Secondary Transition: Summary of Performance

Hi and welcome to this Arizona Department
of Education secondary transition training video, “Summary of Performance”. In
this video we will review the IDEA requirement for the summary of performance
to answer your questions about whom, what and when. Let’s get started. We begin with the
requirement as stated in IDEA 2004. All school districts are required by IDEA
2004 to provide a summary of performance to students when they exit high school. The summary of performance must include
three parts: 1) a summary of academic achievement; 2) a summary of functional
performance, and 3) recommendations on how to assist the child in meeting his
or her post secondary goals. We will discuss each of these components in
detail in just a few minutes. First, let’s look at who is required to receive a
summary of performance. The public education agency, or PEA, is required by law
to provide a summary of performance to those students who graduate with a
regular high school diploma or age out of high school. Graduation with the
regular high school diploma does not include students who earn a GED, however
they might benefit from a summary of performance as well. A student who ages out
of high school has reached the maximum age which is 22 years old in Arizona.
They may not have earned a regular high school diploma, but they are no longer
entitled to FAPE. So, what is the purpose of a summary of performance? The summary of performance provides
documentation that should be shared with the student and parent when the student
leaves high school. This is an opportunity to help the
student succeed in transitioning to postsecondary education and employment
through collaboration and communication with the next agency that the student
will access, whether it be postsecondary education, vocational rehabilitation,
independent living centers, employers, etc. A well-conceived summary of performance
will contribute to the success of the student’s measurable postsecondary goal
attainment. In particular, postsecondary institutions are finding that a well
written summary of performance is a key document in providing a smoother
transition from high school to postsecondary education. The summary of
performance assists the postsecondary disability coordinator with the
necessary documentation that is needed for disability determination as an adult. The summary of performance documentation
also assists in the vocational rehabilitation assessment process by
providing up-to-date information on employment experiences. Keep in mind, though, that the summary of
performance does not imply that the student who qualified for special
education in high school will automatically qualify for services in
the postsecondary education or the employment setting. Here are some things
to keep in mind when creating a summary of performance. First, the summary of a
student’s performance should be written with a consideration of the purpose of
the information based on the student’s measurable postsecondary goals. Second,
additional assessments are not required. This should be a summary of what the
student has accomplished during high school. Lastly, the summary of performance is not
a part of the IEP therefore an IEP meeting does not have to be conducted to
complete the summary of performance. However, an IEP meeting maybe the best
way to gather the information needed and to share the document. Now we’ll discuss
the three required components of the summary of performance. Note the three
components on the form: summary of academic achievement, summary of functional
performance, and recommendations to assist the student in reaching his or
her goal. It’s your district’s choice which form to use as long as it
includes these three components. The Arizona Department of Education Exceptional
Student Services secondary transition website has a sample
form with instructions. The first component of the summary performance is the summary of the student’s academic achievement. Let’s talk first about what needs to be
included in the summary of academic achievement. It should include both grade
level and a skill description of the student’s achievement in the areas of
reading, math, written language, and learning skills and should be summarized
according to where the student wants to go after high school as articulated in
the student’s measurable postsecondary goals. For instance, if the student plans
to go on to postsecondary school be sure to include pertinent information on
college prep courses, necessary assistive technology accommodations, and so on. There are three skills that need to be
addressed under reading achievement. The first is reading decoding. How well does
the student sound out both familiar and unfamiliar words? The second skill is
comprehension. How well is the student able to comprehend the material and at
what grade level? Do the student’s decoding skills interfere with
comprehension skills? Is the student able to make inferences from the material
that is read? The last skill that needs to be included is the rate of speed that
the student is able to read in words per minute. Does decoding interfere with
fluency? Does an increased fluency rate have a
negative impact on the student’s comprehension? Be sure to state the grade
level and a description of skills for each of these areas. If the student is
going on to employment or postsecondary education then summarize academic
skills with regard to those measurable postsecondary goals. Let’s say we have a
student who wants to become a welder. The summary of reading achievement may sound like this: The student can read about a hundred and
fifty words per minute at the seventh grade level and is able to decode
familiar words. He demonstrates much more difficulty decoding unfamiliar words
which slows his fluency and interferes with his ability to understand the
material at grade level. As a result he understands technical welding
information better after getting hands-on experience. Let’s move on to math. There are three
skills that need to be addressed when you summarize the student’s math
achievement. The first area is a summary of the student’s calculation skills
including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Again,
include both the grade level as well as a description of skills. Also, make note
of whether or not the student requires the use of a calculator. This kind of
information is critical to postsecondary education so they can make a
determination regarding disability and necessary accommodations and
modifications. The second skill to be addressed is algebraic problem solving.
Include information that tells about whether or not the student can first
identify and understand the problem, devise a plan to resolve the problem, follow through on the plan, and evaluate
to determine whether or not the plan has been effective. The third area to include
in the summary of math achievement is the student’s quantitative reasoning
skills. Can the student apply math skills to understand new information or use the math skills
to reason through a decision-making process and challenge information if
need be? Can the student look at and interpret graphs, tables, and formulas? An example may be: Does the student
understand how interest compounds on a credit card or bank loan and determine
the impact on future spending patterns and repayment schedule based on that
knowledge. It’s important to note in the summary of performance whether or not the
student has completed the prerequisite college prep math courses and what level
of support was needed in order for the student to be successful. The third skill
area that has to be addressed under the summary of academic achievement is a
summary of the student’s ability to communicate clearly through written
language. Be sure to include a grade level and a description of grammar and
organizational skills in relation to applied writing skills and any assistive
technology or other support a student requires. Finally, consider the student’s
learning skills. Does the student participate in class? Is the student able to take
accurate notes? Does the student have requisite keyboarding skills? Is the
student able to organize him or herself? Do they hand homework in on time? Are they able to complete long-term
projects by managing time effectively and do they exhibit effective study
skills? What are the student’s test taking skills? Does the student need extra time, a quiet
environment, or other accommodation? The key is that the present level must be
well written and accurately describe what the student is able to do including
both grade level and a description of skills. The second component of the
summary of performance includes a summary of the student’s functional performance.
