UPDATE AS OF JANUARY 2018: Superintendent Determination of Graduation with a Local Diploma-UPDATED
UPDATED AS OF JANUARY 2018: NYS New Diploma Requirements – January 17 2018
At the June 2016 meeting, the New York State Board of Regents approved through emergency action an amendment to section 100.5 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to require superintendents to make a local determination as to the academic proficiency for eligible students with disabilities to graduate with a local diploma.
For students with disabilities, otherwise eligible to graduate in June 2016 and thereafter, a school superintendent (or the principal of a registered nonpublic school or charter school, as applicable) has the responsibility to determine if a student with a disability has otherwise met the standards for graduation with a local diploma when such student has not been successful, because of his/her disability, at demonstrating his/her proficiency on the Regents examinations required for graduation. (Click here for more information.)
Transition Planning for Life after High School for Students with Disabilities (IEPs or 504s)
“‘Transition Services’ means a coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability, designed with an outcome oriented process, that promotes movement from school to post-school activities…”
The goal of transition planning is to identify and provide students with opportunities and necessary supports while they are in school that will lead the student to achieve his or her post-secondary goals for lifelong learning, community participation, and work for pay. The process of transition planning requires a partnership among the student, family and school, and, when appropriate, other agencies that can provide transition activities for the student. The transition pages of the IEP must reflect the student’s interests, preferences, strengths, skills and limits.
Transition planning is a collaborative effort and must be considered an on-going process during a student’s years of school. In order to have a meaningful and effective transition, it will require the district to have appropriate instructional, work-related and community experiences available to their students.
If a student has an Individualized Education Program (“IEP”), many transition goals are reflected in the student’s IEP and addressed through the CSE and at the annual and triennial evaluation processes. For each student the transition planning process depends significantly upon whether a student will likely pursue post-secondary education, employment or other experiences.
Under New York law, measurable post-secondary goals and recommendations for transition services and activities must be included in each classified student’s IEP beginning no later than the first IEP to be in effect when the student is age 15 (and at a younger age, if determined appropriate), and updated annually.
Students must be invited to CSE meetings when transition goals and services will be discussed. If a student does not attend, the district must take steps to ensure the student’s preferences and interests are considered. The school district must also invite a representative of a participating agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services. Parental consent (or the consent of the student who is age 18 or older) must be obtained prior to inviting other agency representatives. If the invited agency does not attend, the school must take steps to involve the agency in the planning of any transition services.
Click here Transition Planning | IEPs Help Teens Prepare for Young Adulthood – Understood for a good article for parents about Transition Planning from Understood.org
Click here for a link to the Easter Suffolk Boces Newsletter with an article by Cathy Pantelides, Long Island RSE-TASC Transition Specialist. “This article will illuminate the status of our specific region and how we envision the future of transition on Long Island through the lens of the Transition Specialists (TS)”.
Transition Tool Kit
***Click here transition for the newest Transition Tool Kit from Autism Speaks. Click here new_york for Autism Speak’s Transition Information specific to New York. Watch “Autism Speaks TownHall on Adult Services: Transitioning 11/05/15” on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/144910617***
Click here 2015GradReqPublisherVersion for the New York State Diploma Requirements.
Click for “safety net” options Students with disabilities have the following “safety net” options available to meet testing requirements for a local high school diploma: the Regents Competency Test (RCT) and the 55-64 passing score on Regents examinations and the compensatory option. Download the PDF here.safetynet-qa-dec12.
Students with significant disabilities have the right to attend school through age 21 and work to obtain a Regents diploma.
College Bound Students With IEPs or 504s
For students who are planning to attend a two or four year college program upon graduating from high school, transition planning includes goals and objectives on a student’s IEP, if any, as well as many other steps to be taken to prepare the student for a successful college experience.
***Please be sure to visit Garden City’s Guidance Department Page for tons of great information including this Link for Colleges with Learning Disability Support Services
This site contains information about living college life with a disability. It’s designed for high school students and provides video clips, activities and additional resources that can help you get a head start in planning for college.
Click here to learn about obtaining Accommodations
If you have a documented disability, you may be eligible for accommodations on SAT Program tests. Visit the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) site for information about accommodations, the request process, and required documentation.
Click here for an interesting article written by Autism Advocate, Haley Moss. What I Learned as an Autistic College Student | Haley Moss.
College Options for Students with Intellectual Disabilities
Think College! The Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) of the University of Massachusetts is the National Coordinating Center for approved Transition Postsecondary Programs for students with intellectual disabilities.
Comprehensive Transition Programs (CTPs) offer students with Intellectual Disabilities diverse opportunities to learn academic, career, and independent living skills as they prepare for employment.
Visit www.thinkcollege.net for more information.
In our area…
Adelphi University – The Bridges to Adelphi Program offers individual and group academic, social and vocational support services to Adelphi University students with neuro-social and other non-verbal disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder. Click here for details.
