Each high school student will have a Transition Plan that evolves as the student matures. The individual student’s plan will be developed with input from parents and staff. As students are able to generalize and apply job-related social skills consistently, they will progress to mentor-supported workplace experiences including volunteer service, informational interviewing, job shadowing, and internships. TGS staff will work closely with students, families, and participating workplace mentors to ensure appropriate placement for students.
Skills learned in the TGS Transitions Program will also support students in achieving successful post-secondary educational experiences. These skills include: interview skills and practice; self-reflection and self-advocacy; social thinking and communication for working in groups; project design, independent project management; short-, medium-, and long-range planning; and written and oral project presentation skills and practice.
High school students preparing for college receive individualized support from their GPS advisor as well as the school psychologist. Support provided will align with the individual student’s post-secondary transition plans, and may include:
- Standardized test preparation and practice (PSAT/SAT/ACT), including advocating for accommodations if needed;
- Completing career and interest inventories;
- Identifying local mentors in the student’s interest area;
- Identifying colleges most compatible with the student’s strengths and challenges;
- Planning for college and/or workplace visits; and
- Completing college applications, including providing personalized letters of recommendation.
Internships provide high school students with the opportunity to explore career options and professional expectations, while learning about and contributing to their community. Prior to arranging an internship, students are expected to have shadowed or volunteered and completed several informational interviews. During the internship, students are expected to fill an authentic need in the organization, give a commitment of time, work with a mentor on-site, document and reflect on their experiences, and share their experiences with the TGS community. TGS students are required to fulfill at least one internship experience before graduating.
Quest provides students with opportunities to identify and practice “real world” skills. Like other aspects of the TGS program, Quest is responsive to observed student needs. Weekly topics and groupings will vary based on student support needs, demonstrated knowledge of topics, and issues presenting in the school environment. Over the course of a school year, students will cover all domains of the IEQ. Topics may include personal hygiene, managing money, cooking, planning and executing outings, dating and relationships, sexual education, maintaining an organized work environment, and more.
An important foundation for Quest will be instruction and practice in self-regulation strategies as needed. Our goal is for our students to become independent self-regulators, in order to reduce stress in different environments and facilitate learning. In order for students to participate successfully in community-based activities, they must be able to adapt their behavior and responses to the expectations of each new environment. As students increase their ability to demonstrate socially adaptive responses, they will be presented with more opportunities for “real world” outings.
Students at TGS contribute to the upkeep of the community learning environment by participating in the TGS Jobs Program. In addition, these jobs develop important life skills that prepare them for independence in the community. Some skills developed in the Jobs program will be useful to students who plan to attend college, and all will be necessary for independent living or co-housing situations.