the Olympia School District logo, a line drawing of the capitol dome with the Letters O, S, and D at the base


School District

1113 Legion Way SE
Olympia, WA 98501
Office: (360) 596-6100

Transition Services

The Olympia School District is committed to providing a coordinated set of transition activities for students who receive special education services. We want to help them move successfully from high school to post-school activities. Our focus is:

  • Based on the needs of the individual,
  • Carried out in partnership with families and the community, and,
  • Results Oriented, Outcome-Based.

Things you need to Know About Transition:

Q: What is transition planning?

A: Transition planning is a collaboration involving students with disabilities, their families, school staff, community members and adult services agencies and employers. The goal of transition planning is to improve student academic and functional readiness in preparation for their lives after high school.

Q: When will my child receive support?

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­A: Begininning in high school, and until graduation or 21 years of age, students will receive staff support in the development and implementation of a Transition Plan.

Q: What are the components in a Transition Plan?

A: Components of the transition plan may include a functional vocational evaluation, specially-designed instruction, related services, interagency linkage, and employment and other post-school adult living objectives. Additionally, as appropriate, community experiences and daily living skills will also be an integral part of the student’s program.

Q: What is transition and when does it begin?

A: Transition means planning for employment and living and becomes more and more important as your child progresses through school. 

Q: How is transition planning done?

A: Each student’s transition is individual and based on the student’s needs, interests, strengths and preferences.  Parents, students, teachers and others can provide valuable  pieces of information   Additionally beginning, in grade 9, most students participate in an online interest survey as well as participate in transition activities which may include vocational classes, life skills classes, volunteer experience, career exploration, vocational interviews, resume development, etc.  However, transition activities take place throughout your student’s education–cooperative learning, learning how to respond to due dates, community participation, etc.

This is an outcome oriented process.  In other words, what is the plan for my child when they exit the school system.

Q: When does transition become part of the IEP?

A: Although transition takes place throughout your child’s education, components of your child’s IEP will   include a Transition section on the IEP beginning no later than age 16. 

Transition is like a roadmap or plan designed by the IEP team to assist students in meeting their in the areas of independent living, education and employment.

Q: What are post-secondary goals?

A: These are goals in the area of employment, education and training and independent living that are designed to be met after the student has completed their education with the school district.  In other words, it is the outcome that we hope to achieve.

Q: Are there resources outside the school district that I need to contact and if so when?

A: Yes there are resources and services that your child may be eligible to receive.  These resources are dependent upon your child’s transition needs.   Here are some of the agencies you and your family may want to consider:

**Note:  students may require more or less assistance from outside agencies, depending on their needs.


Agency Address/Time to Contact Purpose
Developmental Disabilities Administration

Birth-Age 18

Region 3
1305 Tacoma Ave, S., Suite 300

Tacoma, WA 98402

Intake Coordinator Donna Bjornson
Phone: 1-800-48-0949
**Intake is done by mail in application

Provides long term employment funds,
residential assistance, financial assistance
personal care funds for people with
developmental disabilities
Agency Age 18 or 21 if you receive adoption support funding.
Contact may be made sooner if there is financial need.
Social Security 402 Yauger Way, SW
Olympia, WA 98502
Phone: 1-866-755-6199
Provides funding for living support to
persons with disabilities.
Agency Address/Time to Contact Purpose
Department of Vocational Rehabilitation Mandy Kipfer, Vocational Counselor
6639 Capitol Blvd. SW, 1st floor
Tumwater, WA 98501
Mailing address:  P.O. Box 45459, Olympia, WA 98504
Phone: (360) 664-3066
Provides short term support and
assistance in finding and keeping
employment.  May provide funding for
training and education purposes.


Q: What can I do?

A: You and your child are important in the IEP process.  Continue those activities at home that promote independence.   Ask your child about their likes, dislikes, strengths, preferences and interests.   Contact outside agencies and other parents who have or are going through the transition process to find out what may be helpful to your child.  

**Remember transition is an ongoing process.

 Transition Program Resources

Transition Strands

Transition Services prepare students for one of the following post-school activities:


  • Academic Skills
  • Special Skills Training
  • Social Skills
  • Community Involvement
  • Preparation for Post-Secondary Settings

Community-Based Work

  • Academic Skills
  • Employment Training & Placement
  • Social Skills

Supported Employment

  • Functional Academics
  • Vocational School-Based Work Experience
  • Social Skills
  • General Community Functioning
  • Communication
  • Motor Skills

Vocational Education

  • Academic skills
  • Vocational Skills
  • Employment Training & Placement
  • Social Skills

Family Partnership

Family involvement in the decision-making is vital to the development and implementation of the student’s Transition Plan. Participation in Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meetings, follow-through activities, and the utilization of community linkages, all provide the foundation for a successful transition to post-school adult living. As this is a dynamic process, it is equally important for parents to maintain a dialogue with their son or daughter as they learn about themselves and their options. Working with school staff to encourage independent behavior will improve student success towards achieving post-school goals.

Secondary Transition Links

Community Partnerships

The OlympiaSchool District is involved in many partnerships that benefit students. Some of our partners include South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC), St. Peter’s Hospital, Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), Inter-City Transit and private businesses. Our community partners provide our students with increased opportunities for education, employment, and independent living activities.

Please click on the following links for more information:

Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities

Transition of Students with Disabilities to Postsecondary Education: A Guide for High School Educators