Hofstra University – During the past thirty years the Program for Academic Learning Skills (PALS) has been serving students with specific learning disabilities and ADD or ADHD at Hofstra University. stddis_21149PALSbrochure
NYIT’s (New York Institute of Technology) VIP (Vocational Independence Program)
A distinct program committed to students with special needs which focuses on academics, independent living, social skills development, and vocational exploration and training. This certificate program has 6 vocational majors such as: Retail, Children’s Recreation, Clerical, Food Service, Facilities Maintenance, and Hospitality Services. The first year provides intensive coursework in independent living, social, and academic skills, as well as work readiness and skills evaluations. The second and third years include skills training and job placements. Visit www.nyit.edu/vip for details.
Rutgers University – Center for Adult Autism Services’ vocational and residential programs aim to integrate adults with ASD into university community – Rutgers Announces Initiative to Launch Center to Support Adults with Autism | Media Relations
Otsego Academy at Pathfinder Village provides the full college experience. They offer creative, individualized options that improve preparation for employment for students with disabilities who have completed their high school education.
University of South Carolina
CarolinaLIFE – An inclusive certificate college program for students with diverse learning needs
Career Zone – A place to explore careers related to your strengths, skills and talents.
Strategic Staffing Works is an agency providing a full array of community integrated employment services for individuals with disabilities.
Uptimize.com – ‘Learn The Steps, Get Employed’ is a collaboration between uptimize and the Autistic Global Initiative, a program of the Autism Research Institute. They have come together to provide an accessible, fast and effective training resource for young people worldwide with ASD. You’ll learn everything you need to get hired to a job you really want.
Housing and Community Living (Autism Speaks)
ADDitude Slide Show – 8 Most ADHD-Friendly Jobs, Experts in adult ADHD suggest good jobs for your unique skill set — creativity, enthusiasm, energy, problem-solving skills and more.
Business Ideas for People with Disabilities – According to the United States Census Bureau, roughly 15 percent of people with disabilities have started their own businesses, and that number is growing. In fact, the percentage of disabled business owners overshadows the 10 percent of non-disabled business owners in the United States. Many people with disabilities are launching successful businesses from home, franchises, and even niche startups. With such a wide range of business opportunities open to people with disabilities, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which one is best.
Different with Dignity – Empowering students and professionals to promote diversity and unity throughout the world. They provide digital resources to educate people about the disabled. Disabled people face discrimination in personal and professional environments, and their aim is to stop this through resources designed to facilitate knowledge.
Click here for a list of various disability Scholarships
The Anne Ford and Allegra Ford Thomas Scholarships offer financial assistance to two graduating high school seniors with documented learning disabilities and/or ADHD who are pursuing post-secondary education.
The ASAN Autistic Scholars Fellowship program, a new ASAN project to advance campus leadership, will provide 3 to 5 autistic students $5,000 tuition scholarships each to create systems change on their college campuses. Fellows will be required to establish or participate in a leadership role within an ASAN campus chapter or a disability rights student organization, work to promote Autistic culture and community, and take steps to improve disability accessibility and inclusion on their college campuses. Click here for details.
Alternative Post High School Options
Students who because of their disabilities or aspirations are unlikely to pursue traditional college paths, often have transition plans in their IEPs that emphasize employment skills, independent living skills and community-based experiences.
Click here NYSCDOSQ&A for the New York State (NYS) Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential Questions and Answers
The Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential for Students with Severe Disabilities will provide students with severe disabilities (limited cognitive abilities combined with behavioral and/or physical limitations and who require a highly specialized education) who are exiting school after attending at least 12 years, excluding kindergarten, with a commencement certificate similar in form to the diploma (this would not be considered a regular high school diploma in accordance with State standards or for federal accountability purposes) issued by the school district. The Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential must be accompanied by documentation of the student’s skills and strengths and levels of independence in academic, career development and foundation skills needed for post-school living, learning and working.
Click here for information on ACCES-VR – ACCES-VR assists individuals with disabilities to achieve and maintain employment and to support independent living through training, education, rehabilitation, and career development.
Click here for The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is responsible for coordinating services for more than 128,000 New Yorkers with developmental disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, and other neurological impairments. It provides services directly and through a network of approximately 750 nonprofit service providing agencies, with about 80 percent of services provided by the private nonprofits and 20 percent provided by state-run services.
Helpful points of contact in the Garden City School District:
Director of Pupil Personnel Services
Interim Assistant Director of Pupil Personnel Services
Mrs. Gina Christel
Director of Guidance
Mandi Stefankiewicz, MS/CAGS
High School Psychologist
Stewart/Stratford Social Worker
Keegan Baker, LMSW
Middle School Social Worker
Lori Kuster, LMSW
Social Worker for High School
Click here to download a copy of the Garden City district’s
Click to download a copy of the Garden City district’s Transition & Support Services Brochure
Also visit Pacer.org (Pacer’s National Parent Center on Transition and Employment) which has a very comprehensive website that includes many wonderful transition planning tools.
Please remember, parents will have a number of important decisions to make as their child approaches adulthood and many of these, such as guardianship and access to medical information and decision-making are outside the scope of the special education laws and the role of public schools.
Information courtesy of NYS Transition and Services Report, the Long Island Parent Center and fellow SEPTA informational sites.