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Teleconference Transcript

Transcript of NCSET teleconference call held on December 1, 2004


Using Interagency Transition Teams to Achieve Successful Transition

Presenter:

Bob Stodden, Ph.D.
National Center for the Study of Postsecondary Education Supports
University of Hawai'i at Manoa


Related Links


View the PowerPoint presentation referenced in this teleconference (in PDF format: 5 slides, 992 KB). Also available as an accessible Word document.


MS. CRANE: Good afternoon, everybody. This is Kelli Crane from the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition (NCSET), and today’s teleconference call is "Using Interagency Transition Teams to Achieve Successful Transition." Our speaker is Dr. Bob Stodden from the University of Hawaii. We’re thrilled about today’s topic because we know that several states are looking at how to re-energize or re-engage their interagency transition teams both at the state and local levels. Bob is going to share some strategies to do just that. He also will be talking about a number of activities that NCSET is planning in preparation of the next National Leadership Summit, which is scheduled for June 14-15, 2005. Just so you all know, the registration for that summit will be opening in the next couple of weeks, and we’ll send out an announcement when that happens.

I am now going to turn this over to Bob Stodden.

DR. STODDEN: Thanks, Kelli. This call is sort of a kickoff activity, as Kelli mentioned, as we are beginning to sort out a number of activities that will support the preparation of team leaders and interagency transition teams for participation in the National Leadership Summit in June 2005. We’re going to be talking around that a little bit, and also talking about some of those activities near the end of the call.

The call will focus on an Essential Tool that has been under development within NCSET over the past several months. This Essential Tool is a product that will focus on the development, maintenance, and evaluation of interagency transition teams. It will be a self-help guide. I’ll spend a few minutes of the call talking about some of the elements of the Essential Tool, which will be out this month.

First of all, it is a real pleasure today to have Marty Kester and the very successful Pennsylvania Interagency Transition Team with us, who will talk about some of the things that have happened with their team.

Quickly, the format for the next hour or so is something like this: I’m going to take about 15-20 minutes and provide some background information on interagency transition teams and some of the information that you’re going to find in this Essential Tool. We are then going to switch to Marty and his team, and we’re going to give them an opportunity to talk about some of their experiences of working as an interagency transition team. Then we hope to have about 15 minutes for questions and comments, and then we’d like about five minutes at the end to talk about next steps and gather any input that you might have.

Interagency transition teams originated as a concept and an activity in the late 1980s and early 1990s as part of the transition initiative with the re-authorization of IDEA, and then this was further reinforced in the 1997 reauthorization. Teams were structured primarily as a vehicle to bring together or bridge agencies working in the transition process. Those agencies were involved in preparing young people with disabilities to transition to adulthood, linking services and supports within that transition, and the postschool sector preparing them to receive students with disabilities in a number of areas. In many ways, the concept of an interagency transition team was a vehicle or platform to bring together agencies to work together so there would be some common postschool outcomes for students with disabilities.

I can remember back in the early ‘90s working with the California interagency transition team, one of the little activities they always did to explain themselves was to take a student apart, like a puzzle, and each agency would talk briefly about their perception of their services and supports for a student with disabilities. As each agency described their services and supports, they take the student apart, puzzle piece by puzzle piece, so you could recognize the different missions that each agency had and even the different definitions that agencies use to define their clientele, the different outcomes that they projected for their agency, the different funding schemes or structures that were in use, and even different timelines that were in place.

The next activity was to show the value of a team by sitting down and working together as a team to put the puzzle back together and look at the interagency agreements that brought the different missions together, looking at pooled resources so that everybody could work together towards a common outcome, looking at developing program models that were overlay types of programs so there wasn’t a break in services and support. It’s an effective way to demonstrate the value of an interagency transition team and I think it’s an activity that is still a valuable way to demonstrate why these teams are constructive pieces of the transition process.

During those years, teams were developed at different levels of the service delivery system. As we’re talking about teams, we’re often talking about teams at the state level—state interagency transition teams. Many of you may remember that one of the elements of the transition systems change projects back in the early ‘90s was to form a state interagency transition team. Those teams typically look at things like providing interagency direction for the state, establishing policy, and sharing funding streams. Typically those teams would guide what we see as the county or area interagency transition team, and those teams might focus on the development of materials or delineating procedures within the state that would guide interagency transition work. All of us are aware of school-level interagency transition teams, which then typically focused on individual planning with students with disabilities, their family members, and the appropriate agency.

