Posted on

School Transition and Employment Program for Student Success

107481717 10223797946881263 5200001954913932830 o

photo by Boyd Loving

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Director of Special Programs. Dr. Michelle Fenwick presented an overview of 28-21 STEPSS: School Transition and Employment Program for Student Success. This program is an in-district transition to adulthood program for students ages 18-21, who have met state graduation requirements but continue to need more time and skill development before entering independent or interdependent adulthood. Dr. Fenwick explained that this program has been in the works since before the 2017 Special Education Review when this was identified as an area for growth for the Special Programs Office. The development of the program has included tours of other transitional programs, professional development on transition, meetings with other transition coordinators who were already engaged in 18-21 year-old programs, focus groups, surveys, and tours of potential sites. The philosophy of STEPSS that is shared with Ridgewood Public Schools and the Department of Special Programs is to provide specialized instruction and support services for meaningful readiness for employment and independence. Dr. Fenwick explained that the STEPSS team includes members of the IEP team that have worked with a student from the age of 14. The daily schedule of the program will consist of an instructional component and a community-based component. The benefits of the STEPSS Program include continuity of learning from our in-district special education programs, training and practice within our community, and cost-effectiveness of offering our own program as opposed to sending students to out-of-district programs. Recent events suggest  Dr. Fenwick has his work cut out for him .

Click here to view the PDF of the presentation.