The Transition Program of West Contra Costa Unified School District is the continuation of age appropriate services for special education students (ages 18-22) as mandated by law. Designed to facilitate a successful transition to the adult world, it provides quality options for employment and community living through formal planning (involving educators, parents, students and community agencies), appropriate curriculum, and experiences to promote this smooth transition.
The Transition Program is supervised and operated by the WCCUSD Special Education Department. Services are provided on community sites, Vista Hills Education Center and Contra Costa Community College campuses to an average of 95-140 students a year.
The Program encompasses a teacher with two or more special education assistants per teacher with a class enrollment of 10-12 students. Designated instructional services (DIS) speech therapist, physical therapist, occupational therapist and adaptive physical education are provided as appropriate and indicated on students’ Individual Education Programs (IEP’S).
The philosophy of the program is to implement the students’ IEP goals and objectives in an age appropriate environment. The focus is on curriculum designed to enable students to “transition” to the world of work and to adult community living as successfully as possible. Lessons include functional academic skills, independent living skills, social skills and vocational training. Hence, at least 50% of the students’ programs occur in the community. Behavioral programs can be implemented for students needing this critical intervention as indicated in their IEP’S.
Some students are employed by the school district to work as “student workers” in various local businesses and agencies. All students in these positions are paid, as required by law, at sub-minimum hourly wages based on their productivity. These work-sites are considered to be an extension of classroom instruction. Their teachers and special education assistants in small groups train the students at the work-site. Hours spent by students assigned to work-sites may vary.
Some eligible students may attend mainstreamed college classes, or be in competitive employment. At age twenty-two, transition students exit with a certificate of completion rather than a diploma. In celebration of their accomplishments, the Transition Department hosts a graduation ceremony for the graduates and their families when they are exited after their 21st birthday.