psychiatrists and medical doctors.

          The academic programs are individualized, flexible and integrated with the treatment plan. Credit and non-credit courses are available to secondary level students. The teacher, as a member of the treatment team, is responsible for the educational assessment of, and program planning for, students.

          Some day treatment centres offer a summer program.

          Review Process
          Conferences to review student progress are regularly scheduled by the day treatment program to be attended by the parent/guardian and the student, if appropriate. When appropriate and possible, the Principal of Care and Treatment attends review conferences to provide relevant information to the Student Services Coordinator. The day treatment team, including the teacher, presents progress made toward the goals developed during the admission process. At each review conference, goals may be modified and student readiness for reentry to a York Region school is assessed.

          Re-Entry Process
          A student is considered for re-entry to a school board program through the following process:

          1. A decision regarding student readiness for re-entry is made by the day treatment team;

          2. Immediately following a re-entry decision and at least six weeks* prior to transition, relevant information is shared with the Principal of Care and Treatment and the Student Services Coordinator to support the identification of appropriate educational programs;
          • In the event a special education Community Class placement is recommended, a Community Class Referral form is to be submitted to the Principal of Care and Treatment in December for consideration of a September placement in the following year.
          3. Placement options are presented to the parent/guardian and the day treatment team;

          4. The Principal of Care and Treatment schedules a re-entry/transition planning meeting to be attended by the receiving school Principal or designate, the parent/guardian, the student (when appropriate), the day treatment team, the Student Services Coordinator or designate and/or the Principal of Care and Treatment. Other involved agencies may attend with the permission of the parent/guardian.

          The teacher and appropriate agency staff present relevant information to the staff of the receiving school.

          The Principal of Care and Treatment completes a Re-entry Plan which articulates actions to be taken by the student, parent/guardian, day treatment program staff, receiving school staff, Student Services staff and other involved agencies to ensure a successful transition. Refer to the Re-entry Plan template shown below for possible actions to be considered.

          5. An I.P.R.C. meeting, if required, is scheduled by the receiving school once the student is enrolled in a school.

          Each day treatment centre has a school Principal assigned who is responsible for the supervision of the educational staff and the administration of the educational program.

          The Principal of Care and Treatment supports the programs throughout York Region.

          Records Management
          1. Student enrollment and attendance are maintained in TRILLIUM by the Administrative Assistant, Care and Treatment Programs.

          2. Daily attendance records are maintained by the teacher of the day treatment program and submitted to the Administrative Assistant, Care and Treatment Programs. A student placed in a partial re-entry program remains full-time on the register of the day treatment program until full re-entry is achieved. It is the responsibility of the teacher of the day treatment program to track and record student attendance at the treatment centre and the receiving school during the period of partial re-entry.

          3. The O.S.R.s for students enrolled in day treatment programs are transferred to the day treatment program as outlined in the Guidelines for Approval of Educational Programs in Government-Approved Care, Treatment, Custodial and Correctional Facilities​ and Ontario Student Record (O.S.R.) Management (NP656.0), April 14, 2004 which governs the administration, accessibility and content of The Ontario Student Record.

          4. Student enrolment in day treatment programs is reported by the Board to the Ministry of Education based on the total number of students in classes supervised by teachers employed by the Board.

          Transportation is provided by the Board. A Request for Special Transportation (Form NP360-03) is completed by the agency and forwarded to the Principal of Care and Treatment for approval and submission to Student Transportation Services.

          Program Locations
          Day treatment programs are located within elementary schools, secondary schools, hospitals and community treatment centres.

          Day Treatment Re-Entry Plan

          The Day Treatment Re-Entry Plan in SSNET includes Student Information; Parent/Guardian Information; Program & Receiving School Contact Information; Re-Entry Information (Strengths, Needs, Interests); and Transition Planning Information. 

          Note: Actions this plan may include:
          • a school visitation to enable the student and parent/guardian to become familiar with the school facility, staff, routines and expectations;
          • a visitation to the Section 23 program to enable receiving school staff to become familiar with successful strategies;
          • modifications to the program/school day;
          • identification of staff member(s) within the Section 23 program and receiving school to be responsible for ongoing communication;
          • identification of staff member(s) within the Section 23 program and receiving school to provide support and the specific nature of support;
          • regularly scheduled In-School Team meetings to review and assess student progress; and
          • establishment of an IPRC date.

