Transition Plus Newsletter

February 2020 Edition

Getting Connected!

This is our first year of the Transition Plus Newsletter! It is delivered via email to all of our families that have submitted their email address. We are excited to share some of the great things that happened this month, things to look forward to next month, and needs that you can help us with.

Want to add someone to the Newsletter email list? Call 612-668-4100 to add them



February Calendar

February 14: 1:30 - 3:30 African American Family Celebration - All School and Family Event, RSVP below

February 17 - No School -Presidents day

February 18 - No School -Parent Teacher Conferences 9:00 am - 2:00

February 20: 4:30 - 5:00 Site Council overview, 5:00 - 6:30 - Project Search will present on what internships they offer and how your student can get hired for the internship options. See info below.


African American Family Celebration

Friday, Feb. 14th, 1:30-3:30pm

2015 East Lake Street

Minneapolis, MN

All families come help us celebrate our Transition Plus African American family with food, music, art and more!

RSVPs are enabled for this event.



Visit from Bhutan

In mid January we were excited to host delegation from Bhutan, who traversed the world to Transition Plus to learn about our employment programs for people with disabilities. Our Bhutanese guests chose to visit Transition Plus because we were identified as a state leader in helping students with disabilities gain independence. This was part of a 3 year grant for Bhutanese leaders to learn how to build transition programs for students with disabilities in their country.

Our Project SEARCH interns at Children's Minnesota worked on their public speaking skills and were part of the presentation to our Bhutanese guests. Each student went on stage to introduce themselves, explain what they do at the hospital, and share one fun fact they learned about Bhutan.

With a smile Hunter Collins explained, "I am learning to use a checklist and I can use my phone as a tool to keep track of time. And I think your Thunder Dragon flag is really cool."

After each student shared and the presentation concluded, members from the Bhutanese delegation said they were inspired and filled with hope!


Students with musical talents have been serenading and engaging staff and students during mealtimes, creating a calm, joyful atmosphere.

Staff of many job descriptions have been taking students with similar career interests under their wing for informal "internships". It has been a pleasant and organic partnership which allows for further relationship building between staff and students.

3 students from our Pre-Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) class just passed the State of Minnesota's Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Certification test on their first attempt. Way to go Ladies!!

20 students have registered for StepUp to work paid jobs this summer

So far, 5 students are applying to the MN Trades academy which has summer paid training for students going into the building trades.

6 students are participating in the paid hospitality training at the Hyatt Hotel, which will hopefully result in competitively paid employment.

8 students have interviewed and begun working at Cookie Cart on West Broadway as a paid internship.

Swimming Lessons

Phillips Community Aquatic Center and Transition Plus are partnering together second semester to give our students access to adaptive swimming lessons! Students get a personal swim coach to increase their familiarity with the water and swim skills. Swim lessons are on a 4-Friday rotation, open to the community of ALL students with disabilities (our students have reserved most of the spaces). There are still some available lessons in March. If you are interested in lessons for your student, please contact Colleen Knuth 612-668-4103.

Southside Services at Transition Plus!

Southside Services works with individuals with disabilities to support them in becoming more active, engaged members of the community. Tuesday Soccer Club and Thursday Yoga are off to a strong enthusiastic start! If your student is interested, you can get more information from the school social workers or by contacting Stephanie or Adam at Southside Services. 612-721-1696 or visit our website



Project Search Info Session

Students have the opportunity to do a year-long internship at Children's Hospital or Hennepin Healthcare, supported by Transition Plus staff. The internships often lead to employment options.

It is highly recommended that you attend the information session at Transition Plus on February 20, from 5:00 - 6:30 to learn about Project Search and how to apply. Students must submit an application and get accepted this year for next year.


Every Year on the first Saturday of May, De La Salle hosts prom for our community of students with disabilities. Prom is free to attend (donations are appreciated), there are free snacks, and so much fun to be had. This year, Prom will be held on May 2nd. Students find their own transportation to Prom.

Need a dress?

Students can get a free dress (donations appreciated) on their own with the information below. Or they can go with a school group if they sign up by February 7 with Colleen or Daphne.

