• Special Education Transition Programming


    Transition Coordinator: 

    Carolyn Harris

    Other Transition Contacts:  

    • Lisa Oglesby (loglesby@atlanta.k12.ga.us)
      • Transition support for Mays, Douglass, Washington, South Atlanta, C.S.K. and B.E.S.T clusters
    • Sheena Varghese (sheena.varghese2@atlanta.k12.ga.us)
      • Transition support for North Atlanta, Grady, Jackson, Carver, and Therrell clusters


    Transition Program Vision: Every special education student will graduate prepared to enter a viable postsecondary option. 

    Transition Program Mission Statement: Our transition program will provide quality programming in the areas of employment, independent living and community skills to prepare students for adulthood and postsecondary success.


    What are APS' Transition Programs for Students 18-22?  

    • APS has several options for students who are over 18 years old and have completed the academic and testing requirements for graduation, but are still eligible for services.
    • Students must apply to participate in all Transition Services programs.
    • Transition Services Programs include the MERITS Transition Academies and GROW Transition-to-Work Programs. 

    MERITS (Meaningful Experiences Related to Increasing Transition Success) Transition Academies: 

    • The Transition Academy Classroom is a unique program for students 18 and over who have participated in an alternative high curriculum and the Georgia Alternate Assessment (GAA).

    • The Transition Academy provides qualifying students a functional program designed to support and facilitate the move from school to post-school life.

    • The curriculum focuses on daily living, community, socialization, self-determination, self-advocacy, and employment skills.

    • Offers more intensive Community Based Vocational Training (CBVT), 3 days a week, and community based instructional experiences.

    • The program accepts students that have the goal of customized employment but require additional daily living support, behavioral supports, or have physical/medical limitations that currently impact the potential for competitive employment.

    • Students accepted into the program:

      • Must NOT have displayed aggressive, destructive, and/or dangerous behaviors within one year of the referral date.

      • Be able to perform basic self-care skills.

      • Must be able to initiate moving from task-to-task without constant prompting.

      • Have met all graduation requirements completed by the end of the school year of the referral and participated in graduation exercises.

      • Be 18 years old by the end of the summer of the school year of the referral.

    GROW (Getting Ready through Opportunities to Work) Transition-to-Work Program: 

    • The Transition-to-Work internship program is designed to increase students’ success at obtaining and retaining post-secondary employment by developing life and career skills. This is accomplished through workplace immersion which enables students to become familiar with the workplace, simulate work, and apply their competencies in an authentic work environment.
    • Students accepted into the program must:
      • Have a developmental disability.
      • Have met all graduation requirements completed by the end of the school year of the referral and participated in graduation exercises.
      • Be 18 years old by the end of the summer of the school year of the referral.
      • Not present with significant behavioral issues.
      • Not have any significant issues with activities of daily living.
      • Have the endurance to actively work in a competitive work environment for a minimum of 4 hours.
      • Have the goal of obtaining integrated competitive employment after exiting APS.
      • Have documented evidence of strong work behaviors through data collection at CBVI or school-based enterprise sites.
      • Complete the application process.

    Restaurant Transition-to-Work Internship Program (1st Tier):

    • Sloppy Floyd State Building - Capitol Commons Café
    • Georgia Aquarium - Café Aquaria
    • Coverdell State Legislative Building - Café 244 
    • A 1-2 year non-paid restaurant internship that targets students whose main goal is supported or competitive employment after graduation or aging out of public school.
    • The program is designed for students ages 18-22 with varying disabilities (MOID, MID, AUT).

    Healthcare Transition-to-Work Internship Program (2nd Tier):

    • A 1 year non-paid transition program with the ultimate goal of preparing students for competitive employment in the community.
    • This program is designed for students with disabilities ages 20-22, eligible for Medicaid Waiver services, who will benefit from an intensive vocational internship.

    What’s needed to participate in the transition programs?

    • Completed Transition Referral Application
    • DBHDD Region 3 Letter of Eligibility
    • Vocational Rehabilitation Referral
    • Completed high school graduation requirements 


    Other Transition Programming: 

    • Each high school has a Career Technical Instructor (CTI) who supports students with the following programs: 
      • Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (11th grade referral)
      • Marriott Bridges from School to Work program
      • Support completing CTAE pathway courses
      • Work-Based Learning 
      • Dual-enrollment with technical schools/community colleges


    Transition Resources:

    Atlanta Public Schools Key Transition Resources

    Medicaid Waiver through DBHDD

    Transition Talks - Parent Training 2019-20

    Transition Talks

Last Modified on January 20, 2020