High School Transition Services
Research has shown that students identified as needing special education services are more vulnerable than their general education peers to have poorer outcomes after high school. NSA has partnered with families, home districts, local colleges, and community businesses, to provide a wide variety of student opportunities, all intended to support successful transitions to life after high school. By helping students develop transition plans based on their interests and desires, their time in school can gain greater purpose and meaning. Some of the transition-related services are described below.
Work Training Programs
Students can gain workplace skills, earn credit and receive wages for a variety of on-campus and off-campus jobs. NSA has developed partnerships with over 40 community businesses to provide a wide variety of work opportunities including automotive mechanics, culinary arts, office support, ecological preservation, child care, and retail sales. Job Coaching is available for students who require more support on the job site. Our Transition Department also offers support in finding competitive community-based employment for students with the skills to work independently but who are struggling to secure a job. Staff will support students in learning how to look for openings, fill out applications, and interview successfully.
Students have the opportunity to gather information on a wide variety of career possibilities before deciding where they want to focus their attention. Job shadows involve visits to a variety of work places during which time our students observe and ask questions of individual workers. Activities prior to and following the job shadow experience are designed to help students connect their experience to their course work and relate the visits directly to career pathways, related skill requirements, and postsecondary educational options.
NSA frequently invites speakers from a variety of careers to speak about their jobs so students can be exposed to the many possibilities that could await them after high school.
Connections to Post-Secondary Education
North Shore Academy provides counseling for students who are interested in post-secondary education. Students can get help with applications to schools, financial aid and attend college visits. NSA encourages students to consider attending other learning opportunities in the community when they are ready. For example, students may attend classes at a community college while still enrolled at NSA.
Services for After High School
It is important for students and their families to know that when students receive their high school diploma, all special education services end. Many services that may have been provided through the school (casemanagement, counseling, job training and placement, tutoring, etc.) are no longer available through the school.There are a number of services available for young adults who have accepted their diplomas, if they are found eligible. These services are typically referred to as “Adult Services.” Many of these services, like SSI and mental health treatment and job training and placement require assessments and/or applications and young adults must qualify in order to receive services. Having had an IEP is not a an automatic qualification for any adult service. It is recommended that all students and families at North Shore Academy begin to prepare for life after high school as early as possible.
The transition from school to adult life can be a difficult time for families even when there is adequate preparation. With careful planning and preparation the transition can be more manageable and ultimately less stressful. NSA therapists, teachers and the transition department are available to suport students and their families with this process.