Pittsburgh Board of Ed to Improve Transition Services for Students with Disabilities
Feb. 24, 2015 – The Education Law Center applauds the Pittsburgh Board of Education for passing a resolution that promotes inclusive, comprehensive, and community-based transition services for all students and particularly students with disabilities.
The Board passed the resolution on January 21, 2015, acknowledging the recommendations of a community-school work group and directing the District’s administration to implement each of the recommendations consistent with specified timelines.
The recommendations specifically direct the district to:
- Conduct an overarching review of the District’s transition programs and services;
- Evaluate the transition services provided to students with 504 Agreements;
- Increase transition supports and opportunities for students with social and emotional challenges;
- Clarify and enhance the role of the transition counselors;
- Increase parent and community involvement in transition planning; and
- Increase awareness and collaborations across all District programs and in the broader community.
“These recommendations are an important step towards ensuring that all children in the Pittsburgh Public Schools have access to quality career and technology, post-secondary transition planning, including special education transition programs and services,” said Nancy A. Hubley, Pittsburgh Director of the Education Law Center.
The recommendations were developed by the Transition Work Group, a collaboration of District and community stakeholders that formed pursuant to a settlement agreement in an individual special education case brought by the Education Law Center.
The working group included parents, community advocates, district administrators, and others, all of whom brought their expertise and experience as parents, advocates, and educators engaged in issues of transition. The Recommendations were further supported by the District’s Right to Education Task Force.
“The Pittsburgh Public Schools has implemented locally and nationally recognized transition planning, programs and services for students with disabilities. It is exciting to know that the work of the Transition Work Group will assist the district with not only continuing current programming, but also improving and expanding these supports and services to reach a broader student base,” said Donna Westbrook Martin, the District’s Executive Director of the Program for Students with Exceptionalities. She also applauded the dedicated and collaborative working group for its time and commitment to these issues.
ELC’s work on this project is funded in part by the FISA Foundation and the Heinz Endowments.