Transition Services

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The Olympia School District is committed to providing a coordinated set of transition activities for students who receive special education services. We want to help them move successfully from high school to post-school activities. Our focus is:

  • Based on the needs of the individual,

  • Carried out in partnership with families and the community, and,

  • Results Oriented, Outcome-Based.


Things you need to Know About Transition:


What is transition planning?

Transition planning is a collaboration involving students with disabilities, their families, school staff, community members and adult services agencies and employers. The goal of transition planning is to improve student academic and functional readiness in preparation for their lives after high school.


When will my child receive support?

Beginning in high school, and until graduation or 21 years of age, students will receive staff support in the development and implementation of a Transition Plan.


What are the components in a Transition Plan?

Components of the transition plan may include a functional vocational evaluation, specially-designed instruction, related services, interagency linkage, and employment and other post-school adult living objectives. Additionally, as appropriate, community experiences and daily living skills will also be an integral part of the student's program.


What is transition and when does it begin?

Transition means planning for employment and living and becomes more and more important as your child progresses through school. 


How is transition planning done?

Each student's transition is individual and based on the student's needs, interests, strengths and preferences. Parents, students, teachers and others can provide valuable pieces of information Additionally beginning, in grade 9, most students participate in an online interest survey as well as participate in transition activities which may include vocational classes, life skills classes, volunteer experience, career exploration, vocational interviews, resume development, etc. However, transition activities take place throughout your student's education-cooperative learning, learning how to respond to due dates, community participation, etc.


This is an outcome oriented process. In other words, what is the plan for my child when they exit the school system?

When does transition become part of the IEP?

Although transition takes place throughout your child's education, components of your child's IEP will include a Transition section on the IEP beginning no later than age 16. 


Transition is like a roadmap or plan designed by the IEP team to assist students in meeting their in the areas of independent living, education and employment.

What are post-secondary goals?

These are goals in the area of employment, education and training and independent living that are designed to be met after the student has completed their education with the school district. In other words, it is the outcome that we hope to achieve.


Are there resources outside the school district that I need to contact and if so when?

Yes there are resources and services that your child may be eligible to receive. These resources are dependent upon your child's transition needs. Here are some of the agencies you and your family may want to consider:


  • Developmental Disabilities Administration: Birth to age 18; Region 3 Headquarters, 1305 Tacoma Ave. S., Suite 300, Tacoma, WA 98402. Intake Coordinator Donna Bjornson. Phone: 1-800-248-0949. Provides long-term employment funds, residential assistance, financial assistance personal care funds for people with developmental disabilities. Visit the administration website

    **Intake is done by mail in application

  • Social Security: Age 18, or Age 21 if you receive adoption support funding. Contact may be made sooner if there is financial need; 402 Yauger Way, S.W., Olympia, WA 98502. Phone: 1-866-755-6199. Visit the Social Security website. Provides funding for living support to persons with disabilities.

  • Department of Vocational Rehabilitation: Mandy Kipfer, Vocational Counselor; 6639 Capitol Blvd. S.W., 1st floor, Tumwater, WA 98501; Mailing address:  P.O. Box 45459, Olympia, WA 98504; Phone: (360) 664-3066; Email: [email protected]v. Provides short term support and assistance in finding and keeping employment.  May provide funding for training and education purposes.


What can I do?

You and your child are important in the IEP process. Continue those activities at home that promote independence. Ask your child about their likes, dislikes, strengths, preferences and interests. Contact outside agencies and other parents who have or are going through the transition process to find out what may be helpful to your child. 

**Remember transition is an ongoing process.

Transition Program Resources

Transition Strands

Transition Services prepare students for one of the following post-school activities:


  • Academic Skills

  • Special Skills Training

  • Social Skills

  • Community Involvement

  • Preparation for Post-Secondary Settings


Community-Based Work

  • Academic Skills

  • Employment Training & Placement

  • Social Skills


Supported Employment

  • Functional Academics

  • Vocational School-Based Work Experience

  • Social Skills

  • General Community Functioning

  • Communication

  • Motor Skills


Vocational Education

  • Academic skills

  • Vocational Skills

  • Employment Training & Placement

  • Social Skills


Family Partnership

Family involvement in the decision-making is vital to the development and implementation of the student's Transition Plan. Participation in Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings, follow-through activities, and the utilization of community linkages, all provide the foundation for a successful transition to post-school adult living. As this is a dynamic process, it is equally important for parents to maintain a dialogue with their son or daughter as they learn about themselves and their options. Working with school staff to encourage independent behavior will improve student success towards achieving post-school goals.

Secondary Transition Links


Community Partnerships

The OlympiaSchool District is involved in many partnerships that benefit students. Some of our partners include South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC), St. Peter's Hospital, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), Inter-City Transit and private businesses. Our community partners provide our students with increased opportunities for education, employment, and independent living activities.

Please click on the following links for more information:


Contact us:


Jesse Davis

Cell Phone - (360) 507-1600 


Julia Calhoon

Cell Phone - (360) 480-7240


Transition Academy - Dee House 

Cell Phone - (360) 664-4633