Transition Plus Newsletter

March 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

March 10: 4:30pm Project Search Info Mtg@Hennepin Healthcare (see Project Search entry below)

March 11: 4:30pm Project Search Info Mtg@Children's Hospital(see Project Search entry below)

March 12: Tplus goes to the Guthrie to see "The Twelfth Night"

March 13: East African Celebration - all families invited

March 19: 4:30 - 6:00 Site Council - cancelled

March 26: Third Quarter ends

March 27-April 3: No school - Spring Break


April 17: Tplus Talent Show - all families invited (Note:this is a new date)

April 23: Transition Plus Resource Fair 5:30 - 7:00 Fair designed for transition age students to connect with community resources around education, employment, and independent living


East African Celebration

Friday, March 13th, 1:30-3:30pm

2015 East Lake Street

Minneapolis, MN

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

RSVPs are enabled for this event.



New Music Recording Space For Students

Our music teacher, Christina Brantner, is working with some new equipment and staff, Tyler Mccracken, to create a music recording studio. This is a new space created for students to musically express themselves and have a finished project when they’re done.

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



Big picture
Big picture


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) with the information below.

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 an LGBTQ+ friendly event.

Students must sign up at

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

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 / student news

Teaching 4th Grade Students about Inclusivity

Inclusivity is a practice that should be used wherever you go. Including others means not being judgemental and being kind to each other. At Transition Plus, there is a diversity of different types of students in our school. Including other people is a great way to create a big group of friends. It doesn’t matter what they look like or what ability level they have, it’s always great to include others in group activities. When we include others, we start getting to know each other and learn about who we are and what we like to do.

One way to include others is by asking them “would you like to join us for lunch?” or “would you like to come to the chat n chill room with us?” Saying something like that will give someone the opportunity to join a group activity. Another way to include others is by joining their lunch table. You can do something small just by saying hi or giving them a smile when you see your friends in the hallway.

I’m in a class called Ambassadors For Respect. Ambassadors For Respect is a program for our school, where we go to elementary schools across the district and teach 4th grade students that it’s not ok to bully people and how to include others no matter what they look like or do. I really enjoy being in that class because we talk to the 4th graders about our history about times we’ve been bullied or being included by other groups of people during our elementary school experiences.

In conclusion, there are many ways to include others. A few ways to include others are showing mindfulness and empathy, telling your friends that everyone is different and modeling kindness and inclusion.

By Enrique Vivas-Vaquero

From cardiac patient to Star Studio star: Michael’s heart health journey

Michael started his Children’s Minnesota journey on Oct. 15, 2000 – the day he was born. Liz delivered Michael during an emergency C-section and they were transported to Children’s Minnesota immediately after birth. Michael was born with many heart issues.

“It was terrifying,” Liz said. “But, we knew right away that we were in the right place for Michael to receive the best possible care.” Their appointments at The Children’s Heart Clinic turned from constant, to regular, to simply having one yearly appointment.


When Michael was 12 years old, his parents, Liz and Paul, started noticing some symptoms of heart issues: excessive sweating, tiring easily and bluish fingers. Michael’s cardiologist told them about a new procedure to repair the tricuspid valve. The surgery was a success, but required many follow-up procedures. Throughout all these complications and hospital stays, Michael’s positive attitude never wavered. “He would be disappointed if he didn’t get to stay overnight.”


When Michael would be at Children’s Minnesota, he was never short of visitors. “It’s amazing when you think about the number of patients they have and they still remember him and truly care about him.” said his mom, Liz.

Michael loved the visits from his nurses, however, he especially loved the in-house TV studio, Star Studio. The host of the show, The Dude, brought so many smiles to Michael – and continues to do so today.


Michael was born with a natural love for performing and entertainment. “He has a great sense of humor, he’s constantly seeking connections with others,” said Michael’s mom. “He thrives on movement and loves to dance.”

Today, Michael volunteers with his mom during Star Studio Bingo. Michael helps hand out bingo cards to patients. Michael knows what it’s like to be a patient, so he loves visiting patients and bringing them the fun of Star Studio. Michael’s mom said, “It’s such a good experience for him. He enjoys saying hi to patients and every interaction he has with The Dude.

Michael’s family has a special place in their heart for Children’s Minnesota. His parents are grateful for the support and care they’ve been given. “All these scary things have happened to us,” said Liz. “But I knew once we got to Children’s [Minnesota], we’d be OK. We’re always being saved by Children’s Minnesota.”

Full Story



Ebenezer Care Center

We would like to recognize Ebenezer Care Center located on 25th and Portland in Minneapolis as our Employer of the Month. Transition Plus students gain valuable work experience while volunteering at this site. Students participate in a co-worker model approach, where students work directly with Ebenezer staff. On the job, students participate in food service, housekeeping, custodial, and laundry departments.

Every year, Ebenezer celebrates their volunteers by inviting them to their annual volunteer luncheon.

We appreciate this positive business partnership in our community.

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 African American & West African Celebration

Transition Plus Services

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