Three older students sitting at a desk each working on a puzzle. Helping them is a teacher.


The goal of transition is to prepare the student for life after graduation. The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) mandates transitions services for students age 14 and older. To that end, students are invited to participate in the annual IEP meeting from the age of 14 through graduation. The IEP team is responsible for developing and implementing transition services which include assessing student strengths, preferences, and interests, setting postsecondary goals and developing activities to prepare the student for employment, post-secondary education, community living, etc. The transition process is guided by The School at McGuire Memorial’s Transition Coordinator. As part of the process, linkages with various community agencies (which may include the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, county supports coordination agencies, adult day program providers, etc.,) are established or strengthened. The transition period serves as conduit for transferring services and supports from a school-based approach to a community-based adult-provider approach. 

PDE has outlined a six-step process that is used to develop the IEP during transition:

Step OneUse assessment to identify the student’s post-secondary desired goals or vision
Step TwoDescribe the student’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, embedding assessment data
Step ThreeEstablish transition team partnerships
Step FourDesign a transition plan that includes courses of study and services and activities
Step FiveDetermine measurable annual goals that address skill deficits and lead to post-secondary goals
Step SixMonitor progress and adjust instruction based on data

Planning for the Future Checklist

Through a partnership between the United Way of Allegheny County’s 21 and Able Initiative, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Special Education, and the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network, a checklist was developed to help plan for life after high school. You can access that resource here, and use it to help you plan for your loved one’s future. 

For more information about transition, please contact Mrs. Bethany Huff, Transition Coordinator, at 724-891-7222 or