IDEA 2004 states that “Beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child turns 16, or younger if determined appropriate by the IEP Team, and updated annually, thereafter, the IEP must include—
(1) Appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills” [§300.320 (b) (1)].
-From the Age Appropriate Transition Assessment DCDT & NSTTAC Fact Sheet
What is Transition Assessment?
- An individualized, ongoing process of data collection on a student’s needs, preferences, interests
- A mix of formal and informal assessment tools and information
- A tool to help guide the development of postsecondary goals
- A process that is determined by guiding questions
The transition assessment process considers driving questions such as:
- What do we already know about the student?
- What gaps exist?
Once we identify what we know and what we need to know, we gather information from everyone involved and determine next steps, including determining appropriate assessment tools or data collection methods. The transition assessment process involves the “All, Some, Few" Model. The following information on transition assessment and the "All, Some, Few" model is from the DESE Technical Assistance Advisory on Transition Assessment.
"For all students on IEPs, the Team may already possess certain types of information (e.g., data from the MCAS, report cards, achievement tests, work-based learning, preference surveys, student or family interviews, etc.). For some students on IEPs, Teams may have or need additional types of information (e.g., personality surveys, environmental or situational analyses, adaptive skills assessments, etc.). For a few students on IEPs, the Team may have or need more in-depth information (e.g., adaptive behavior assessments, functional vocational evaluation, life skills inventory)."
More information on Transition Assessment can be found on the DESE website: http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/advisories/2014-4ta.html
Transition Assessment in Newton
By age 14, the ongoing transition assessment process will begin to be documented through the Newton Public Schools Transition Assessment binder. Each student in special education will explore his or her interests, preferences, strengths, and needs by completing a range of assessment and document the results in the assessment binder to build their transition portfolio. The binder is a foundation of tools that students and their teams can select from. The transition assessment process is highly individualized, therefore students will have different assessments that vary in type, length, and content. There is no minimum or maximize for transition assessment since it depends on the student's unique interests and learning profile.