          Screenshot from SSNET of the Day Treatment Re-Entry Plan Template 

          Day Treatment Referral Checklist

          The Day Treatment Referral Checklist ensures that:
          • the In-School Team process has been followed with appropriate support staff included to provide consultation and/or recommended assessment; 
          • possible consultation with community agencies/resources has taken place if applicable; 
          • there has been consultation with the CEC Student Services Coordinator and Psychological Services staff member to determine suitability for referral to appropriate programs/supports/services
          • Psychological Services staff has reviewed the student's information and supports the referral;
          • the CEC Student Services Coordinator and/or Psychological Services staff member(s) have consulted with the Principal of Care and Treatment; and 
          • the parent/guardian or youth is in support of the referral and has been informed of the referral process. 
          Screenshot from SSNET of the Day Treatment Referral Checklist

          *​from Policy Manual - York Region Central Intake for Day Treatment Services Committee
          Appendix 5

          Referral Criteria:

          York Region Central Intake for Day Treatment Services

          Mental Health Subcommittee - Participating agencies include:
          • Blue Hills Child and Family Centre
          • Jerome D. Diamond Centre
          • Kinark Child and Family Services
          • Markham Stouffville Hospital
          • Skylark Youth Services
          • Southlake Regional Health Centre
          • The York Centre for Children, Youth and Families
          • Youthdale Treatment Centres

          Dual Diagnosis Subcommittee - Participating agencies include:
          • Aptus Treatment Centres
          • Cedar Heights Residential Living
          • Children’s Case Coordination
          • Griffin Centre
          • Surrey Place Centre

          Description of Day Treatment Programs:

          Day Treatment Programs, also known as Section 23 programs, are collaborative treatment and educational programs between both of the York Region School Boards and community based mental health and dual diagnosis treatment agencies in York Region. The programs are located within elementary and secondary schools, hospitals and community treatment centres. The programs are designed to provide treatment and educational services to students up to the age of 18 with identified developmental and/or mental health needs who are unable to attend regular or special education classes within a community school due to their primary need for treatment. Student must primarily reside in York Region in order to access these programs. The main objective of these programs is to provide a safe and structured environment in which each student’s individual treatment, social, emotional and educational needs can be met. These programs provide stabilization and treatment and work in collaboration with the home school to develop supportive transition plans/programs upon discharge. Each student is on an individualized and flexible program with respect to academics, length of stay, and treatment goals. 

          Day Treatment Programs serve students with treatment needs who cannot be served through School Board programs. 

          Referral Process:

          In order to ensure that appropriate referrals are made, school staff need to demonstrate that they have exhausted the resources available to the school. To initiate a referral to Day Treatment from a York Region District School Board school, the following steps must be taken:
          1. Schools hold an In-School Team meeting with relevant team members to determine if all resources have been exhausted and to determine that the student’s primary needs are for treatment. A representative from Psychological Services or School Social Worker should attend this meeting. 
          2. School Principal or designate completes a Day Treatment Referral Checklist, found on SSNet.
          3. School Psychology and/or Social Work staff approve the referral in SSNet.
          4. Consultation with the CEC Student Services Coordinator for approval in SSNet.
          5. Consultation with the Principal of Care and Treatment.
          6. Student will be added to the York Region Central Intake Referral List.
          7. York Region Central Intake Committee will review the referral and an appropriate community agency will be assigned to follow up with next steps.
          For the York Catholic District School Board Elementary Panel, consultation with the Area Case Conference and the Central Case Conference is required. For the York Catholic District School Board Secondary Panel, consultation with the Student Services Committee and the Central Case Conference is required. 

          Referral Criteria:

          The following information is required to refer a student to a Day Treatment Program:

          a) Information regarding a student's:
          • cognitive functioning (e.g. IQ)
          • academic functioning (i.e. measures of academic achievement)
          • social and emotional functioning
          • adaptive functioning (where appropriate)
          • evidence of a learning disability, speech and language disability and/or developmental disability or disorder which may affect school-based adjustment;
          ​This information can be provided in the following ways:
          • A recent and valid psychological assessment or consultation;
          • A previous psychological assessment that has been reviewed by a School Board Psychology staff member and is deemed to accurately reflect the student’s current functioning; or
          • Through a review of the student information where a School Board Psychology staff member determines that all available information suggests there are no impairments in cognitive, academic or developmental functioning that would affect school adjustment.
          b) A current Individual Education Plan (IEP) and/or Individual Action Plan (IAP); and

          c) Confirmation that the child/youth “cannot attend a local school because of (his/her) primary need for the services provided by the (day treatment) facility”. [Ministry of Education Guidelines for Approval of Educational Programs for Pupils in Government Approved Care and/or Treatment, Custody and Correctional Facilities].

          Furthermore, any additional information pertaining to a student’s medical, behavioural, emotional, social, or learning needs (including any relevant diagnoses) would be of benefit in making the referral to day treatment.

