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Engaging Families to Help Students Transition into Post-Secondary Opportunities Presented by: Terri McLaughlin, Transition Specialist Margaret C. OHare,

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Presentation on theme: "Engaging Families to Help Students Transition into Post-Secondary Opportunities Presented by: Terri McLaughlin, Transition Specialist Margaret C. OHare,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Engaging Families to Help Students Transition into Post-Secondary Opportunities Presented by: Terri McLaughlin, Transition Specialist Margaret C. OHare, Project Director Federation for Children with Special Needs

2 INFORMING, EDUCATING, EMPOWERING FAMILIES | |

3 Families play a powerful role in their childrens education!

4 Todays Outcomes Review research trends about families helping students during secondary transitions Explore how schools can partner with parents through whole school and special education processes Develop strategies for collaborating with community partners Identify ways that parents can support students through the transition process

5 What do YOU believe about how families can help their students plan for their future???

6 Overall Findings from 40 Years of Research When families are involved at home and at school… children do better in school… …schools are better at educating children. AND

7 Parent Family Involvement Engagement Random Acts Systemic Events-driven Student outcome-oriented Add-on Integrated No infrastructure Sustainable over time Compliance Ownership and continuous improvement

8 What are parents motivations for becoming involved?

9 Factors Motivating Parental Engagement in Their Childs Education Personal Motivators Parental role: Do I believe Im supposed to be involved? Sense of efficacy for helping the child to learn: Do I believe my involvement will make a difference for my child? *Adapted from work of Kathleen Hoover-Dempsey

10 Factors Motivating Parental Engagement in Their Childs Education Contextual Motivators School climate: Is the school welcoming? Do people at school tell me they want me involved? Invitation from teachers: Does the teacher ask me to be involved? Does she offer specific requests for my involvement? Invitations from the student: Does my child want or need my involvement?

11 Factors Motivating Parental Engagement in Their Childs Education Life Context Variables Parents knowledge and skills: What can I do to help? What do I like to do? Parents time and energy: What can I reasonably choose to do considering all the demands upon my time and energy? Parents culture: What are appropriate roles for my involvement? What do I think would be useful for me to do?

12 Why Families Get Involved Understand that they should be involved Feel capable of making a contribution Feel invited by the school and by their children (Hoover-Dempsey and Sandler) Family members are more likely to become involved when they:

13 How do families become engaged in helping their students envision post-secondary options?

14 Cultural Differences For students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, the issues regarding the unique difference between school-based individualist planning and family collective decision-making should be recognized and addressed prior to TRANSITION planning meetings. (Wehmeyer, 2007)

15 Leverage strengths among family members Build productive home-school relationships Go beyond typical school-based events Support mutual responsibility for education success Stress developmental readiness skills Ready, Willing, and Able: A Developmental Approach to College Access and Success by Savitz-Romer, M., and Souffard, S.M. Helping Families Support College & Career Readiness

16 Identity Development Building upon strengths, interests and preferences Understanding self in relation to others Dealing with identity conflicts

17 Setting goals that set up success Aiming high Managing the motivational balancing act Motivation & Goal Setting

18 Self-Regulation Skills Focusing and maintaining attention Delaying gratification Planning and overcoming obstacles Reflecting on behaviors and impact on others Finding opportunities for practice

19 Strategies to Engage Families Communicate with family members on an ongoing basis. Involve all families in post-secondary exploration activities. Help families connect and build networks. Facilitate family-youth discussions about post- secondary options. Organize student-led discussion and events.

20 Its MY Plan ! Start Getting Ready Making the TRANSITION Plan Planning Ahead Leaving School? Moving On Employment Local Colleges Residential College Training

21 TRANSITION - PREPARATION FOR LIFE! School to community Exploration of: post-secondary vocational experiences employment opportunities housing transportation Each students BIG vision Self advocacy & self determination Skill based learning

22 LIFEs PUZZLE EMPLOYMENT INSTRUCTION EDUCATION RELATED SERVICES RECREATION Social Skills & Networks TRANSPORTATION COMMUNITY LIVING POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION FUNCTIONAL VOCATIONAL EVALUATION

23 COLLABORATION: Schools How can families partner with: Schools, especially in whole school initiatives Adult agencies Employers Higher education Other community partners

24 To Partner Effectively with Their School Districts Families need and want to understand the TRANSITION planning process. What should I ask about ? When should I ask about it ? Whom should I ask about TRANSITION?

