GPAEA Secondary Transition Bulletin

Resources for Secondary Transition 2020-2021

January 2021

GPAEA Transition Coordinators

Kate Cole

Michelle Ryan


Quality Secondary Transition Tools

How do IEP teams assure that the transition planning process is implemented for students?

How do IEP teams assure that the quality transition services provided to students are documented in the IEP?

The Conversational Rubric can be utilized to help IEP teams engage students in the transition planning process, and the IEP Checklist can be used as a self-reflection or peer review tool as the IEP team plans for the meeting and documents information on the IEP.


DE/LEA/IDB/IVRS Collaboration Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Kirsten Lane (IDoE), Keri Osterhaus (IDB) and Mary Jackson (IVRS) worked together to create a document that responds to the questions they most frequently receive, regarding the collaboration of schools and VR. This document will be linked on all three of their agency websites. This is a good resource document that defines many transition related topics and answers many questions, and can help support our work with transition partners in the schools! Share with your educational partners and use as a reference.


Upcoming Learning Opportunities

Are you looking to broaden your understanding of the special education secondary transition process in Iowa and how to participate effectively?

Are you looking for amazing information while earning a participation or renewal credit?

Then the Navigating the Transition Process course is for you!

See the full schedule (and other learning opportunities) here!


December 2020

Iowa Community of Practice

Webinars will be returning in 2021 and will be kicking off the new year beginning Tuesday, January 19th from 1-2:30pm with Get Agile & Lean in the New Year (and they don't mean your waistline)!

The year is set up with a great lineup of topics and speakers! Webinars are scheduled for the third Tuesday of the month, from 1:00-2:00pm, so be sure to save the dates!

Registration will be required for each webinar in order to receive connection information. Links for each session's registration are available within the schedule, and will also be sent out to the mailing list along with reminders prior to the webinar. If you are not a member of the mailing list and would like to be, email Jessica Kreho at

See the full schedule (and other learning opportunities) here!


How do you help students identify their strengths, interests, and preferences (SIPs)?

SIPs are typically gained through an interview with the student, while parents and educators may have helpful information to add, as well. For students who communicate in ways other than verbal responses, observations may provide valuable information about what they enjoy and prefer. Many students need a more structured approach to identify their SIPs, such as inventories and assessments. SIPs should be used to solidify career interest areas to explore possibilities for work, as well as hobbies or to do during free time. For example, a student may enjoy and have skills in auto mechanics, but not want to pursue that as a job area as she is more interested in working with animals as a career.

The R2L Support for Secondary Transition (created by the Iowa Department of Education and the Area Education Agencies) includes a list of inventories/surveys that are helpful for identifying SIPs when developing a student’s career plan.


Ready for a break and a New Year?

We wish you all a relaxing break and hope that you are rejuvenated and ready to return to school in 2021! Here is a short video with a few ideas to help you prepare for the upcoming break. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to your GPAEA Transition Coordinator for transition related resources and conversations - we are here to support you!


November 2020

Determining Post Secondary Expectations

As teams work together to determine Post Secondary Expectations for students, consider the skills that will be needed in the next setting (living, learning, or working). In order to identify essential skills needed in each of the postsecondary environments, explore the documents within the Return 2 Learn Plan (R2L) section: Resources to Support Transition Planning with Iowa Transition Model.

Consider the level of independence and support the student will need, by asking the following questions:

Will the student live independently, semi-independently, or fully supervised?

Will the student need on-the-job training, 1- or 2- year vocational training, or 4-year college?

Will the student work independently or need supports in the workplace?

Use the documents linked to help plan for students’ individualized Post-Secondary Expectations!


Iowa Secondary Transition Learning Community (ISTLC)

The Iowa Secondary Transition Learning Community (ISTLC) is a site designed for educators in Iowa to access Secondary Transition related information, webinars, and resources. The 101 series is a set of 4 webinars created to help IEP teams work through the process of secondary transition planning for students.

These webinars are for new-to-transition staff, or as a refresher for all staff. The first session entitled What Is Secondary Transition?, includes a recorded presentation and aligned materials. Check it out to learn more about implementing the 6 Critical Elements, Iowa College & Career Definition, Flowchart of the Transition Process, and the Living Learning Working Chart while working with students.


Upcoming Trainings and Conferences - see full list here!


October 2020

How do we know what skills to teach in Living, Learning, or Working?

The Iowa Model of Transition leads IEP teams through this process!To meet student’s needs, IEP teams should:

1. Determine what skills will be needed in the next setting (living, learning, or working) for the student’s Post Secondary Expectation.

2. Determine what skills the student currently has, in relation to the Post Secondary Expectation.

3. Complete a Gap Analysis to know what needs to be taught.


The newly released Iowa IDEA Information (I3) site has all of the Secondary Transition Information in one location!

Here you’ll find Guidance, Resources, and Procedures regarding:

    • Secondary Transition Planning

    • IEP Documentation

    • 4+ Services

    • Age of Majority


September 2020

How can you and your IEP team members individualize these supports for students?

Within the R2L Support for Secondary Transition that was created by the Iowa Department of Education and the Area Education Agencies, there are many helpful resources and guiding documents to assist IEP teams in providing transition services through the continuum of on-site to virtual learning. One particular document that may be helpful to educators while planning the Course of Study for students is the Guiding Questions and Considerations for Developing the Course of Study. IEP teams could use this document while considering general education courses, electives, activities, linkages necessary to prepare the student for PSEs relative to living, learning, and working.


Free Transition to Adulthood Webinars

Child Health Specialty Clinics, the Regional Autism Assistance Program, Stead Family Children’s Hospital, the Center for Disabilities and Development, and the DD Council is sponsoring a series of Transition to Adulthood webinars. This webinar series is designed for Iowa parents, legal guardians, and caregivers of transition-aged youth (12-21 yrs). The attached flyer provides additional information on topics, presenters, dates, and times. Also attached is a social media post. Please share with anyone you think might be interested. Registration information is below:

To register or watch recorded sessions, visit

For questions contact:

Diane Brenneman at or 319-356-8637 Rachell Swanson-Holm or 515-955-8326


Great Prairie Family & Educator Partnership (FEP) Coordinators

Kelly Wallace and Annette Clarahan work to develop and sustain effective partnerships between families, educators, and community providers to promote success for all children and youth with disabilities. They work with parents, educators, and local school districts to provide FEP programs, services, and activities, and are a great resource for important information related to special education services.

Annette Clarahan

641-682-8691 x 5517

Kelly Wallace

319-753-6561 x 3034

Check out their website for more great information!

GPAEA Transition Coordinators

Kate Cole

319-753-6561 x 3022

Michelle Ryan

641-682-8591 x 5359

GPAEA Secondary Transition

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Great Prairie Area Education Agency works as an educational partner with public and accredited, nonpublic schools to help students, school staff, parents and communities. Great Prairie AEA provides professional development and leadership to promote school improvement, a variety of instructional services, special education support services, and technology and media services. It is the policy of the Great Prairie Education Agency not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment), marital status (for programs), sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy please contact Greg Manske, 3601 West Avenue, Burlington, IA 52601, (319) 753-6561 x1217, (employment practices) or Dr. Angelisa Fynaardt, 2814 N. Court Road, Ottumwa, IA 52501, (641) 682-8591 x5311, (educational programs).