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The Role of Transition at The Bridge School

The Bridge School is not designed to be a permanent placement for any student. Central to the design of The Bridge School educational program is the goal to return students to their home school district with documented multi-modal strategies and systems for communication in place as well as documented strategies for academic and social participation.

image of a student using multimodal strategies to communicate his choices

A student uses multi-modal strategies to communicate his choices.

image of a student using his communication device to complete a writing assignment on the computer

The same student uses his communication device to complete a writing assignment on the computer.

Through its Transition services, The Bridge School continues to provide long-term support to students who have graduated from our program and have returned to their home school districts. Planning for each student's eventual return to his/her home school environment takes place from the very first Bridge School IEP meeting. Families and staff work together to identify a set of future educational directions for each student. Potential future educational environments are considered throughout the time a student is in our program.

image of a student joining his middle school class

A student joins his middle school class.

image of a Bridge School graduate, Thanh, is awarded her degree from SFSU

A Bridge School graduate, Thanh, is awarded her degree from San Francisco State University.

In addition, a portfolio is developed for each student. This is a tool developed specifically to foster successful transitions of students who use AAC across educational settings. The portfolio contains a collection of educational documentation and video examples depicting effective, individualized teaching strategies in the areas of literacy, math, general knowledge and language development; effective communication modes, methods and strategies; recent work samples; assistive technology equipment information and resources.

image of a student demonstrating how she uses eye gaze to direct attention to her choice of snack

A student demonstrates how she uses eye gaze to direct attention to her choice of snack.

image of a student walking up to his own work station to do his writing

This student is able to walk up to his own work station to do his writing.

As the student develops his/her communication skills within The Bridge School environment, work also moves forward in the area of Transition. When the IEP team determines that a student is ready for transition, The Bridge School collaborates with the family and the student's home school district to cooperatively plan for the transition. While at The Bridge School, each student spends a percentage of his or her day in a general education classroom environment. Our partnership with the Hillsborough City School District gives each Bridge School student the opportunity to participate in a classroom at North Elementary School and Crocker Middle School. The general education curriculum is modified to meet the specific needs of the students. Modifications may include alternate forms of testing, extra class time to complete assignments, reading materials aloud to students or adjusting the goals and objectives of assignments. Participation is enhanced by building routines, layering communication strategies, and modeling support strategies for peers and staff.

image of a student participating in creating an art project

A student participates in creating an art project.

image of a student joining in the discussion in a science class

A student joins the discussion in a science class.

Prior to leaving The Bridge School, Transition Team members work with the student's team to:

  • consider potential placements
  • document effective strategies used at The Bridge School
  • identify appropriate expectations for academic and social participation
  • provide guidance to staff and families to navigate the transition process

Upon transitioning, many former Bridge School students experience success in the general education environment with support, appropriate modifications, and the aid of instructional assistants. However, for a small number of students, an alternate program placement is still most appropriate. In all school districts, a continuum of services must be available. The Bridge School Transition Team is available to work with former students and their educational teams, regardless of choice of placement.

After graduation, the Transition Team supports students and their receiving educational teams by:

  • providing suggestions for adaptation and modification
  • helping with the set-up of adapted materials and equipment
  • training staff in the unique AAC and educational strategies developed and implemented at The Bridge School
  • maintaining an active role in the educational team process

The services of the Transition Team are available, at no cost to the parent or the school district, to provide support as needed for the duration of the child's public school education with the home school district.

image of the transition portfolio

The Transition Portfolio is a collaborative tool containing essential student information.

image of the Transition Team working with a Bridge School graduate at her adult program site

The Transition Team works with a Bridge School graduate at her adult program site.

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