25 Community Based Planning Strategies… While In High School or After Senior Year * INDEPENDENT LIVING * HEALTH & WELLNESS / FITNESS MEDICAL MANAGEMENT / ADULT MEDICAL CARE TECHNOLOGY DEVICES / SOCIAL NETWORKS NUTRITION / MEAL PLANNING / FOOD SHOPPING COOKING / HOME AND PERSONAL SAFETY FRIENDS / RELATIONSHIPS * EMPLOYMENT * JOB CARVING / JOB COACH / MENTOR CAREER EXPLORATION / JOB DEVELOPMENT INCLUSIVE PAID COMPETITIVE EMPLOYMENT REAL WORK - REAL PAY / NATURAL SUPPORTS ONE STOP CAREER CENTERS / MRC WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARDS COMPETITIVE WAGES * COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION * COMMUNITY SERVICE / VOLUNTEERING TRAVEL TRAINING / LEISURE ACTIVITIES VOTING / CULTURE / RELIGION / SOCIAL NETWORKS SELF ADVOCACY / MENTORING / CITIZENSHIP RECREATION in the COMMUNITY CHARITY EVENTS * EDUCATION * COLLEGE / COMMUNITY COLLEGE INSTRUCTIONAL COACH / STUDY HELP ICE - Inclusive Concurrent Enrollment - DESE TECHNICAL SCHOOL / SKILLS TRAINING ADULT EDUCATION / CONTINUING ED MUSIC ART / DRAMA CLASSES TRANSITION PROGRAMS

26 To Support Their Children Through the TRANSITION Process Families Want To Understand: The unique differences in the IEP process during the TRANSITION years The federal law IDEA and state special education laws around TRANSITION

27 COLLABORATION: Adult Agencies Chapter 688 referral process vs. ELIGIBILITY Department of Developmental Services - DDS Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission - MRC Massachusetts Dept. of Mental Health - DMH Massachusetts Commission of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing - MCDHH Massachusetts Commission for the Blind - MCB Department of Children and Families - DCF Department of Youth Services - DYS

28 COLLABORATION: Employers Identify services, agencies, and disability programs available in your community. Start early especially around the issues of guardianship, supported employment and long-term living arrangements Job shadowing programs which may exist in your own community: local cable station, veterinary technicians, library, local hospital/nursing facilities When possible, introduce activities that will help find or lead to future employment: using computers, using a bank account, creating menus Interviewing people that have jobs in which the student might be interested Going to an actual workplace for a tour Getting a job and trying it out Community service

29 Great Websites for Youth Career & Job Exploration Career Ideas for Kids helps students uncover their special interests and abilities.www.careerideasforkids.com/kid's.htm is a web-based program designed for students and adults in an interactive format around issues of post-secondary education, careers, and independent living.www.Youthhood.org is a youth-friendly website developed by the Department of Labor to assist youth with career exploration, job expectations, and assists with appropriate high school or post-secondary course selection.www.Mynextmove.org O*Net OnLine has detailed descriptions of the world of work for use by job seekers, workforce development and HR professionals and students.http://www.onetonline.org/ https://masscis.intocareers.org Massachusetts Career Information System provides occupational and educational information to help people make better- informed career and school choices.https://masscis.intocareers.org

30 (c) Feb belongs to Andrew Sinclair- use with permission ICE Partnership Program Dual enrollment/early admit opportunity for students,18-22, with significant disabilities Grant-funded from the MA Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education in partnership with the Dept. of Higher Education and the Institute for Community Inclusion Supported by the MA Legislators COLLABORATION: Higher Education

31 Adult Agencies Multicultural community based organizations and groups City/town boards local government, Commission for Citizens with Disabilities Employers and Work focused groups i.e. Regional Employment Board, Workforce Investment Board, Career Center, job fairs Transportation systems, local para transit, Easter Seals Project Action Independent Living Centers Federation for Children with Special Needs, ICI COLLABORATION: Community Partners Support families to make the link to community partners who can play an important role in the childs life after high school

32 Support Networks …. Leverage the support networks around your community Support comes from everywhere…. parents, teachers, agencies, community organizations, friends, mentors & others Given time, and lots of help along the way, a child can carve their own path, make their own way… and dreams can come true Thanks to your dedication and hard work, a child can reach the sky

33 Any Questions??? Thank You Terri McLaughlin, Transition Specialist (617) Margaret C. OHare, Project Director (617)


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