One of the intents of all this work has been to replicate work across these three team levels, and as policy is put into place at the state level, procedures and materials are developed at the intermediate or county or area level. In turn, that guides actual practice at the school level. That’s the structure that you see in many states, and it’s a structure that we’ll be reinforcing through our activities as we prepare for the Summit in June.

I want to touch on two things that are part of the Essential Tool that you are going to see coming out in the next few weeks: 1) the important elements of an interagency team, and 2) the nine principles of teaming that will guide the process of using these elements, which are developing your interagency transition team, conducting team activities, and then evaluating the effectiveness. I’m going to first touch on the elements that are covered in the Essential Tool and are considered important elements in team development and conduct, and then I’m going to touch on the principles that would guide someone in working with these elements. I will mention briefly the four different elements that are shared in the Essential Tool that focus on building an effective team.

Four Elements of Building Interagency Teams
  1. It is important for your team to first reflect on the membership of the team, to reflect the stakeholders of interest in the transition process in your state or local area. That membership needs to consist of agencies, family members of young people with disabilities, young people with disabilities themselves, and others that have a stake in this process.
  2. The second element in building an effective team includes generating a common vision and describing somewhat of a common outcome across various diverse agencies that might be participating on the team. Those elements make up a process of building an effective team, having that team in place. The team also needs to formalize the team, the individuals that make up the team, the team roles, and the team responsibilities. I think one of the shared down sides of this whole process of interagency teaming that you hear from people is how do I get team members to attend meetings? How do I get them to be active participants? Part of that process is ensuring that team members have valued roles, and that those roles are formalized within the team.
  3. The third element of interagency transition teaming is the process of activity—what happens on the team? The conduct of meetings, the agenda and task completion, what happens between meetings. Insight into all those types of activities is important.
  4. The fourth element that’s shared in the Essential Tool looks at mechanisms to define whether you’re making progress, the effectiveness of that progress, and the effectiveness of being a team. One of the more valuable elements of teaming is for people to feel that progress is being made and that they’re a part of that progress. That’s one of the reasons people continue to come, participate, and be actively involved on the team.

The Essential Tool is structured by nine principles that are offered to help guide the process of going through these elements. In building an effective team, the Tool goes through a process of assisting you to use the nine principles of quality teaming, and I’m going to touch very briefly just on those nine elements. Just to let you know, the Essential Tool is very specific on how to use each of these nine elements to ensure that every aspect of your team has quality and is effective.

Nine Principles of Teaming
  1. The first principle, shared by Paula Kohler’s transition training modules, is for teams to reflect on and demonstrate a shared collective vision and a common outcome. Obviously there are ways to measure and assess this. Given the different roles and different missions typical of participating agencies, this is a challenging and a very quality activity for teams to participate in.
  2. The second principle is "Good teams empower all of their members" so that all members feel valued on the team, which can be little bit tricky in these teams because one of the agencies may have more of a stake, or there are different levels of stake in interagency transition teams. How you support and assist a team member who might be viewed as having a minor stake in the team as being empowered and valued as a participant is very important.
  3. The third principle is that teams demonstrate shared decision-making. Identify your process of ensuring that all team members are part of all important decisions and make sure you are using a consensus approach or other types of approaches that don’t leave people out of decisions or make people feel in the minority in decisions.
  4. The fourth principle is for teams to demonstrate synergy, meaning that the whole of the team is always more than the sum of its parts. If you have nine members, you should be able to take nine times nine to assess the value and the sense of synergy in your team.
  5. The fifth principle is the team’s high regard for diversity of opinion or diversity of perspective. The richer the diversity of perspective, the richer the discussion, and the richer the activities and the outcomes will be of your team.
  6. The sixth principle is for teams to foster full inclusion and participation of all stakeholders. Those people that have a stake in the transition process should be included and should be active participants or be supported to become active participants.
  7. The seventh principle is for teams to foster self-determination and personal growth both as a team and for individual members in the team. This is critical to maintaining your membership and maintaining excitement about the team. People have to feel that they are continually learning and growing, and that progress is being made.
  8. The eighth principle is for teams to be responsive to the authentic context of their work, meaning that teams are working on real issues. You’re not dealing with a hypothetical situation, you are solving real problems in your state.
  9. The ninth principle is for teams to reflect and generate or demonstrate a dynamic and fluid quality, meaning they’re flexible, changing all the time, and responsive to the issues and the needs that might be of concern in your state.