When: March 12, 13, 14, 15 & 20

Where: An empty store at The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove (The girls will truly feel like they have a traditional prom dress shopping experience!)

Who: Any young woman who’s attending prom is welcome! This is also an LGBTQ+ friendly event.

Students going on their own must sign up at

If you have questions about the event, contact Jeni Asaba at or 646.354.0219

Bhutanese Art Exhibition

Bhutanese artists with disabilities affiliated with the Draktsho Vocational Training Centre for Special Children and Youth will present works of art at the University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration through its Art for All program. The event is part of an international collaboration between the University of Birmingham, UK; the Institute on Community Integration; and Royal Thimphu College, Bhutan, focuses on "Understanding, Developing, and Supporting Meaningful Work for Youth with Disabilities in Bhutan."

When: Exhibition January 10 - March 5, 2020

Where: Institute on Community Integration

Patee Hall

150 Pillsbury Dr. SE

Minneapolis, MN 55455


Comprehensive District Design

In the coming months, Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) will be making many important decisions about the Comprehensive District Design (CDD). The goal of the CDD is to provide all students in Minneapolis a well-rounded education by focusing on academics, equity and sustainability.

Because these decisions directly impact MPS students, families, staff, and the community, we are seeking your input. You can learn more about the CDD, and the current models they are considering, as well as give your feedback in the form below and/or in the survey below. and

Comprehensive District Design Feedback Form

Comprehensive District Design Survey


Parents and Guardians, if you know your student will be late to school, leaving early or absent for the day, please remember to call the main office number at 612-668-4100. This will help in accurate attendance reporting.

Update Your School Messenger Preferences

As we head into the winter weather season, stay on top of school closures by making sure your school has your correct contact information. Once you've verified your school knows how best to reach you, create an account in School Messenger to manage your communications preferences. Families can now opt-in to receive text messages as well.

We're hiring!

Minneapolis Public Schools is hiring licensed school bus drivers as well as people new to the industry. Earn $15/hour while you train to become a fully licensed driver! You'll become an MPS bus driver upon completion of training - with an automatic pay increase.

Here Comes The Bus App

Wondering when the school bus will arrive at your house? Download the free "Here Comes the Bus" app on your phone's app store and follow the set up instructions in the following links to get a notification when the bus enters your neighborhood.



Feed the Need

The Social Justice Community Based Instruction student group at Transition Plus is asking for donations for our Feed The Need clothing closet and food shelf. Feed The Need is run by our students (check out their picture!) and serves our student community. Donations can be made throughout the year. Feed The Need will start operating on October 11th. If you need to access Feed The Need, contact your student's school social worker to make arrangements.

Donation Needs:

  • Shelf-stable foods
  • CLEAN New or gently used clothing
  • Soft, stretchy material pants for men and women
  • new undergarments for men and women SIZE: small - 4XL
  • clean stylish or plain hoodies
  • clean jackets in great condition


Student Opinion Editorials

Electric Buses for MPS?

The MPS bus fleet includes new buses most school years. Our fleet has buses that are still working and had the proper maintenance. Currently, MPS staff and students are thinking about funding for electric school buses. If we did have electric buses, it would be an improvement to our environment because we wouldn’t have to worry about being sick or having someone with a type of disease such as asthma from the strong smells.

In my opinion, it would be great to have electric buses running in our school bus fleet but at the same time, it would be great if we didn’t get rid of all our old buses. I understand that it’s expensive to maintain old school buses to run perfectly. Electric school buses will really change the world of transportation.

Written by Enrique Vivas-Vaquero



Community Childcare Center

We are please to recognize the Community Childcare Center of Mpls as our employer of the month. Transition Plus students have the opportunity to gain child care experience volunteering at this wonderful Child Care Center. In addition, to enhancing their employability, students gain valuable skills in working with children -skills they can use as parents, aunts or uncles.

Over the years, six Transition Plus students have been hired at the Community Childcare Center. One former Transition Plus student has been employed at the Community Childcare Center for five years!

If you know of any employers who would be interested hiring students or groups of students, Transition Plus is always looking for partnerships to expand vocational opportunities.

Highlights From our Hmong Celebration

Transition Plus Services

Transition Plus provides services to students with educational disabilities and transition needs.