The District’s Current Activities

During my tenure at the New York State Education Department I had the opportunity to develop and implement the most comprehensive transition research study regarding students with disabilities in the country. The overall goal of the Model Transition Program (MTP) was to increase the use of sustainable, evidence based transition practices and identify their impact on vocational related outcomes for students with disabilities.

The individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides guidelines for programs and services for students with disabilities including the mandate of transition planning. Transition planning focuses on the identification of opportunities and supports for life after high school. The focus of transition planning in general assists students to live, learn and earn in their community. Based on the strengths and needs of students, transition planning may include specific courses, job shadowing, housing, benefits, social relationships, internships, college, vocational school, supported employment and ultimately competitive employment. Thoughtful and systematic transition planning is critical to the lives of our students based on the shrinking job market and the plummeting employment rate of people with disabilities in our State and Nation.

The MTP identified five successful transition strategies based on research findings. These five transition strategies that are evidenced based propel schools to perform at a high level of effectiveness with students are as follows:

  1. School administrators support various levels of transition strategies
  2. Data related to transition strategies are collected, reviewed and reflected on by the school community.
  3. Career development activities are developed and expanded that include job search training, soft skills training, specific job skills training, internships, job shadowing, volunteering, paid employment and specific and realistic IEP transition goals.
  4. Parents/Guardians engage in the transition process.
  5. Collaboration with community-based partners to implement transition strategies that include colleges, vocational training schools, independent living centers, businesses and local community agencies is meaningful.

Transition activities create the bridge to adulthood for our students. A life of independence is predicated on our students and their families actively participating in a wide variety of these activities. Each of the GNC programs work with students and their families to identify and develop the student’s talents and skills to achieve their personal goals. This allows students to not only earn a diploma but also have the skill set that allows them to use their diploma as they move on to new environments and situations. Another important aspect of transition planning is connecting students and their families to service systems that can provide support after graduation from school.

A special thank you to Mr. Kerry McKenna, District Transition Coordinator, for collecting and organizing the following summary of the many transition activities that are underway at our three academies:

Kenneth Clark Academy

–       18 referrals to ACCES-VR

–       5 College visits

–       7 students participated in the Certified First Response class with Westchester Community College

–       Students are in the process of registering for the College Success class offered at Westchester Community College offered Spring 2012 semester

–       17 college applications completed

–       3 students participated in St. Cabrini internship programImage

–       Marine Recruiters visit to campus

–       4 students participated in the Monroe College Jump Start Program

Greenburgh Academy

–       4 student’s participated in the Certified First Response class with Westchester Community College

–       5 College visits

–       14 college applications completed with 12 interviews

–       2 Career School visits

–       6 referrals to ACCES-VR

–       Four students participated in Andrus Nursing Home internship program

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–       Army recruiter visit to campus

–       Plan to attend college fair for Hispanic students at Pace University

–       56 students participated in the Security Guard Certification program

–       Students are in the process of registering for the College Success class offered at Westchester Community College offered Spring 2012 semester

 

REACH Program

–       5 students participated in Project SEARCH internship program at Westchester Medical Center Campus

–       1 student participated in the agricultural enterprise program in the organic garden at the Jennie Clarkson campus

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–       1 student participated in the Jump Start program at Monroe College (Saturday College)

–       6 students have active ACCES-VR applications

–       4 referrals to OPWDD

–       All upper classmen are divided into Transition Teams and are meeting weekly with Transition Specialists and have participated in four career-based field trips

–       Vocational and life skills are addressed for all students in the REACH Customer Services classes

–       A number of students regularly volunteered at the Dobbs Ferry Senior Citizen Center

 

20 students from all 3 programs were invited to a winter Holiday luncheon held by the Dobbs Ferry Senior Citizen Center to thank them for their volunteer work.

If you would like more information regarding GNC please go to our website (http://www.greenburghnorthcastleschools.com/). For referral information please contact Dr. Robin Levine at 914-693-3030 ext.2232 regarding day placements and for residential placement please contact either Jill Bergner, Director of Intake, at 914-693-3030 ext. 2037 or Karen Safris, Supervisor of Intake, at 914-949-0665 ext. 2301. 

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One Response to The District’s Current Activities

  1. As always, this is remarkable work at the Greenburgh North Castle School District and in the three (soon to be four) schools. The transition program is based on research, the students take thorough advantage fo the program to transition them to the “real world.” And the results produced are remarkable. My daughter attends one of the schools and has begun the transition process, though she is not likely to graduate with her Regents diploma or a couple of years. She is excited at the opportunities she is being given – and a little scared about moving on and out, but no 17 year old is really going to admit that.

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