Transition for High School to the Workforce Checklist

Freshman and Sophomore Years

  • Before your child turns 16, meet with the IEP team to begin transition planning. This is required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • Make sure the transition IEP focuses on your child’s plan to enter the workforce.
  • Encourage your child’s active participation in IEP meetings.
  • Prepare for IEP meetings together with your child. This will help your child identify dreams and goals and learn to self-advocate.
  • Teach and model problem-solving skills. Include how to gather information and consider options. This will help your child become independent.
  • Throughout high school, help your child develop social and interpersonal skills.
  • Explore career options with your child by researching potential choices.
  • Encourage your child to participate in valid, reliable interest testing to make sure that the career they are considering is achievable.
  • Meet with a benefits planner to understand the effect of income on Social Security benefits and health care.
  • Review your child’s high school transcript to make sure they are completing the courses necessary for graduation.
  • Encourage your child to participate in extracurricular, volunteer, and community activities.

Junior Year

  • Encourage your child to research the North Dakota labor market, companies they would like to work for, and places they would like to live.
  • Invite representatives of adult agencies to IEP meetings to ensure a smooth transition to these services.
  • Contact the regional VR office to determine eligibility for VR services. VR may be able to help develop your child’s Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).
  • If you are concerned about your child adjusting to the world of work, review materials available in bookstores, libraries, and online.
  • Talk to high school counselors, members of the IEP team, and local leaders of advocacy agencies.
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