We will share a list of overarching considerations that may be included in
this section of the summary of performance. For each student that you have you will need to
select which information is most relevant based on what the student plans
to do once he or she leaves high school. The first area to consider under functional performance is the student’s behavior and social interaction skills. How does the student
interact with others, especially those in a position of authority, like a boss? Are there any emotional or behavioral
concerns and what, if any, strategies does the student have for managing triggers?
The second area to consider is independent living skills. What concerns, if any, are there about the
student’s ability to care for themselves to be able to get to training or work
consistently. Look at the independent living postsecondary goal, if there is
one, and explain the work that the student has done to be able to
accomplish this goal. Environmental access and mobility is the
third area to consider. Does the student have a driver’s license or know how to
access public transportation? Does the student have mobility needs? The fourth
area to consider is the student’s communication skills. Is the student able
to communicate both verbally and nonverbally? Does the student rely on
sign language? Does the student use an augmentative communication device in
public? The fifth area of self-determination is critical to
include especially if the student will be going on to postsecondary education. Does
the student know what his or her disability is and how it affects his or
her learning? Can the student articulate the accommodations he or she needs and
why? Does the student understand that he or she will need to inform the
disability coordinator at the postsecondary institution that he or she has
a disability to determine if the student meets ADA disability requirements? Can the
student tell you what his or her learning styles are? The sixth area to consider is a summary
of career experiences that the student was provided during high school. This could include career interest
inventories and volunteer or paid work experiences in the student’s chosen
career. What, if any, kinds of supports were necessary for the student to be
successful during high school? The last area to consider consists of any
other things that may be beneficial to help postsecondary education make
decisions about disability determination. Does the student have medical concerns,
family concerns, or other challenges? The key to all of this is to work with the
student and parent and select and summarize the information the student
will need to achieve their measurable postsecondary goals. The last component
of the summary of performance has to do with making recommendations to the
student on any additional tasks that the student may need to accomplish as well
as suggestions for accommodations, adaptive devices or compensatory strategies in
order for the student to achieve their measurable postsecondary goals. While much of the work will be done
during the transition planning process, when you write the recommendations you will
need to consider what else needs to take place for the student to successfully
transition after leaving high school. If the student is going on to postsecondary
education, does the student need to find out what disability documentation is
required for the postsecondary school? Each postsecondary institution is
different in their requirements. Does the student need to disclose disability
information to the postsecondary institution or does the student need to
learn how to use the assistive technology at the postsecondary
institution prior to starting their classes? If the student is going on to
employment, does the student need to apply to vocational rehab or seek out
assistance through a job center? If the student has an independent living skills goal, does
the student need to seek support from the county or independent living center?
It is imperative that the student be provided with contact information such
as names and phone numbers so they can follow through on the recommendations.
Keep in mind an accommodation is defined as a support or service that is
provided to help the student fully access the general education curriculum
or subject matter. Students with impaired spelling or
handwriting skills, for example, may be accommodated by a note taker or
permission to take class notes on a laptop computer. An accommodation does
not change the content of what is being taught or the expectation that the
student meet the performance standard applied for all students. Assistive
technology is defined as any device that helps a student with a disability
function in a given environment but does not limit the device to expensive or
high-tech options. Assistive technology can also include
simple devices such as laminated pictures for communication, removable
highlighter tapes, Velcro, and other low- tech devices. Be sure to address health
needs for those students with chronic medical issues that will need to be
monitored regularly. So when should the summary of performance be developed? Base your decision on when to complete the summary of performance on the student’s
measurable postsecondary goals. If the student plans to go on to postsecondary
education and will need to share the summary of performance upon application
then complete the summary of performance in early fall of the student’s senior
year and update it in the spring to include information on courses and
activities taken during the senior year. Attach necessary information that will
assist postsecondary institutions in making a determination for disability. If
the student needs to have current and up-to-date information in the summary of
performance that includes employment and independent
living experiences that were gained during the final year of high school then
complete it in the spring. Make sure the student and parent receive
a copy of the summary of performance. The district should retain a copy of the
summary of performance to verify that the student was provided a summary of
their academic achievement, functional performance, and the recommendations to
assist the student in meeting his or her measurable postsecondary goals. Inform
the student and parent how and when the summary of performance could be
shared to make for a smoother transition to the student’s next step in life. If
necessary obtain a release of information so you
can share the summary of performance with the postsecondary institution. Make
sure the student has the information he or she needs to follow through on the
recommendations including names and phone numbers and where to go for help
if and when a question comes up. Be sure to explain the rationale for any
attachments and how important they are to help the student achieve his or her
goals. Remind the student that this document identifies that he or she has a
disability and so it is to be considered confidential. Remind the student to store it in a
safe place so that he or she can find it if needed in the future. In conclusion,
the summary of performance is the final piece of the transition puzzle from the
public school perspective. Just as the name implies, this document provides a
summary of the student’s performance as they enter their postsecondary lives. The
information it contains can determine the ease of the transition for the
student and family. The summary of performance can be a communication tool.
It can explain the needs of the student in terms of his or her strengths and
abilities and it can provide consistency that will bridge the student’s public
school education and the pursuit of their postsecondary goals. Thank you for watching. Please look for
our additional videos that provide guidance for the requirements of
Indicator 13. Please contact your ESS specialist or the secondary transition office for additional support or training.

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