          Revised: January 2018


          Ministry Resources:
          Additional Resources:
          Print Resources:
          • Educator Support Guide for Transition Planning (Collaborative work with school boards in the Barrie Boards network)
          • Transition Meeting Record for Community Class Programs (YRDSB)
          • Transition Planning Resource Document, Work Experience Program Department (YRDSB)
          • Pathways to Opportunity:  Experiential Learning Opportunities - The Transition Years (Curriculum & Instructional Services, YRDSB)
          Video/Module Resources:
          • Transition Plans - Mapping the Journey

          The Educator Support G​uide for Transition Planning is available to the York Region District School Board staff on our Board Wide Web (BWW). 

          Image of Page 2 of the Educator Support Guide for Transition Planning 
          Image of Page 2 of the Educator Support Guide for Transition Planning 

          The Work Experience Program has created a Transition Planning Resource Document​ that provides a wealth of information about transition planning including:
          • Developmental Services and Transition Planning;
          • ​Provincially Funded Resources and Supports;
          • Federal Government Programs;
          • Post-Secondary Education; 
          • Vocational and Employment Programs;
          • Day Programs and Communication Participation Supports;
          • Residential Supports;
          • Respite Services;
          • Autism Services;
          • Legal and Financial Services;
          • Recreation and Leisure Services;
          • Weekend and Camp Programs;
          • Bursaries and Scholarships;
          • Health Care Services;
          • Identification Registries;
          • Transportation;
          • Online Community Databases;
          • Family Support Groups;
          • Service Dogs; and
          • Driving Programs.

          Transition Plan

          The Transition Plan is included as part of a student's Individual Education Plan. The Transition Plan includes the following:
          • Student Information;
          • Student's Interests, Strengths and Needs;
          • Transition Goals (shifts to Education, Career, Community & Life Goals for Grades 7-12);
          • Actions To Date; and 
          • Future Recommendations. 
          Screenshot from SSNET of Transition Plan 

          • Skills Canada/Ontario
          • Promoting Skilled Trades & Technology (PSTT)
          • Creating Pathways to Success & My Pathways Planner
          • Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM)
          • Ontario Youth Apprenticeship (OYAP)
          • Dual Credit
          • Exploring Opportunities Program (EOP)
          • Cooperative Education (Co-op)
          • Skills Canada/Ontario
          Pathways/Program Descriptions

          Skills Canada/Ontario - All YRDSB schools have access to Skills Canada resources and opportunities. These include regional and provincial Skills Competitions, young women's initiatives, cardboard boat races, workshops, and in-school presentation. Students showcase their skills and talents while building confidence and experience in a personal area of interest.

          Promoting Skilled Trades & Technology (PSTT) - Elementary school students learn how to make meaningful choices for themselves both within and outside of school, to explore various technologies and to spend a day at a college exploring careers in the skilled trades. In addition to the YRDSB PSTT units, supporting resources are My Pathway Planner.

          Creating Pathways to Success & My Pathway PlannermyBlueprint, a new web-based platform that was introduced during the 2018/2019 school year, supports students in Grades 7 to 12 with their Individual Pathways Plan (IPP) and course selection. This will replace the former platform known as Career Cruising. This platform is supported by the Ministry's Education and Career/Life Planning Program for Ontario Schools – Creating Pathways to Success (2013).  

          The Education and Career/Life planning tool will be referred to as “My Pathway Planner” when communicating with students and families. A generic name for the tool which focuses on the purpose of the tool can remain regardless of vendor.​​

          Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) - Grade 11 and 12 students can apply to specialize in an economic sector of interest while in secondary school by choosing courses related to that sector, by contextualizing all of their learning and participating in a number of planned experiences (co-op, field trips, certifications and reach-aheads). SHSM student deepen their preparation for their initial post-secondary destination.

          Ontario Youth Apprenticeship (OYAP) - In grade 11 or 12, students can begin training in a skilled trade and register as an apprentice through the OYAP cooperative education program. In certain trades, students can earn their Level 1 Apprenticeship prior to graduating from secondary school. 

          Dual Credit and Dual Credit Accelerated ​OYAPIn grade 11 or 12, students can earn high school and college credits in a college environment while still attending secondary school. Depending on the program, students may concurrently earn high school credits and credits towards their apprenticeship.

          Exploring Opportunities Program (EOP) - EOP is a specialized opportunity for secondary school students interested in the trades and technologies who want to explore workplace or apprenticeship pathways.

          Cooperative Education - In grade 11 or 12, students can 'test drive' a potential career and gain valuable practical experience while earning high school credits. Students learn through the integration of classroom theory with practical experience in a work placement. 

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