When we talk about “Transition Services,” we mostly think of transition goals and ITPs for our older students. Some programs wait until students reach “transition age” to begin to focus on this crucial area. At Springall, we believe it is never too early to create a concrete plan for generalizing the learning that takes place on campus to the greater community! Because a “transition” can happen at any time in a student’s life, all students participate in our Community to Classroom (C2C) Program.
C2C encompasses many areas: classroom instruction, community activities, and links to support services. Specific examples include but are not limited to: field trips, guest speakers, independent living skills instruction, cooking, budgeting, college tours, and much more! After being in our C2C Program, our graduating seniors leave with a transition portfolio. This useful tool encompasses all of their successes in our C2C Program.
One of the students’ favorite activities is our Work Experience Program, which provides practical experiences and skills through on-campus jobs, in preparation for off-campus employment. Having firsthand work experience under their belts is a critical component of teaching students what is required to be a good and productive employee. For the 14th year in a row, Springall was awarded a WorkAbility grant to support our transition efforts.
WorkAbility 1 Program
WorkAbility 1 (WA1) is a state program that was established in 1981 as a result of a two-year pilot study to help special education students gain work experience and skills. The pilot study was a success and soon became a statewide program known as WorkAbility. Springall Academy became part of this program in 1997. WorkAbility’s stated mission is as follows: “The mission of WorkAbility 1 is to promote the involvement of key stakeholders including students, educators, employers, and other agencies in planning and implementing an array of services that will culminate in successful student transition to employment, lifelong learning, and quality of life.” WorkAbility 1 and Springall share a very similar philosophy, with both programs taking a holistic approach to educating students. We assess the student as a whole, not just one aspect, helping the student reach his/her goals both on and off of the school campus. As part of the WorkAbility Program, each student has a transition binder that is kept in the Guidance Center. This binder holds a collection of transition-related documents and work that each student can use as a tool and take with them after they leave Springall and enter the workforce.
What exactly is the WorkAbility Program all about?
The program promotes independent living and provides comprehensive pre-employment, employment, worksite training, and follow-up services for special education students who are making the transition from school to work, postsecondary education, or training. Specifically, WA1 provides special education students (aged 16–22) with the opportunity to complete their secondary education while also obtaining marketable job skills.
How is WorkAbility 1 funded?
WorkAbility is funded by a federal grant administered by the California State Department of Education.
How does Springall personnel offer assistance to the students in the WorkAbility Program?
The academy provides the following staffing in the form of a Vocational Education Team (VET) to implement the program: Transition Coordinator, Transition Assistant, Curriculum Coordinator, Guidance Counselor, Specialist Teachers, and Job Coaches.
What does WA1 offer prospective employers?
- Students who have been screened and prepared for employment
- Ongoing monitoring provided by Springall personnel
- 30–90 hours of training that can be subsidized by Springall
- Future trained employees who have proven themselves
What are the advantages to our students?
- Job development/placement services
- Support and encouragement from staff
- Pay for job training
- Opportunity to gain work experience
- Assessments of vocational interests and skills
What are the possible outcomes/goals of participating in WA1?
- Students will obtain competitive employment
- Students will become successful, productive, and contributing members of the community
- Students build self-esteem through reinforced positive behavior
Listed below are current and past employer partnerships with Springall:
- Sea World
- Original Pancake House
- Foot Locker
- Einstein Bagels
- Jo-Ann Fabrics
- Mission Trails Park and Recreation