Secondary Transition Programs

Secondary Transition Logo
  • What is SPS Secondary Transition? 

    Spokane Public Schools' Secondary Transition program is designed for young adults with disabilities ages 18-21 who continue to need transition services beyond 12th grade.

    The vision of the Secondary Transition program is a world where young adults with disabilities are living as productive, independent, and engaged community members. The mission of the Secondary Transition program is to provide learning opportunities that build vocational, functional, social, and independent living skills. 

    This is accomplished through a combination of classroom-based direct instruction and community-based instruction and internships through one of our Secondary Transition Program Sites: 

    Students must qualify based on their IEP and most current evaluation. Specially Designed Instruction is provided to meet their own unique post-secondary transition goals. Certificated special education teachers, Transition Life Skills Coaches, and a worksite learning coordinator provide these services. 

  • Program Focus 

    • Personal Life: Social Skills, Self-Advocacy, Executive Functioning
    • Employability: Job Awareness, Professional Skills, Building Stamina
    • Daily Living: Time Management, Nutritional Education, Self-Care, Hygiene
    • Community Living: Transportation, Recreation/Leisure
    • Functional Academics: Financial Literacy, Reading and Writing Skills, Professional Communication (e.g., email, voicemail, etc…)
    • Agency Linkages: DDA, DVR, Employment Agencies, STA, etc… Click link for full list (available soon)

    Typical Volunteer and Work Experiences 

    Training in transferable skills, not for specific job 

    Data entry, filing, retail, fast food, mail delivery, printer stocking, recycling, linen processing and delivery, warehouse, food prep, mail, copying, packet assembly, sanitizing, kitchen & cafeteria work, childcare, inventory, receiving donations, sorting, greeting, groceries, landscaping, etc. 

    Daily Living and Recreation and Leisure 

    Spokane Public Schools recognizes the importance of supporting all areas of a person. This includes social development and recreational/leisure opportunities. In an effort of achieve these goals, Secondary Transition students visit community sites such as restaurants, stores, bowling alleys, museums, libraries, public/civic buildings, sporting events, etc. Students have access to Specialized Programs through Spokane Therapeutic Parks and Recreation, Project ID, The Arc of Spokane, and People First. 

    Program Locations 

    Secondary Transition Program is located at three separate sites around Spokane.  Students are no longer part of daily high school schedules, routines, or events.  Recreation and leisure activities may involve using STA as a group Community-Based instruction.  Each site is staffed by Spokane Public Schools certificated special education teacher in the classroom and Transition Life Skills Coaches (TLSC) support students in the community and internships. A worksite learning coordinator works with teachers, TLSC’s, and worksite to facilitate the internships. 


    • Eligible for special education services.
    • IEP Team determines need for services beyond 12th grade.
    • Ages 18-21.
    • Demonstrates safe behaviors in the classroom, community, and work sites.
    • Has completed one of the graduation pathways

    Each Secondary Transition Program site has additional prerequisites. Please see each site page for details. 

    Grades and Graduation 

    The focus of Secondary Transition is not academic in nature, students should complete ALL of their high school graduation requirements (e.g. all statewide testing, credits, academic requirements, etc.) before accessing Secondary Transition services.  Students should check with their home base high school IEP case manager and/or school counselor to determine where they stand in relation to graduation requirements. 

    Students will continue toward completion of their High School and Beyond Plan (HSBP) while in Secondary Transition. Students are eligible for graduation upon completion of the HSBP. 

    Students who have graduated from high school are not eligible for the Secondary Transition program or their 18-21 program equivalents. 

    Related Services 

    If students were eligible for and receiving related services such as speech-language and occupational therapy prior to their entry into the Secondary Transition program, then those services will continue. Each student’s IEP team determines how and where those services will be delivered. However, the high school IEP team should strongly consider whether continued related services will help or hinder the student from becoming a more independent adult. 


    Every student is issued a district-provided STA Connect Card at the beginning of the school year. 

    Most students in Project SEARCH and IMAGES use the STA fixed routes and/or their own means of transportation to get to their class/program sites and internships. 

    Most of the students in STEP use STA Paratransit or their own means of transportation to get to their class/program sites and internships.  

    Students, parents, and trusted adults are encouraged to apply for Paratransit as early as possible, prior to the beginning of the school year to ensure that the student can access those services by the first day of school. Sites will work with students and trusted adults to schedule rides. 

    For more information, call STA at 509-328-1552 or visit the STA Paratransit website. 

    Food and Meals 

    Secondary Transition sites do not have access to school lunches.  Similar to the world of work, students bring or buy their own lunch. However, purchasing food for lunch may not always be available. Please work with the student’s case manager if you have questions. 


    Staff and families should discuss and agree on a plan of response for emergencies including, but not limited to: 

    • Exchange of medical/insurance plan information
    • Emergency contact numbers
    • Primary care physician name and number
    • Current medications and possible side effects
    • Allergies
    • Special equipment
    • Other information as appropriate


    A student’s IEP team has determined a need for continued support and transition services after high school in order for the student to meet their post-secondary transition goals in education/training, employment, and daily living. 

    Please note: Each site has its own additional, prerequisite skill requirements. 

    At a minimum, eligible students will: 

    • Be eligible for special education services.
    • Be ages 18 to 21 before start of the school year.
    • Demonstrate safe and appropriate behaviors in classroom, community, and work settings.
    • Have met all requirements for one of the graduation pathways