Transitioning with Special Needs

Elementary to Secondary School

Objectives of the Transition Meeting

Transitions may include entry to school, between various activities and settings, between classrooms or moving from school to school

  • To form an individualized, integrated transition plan that reflects the strengths and needs of your child
  • To support your child in identifying personal interests, strengths, needs and ambitions to make choices of programs and learning opportunities
  • To determine if and what support is needed when making transitions
  • Identify specific transition goals, support needs and actions required to achieve the goals, roles and responsibilities

Assistance with the Transition

  • School Principal, Teachers, administrators, parents
  • Other support staff: therapists, health care providers,
  • Relevant community agencies as necessary
  • Education and Career/Life Planning Program Advisory Committee

The Transition Process


  • Develop strategies to encourage your and your child's engagement
  • Focus on learning strategies to insert education and career/life planning in extra-curricular programs and school-wide activities
  • Educators involved will be familiar with education and career/life planning policy

Development of Transition Plan

  • Decide on any programs the school has to enhance learning opportunities
  • Decide on a communication plan to encourage support for implementing programs on the school, home and community
  • Decide on resources and supports needed


  • Ensure developmentally appropriate teaching and learning activities and resources are available
  • Promote encouraging the program in all aspects of learning, school life and accepting the inclusive approach and differentiated instruction
  • Your child will begin a process for tracking, documenting and sharing development of knowledge and skills with their you and their teacher
  • Document program goals and communication implementation strategies from resources and opportunities available in the school and community

Roles and Responsibilities

  • The student must be committed to the plan
  • All those people involved: teachers, you, therapists, health care providers, etc. will continue to support with identifying strengths, needs and goals along with transitions and meeting goals
  • Those people involved will connect your child with the community resources they need at transitioning life stages
  • The program will change as your child transitions further in their school/career, the roles of the people involved will always be to support best interests

Preparing for the Future

The transition plan and the meeting will:

  • Set out goals and a path for the future regarding education, work and community living
  • Goals are planned in steps
  • Set out goals for your child after they have completed high school
  • Make available many contacts and supports for resources and opportunities when beginning secondary school, post-secondary school and beyond