The way this Tool is structured is to focus on the basic elements of teaming and apply these nine principles one by one to each of the elements. The intended outcome of this process is that this will assist you to establish a quality team, or if you are currently conducting or working with a team, to improve the quality and the effectiveness of the team.

Let's move to Marty and the Pennsylvania team. This is an opportunity for you to hear from some people who have actually been doing a lot of these things and who have a lot of good years of experience with quality interagency transition team activities. Marty Kester, I’m going to turn it over to you for about 15-20 minutes.

MR. KESTER: Okay, Bob, yes. I’d like to say hello to everyone on the call and introduce myself briefly. My name is Marty Kester, I am a member of the Community of Practice NASDSE team. Recently, I’ve retired from the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, having spent 37 years with that organization and being intimately involved in the developmental transition teams at the local level and working, likewise, with our statewide interagency transition team.

I’d like to take the opportunity and ask the other members of our interagency statewide team that are on the line to introduce themselves and to briefly identify what agency or partner they represent and what they bring to our team to help truly establish the fact that we are an interagency partnership which exists to support students and youth with disabilities here in Pennsylvania.

MS. KESTER: Hi. This is Joan Kester. I am the Statewide Transition Specialist with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation. We are in the Department of Labor and Industry, and I’ve been working with the State Transition Team over the past six years since the original signature of our interagency agreement, which happened in about 2000.

MS. KOHLER: Hi, I’m Kerin Kohler. I’m with the Department of Public Welfare’s Office of Children, Youth and Families. I am a policy specialist dealing with foster care issues. I’ve been involved with the interagency team for about two-and-a-half years since I came on board with the state. It’s very important to me because there are many children in foster care in Pennsylvania that have disabilities, and it’s very important for us to link with other agencies to ensure good outcomes for those children.

MS. ROMETT: Hi. I’m Ellen Romett with the Testing and Training and Technical Assistance Network. We do professional development for the Department of Education and we also represent the Department of Education. I am Education’s lead person in the area of secondary transition.

MR. STOEHR: I am Michael Stoehr. I’ve been working with the State Interagency Team for about the last year-and-a-half. Prior to that I was on a local council team that was interagency-based for about 11 years.

MR. BOYLE: I’m Rick Boyle. I work with the Pittsburgh office, and I’ve been working with an interagency team for the last two years.

MS. BARWICK: Hi, I’m Abby Barwick, and I work with the Department of Health. We provide services in local communities to help establish and enhance services for children with special healthcare needs.

MR. KESTER: The members of the team would like to give the folks on the call a sense of the kind of activities, the kind of efforts that the Pennsylvania team has been able to come together around and work on in this area of transition of students and youth with disabilities. One of the things that I’d like to mention is the fact that there are many levels of the transition effort that we can talk about and that need to be part of the total picture of transition.

In Pennsylvania, one of the efforts that we feel very strongly about is encouraging local-to-local activity and trying to support those activities from a state level, to learn from those activities, to try to foster best practice, and to encourage best practice across the commonwealth. We have been able to do this through various methods, one of which I will mention very briefly and then let the other members pick up is our statewide conference. We host a three-day conference that started as an education conference where we learned about different techniques, methods, and ideas; and educated each other about each other’s organizations. The conference has now grown to include a student with disability, young folks with disabilities leadership, and a development track. This lends itself to your concepts and your principles of making sure all the members of the team are involved, including young people with disabilities.

Some of the other team members will speak briefly about other activities that we have done here in Pennsylvania to encourage attention and focus on the transition of students and young people with disabilities.

MS. ROMETT: This is Ellen. I think in addition to talking about activities, it’s important for the listeners to know that the Pennsylvania team has struggled. We have met on a regular basis and have been cohesive because we always had a project or something to look forward to, to work together on. Many of the principles that Bob talked about are principles that became very alive within our own group, and I think it’s important to talk about the fact that we’re now coming together after meeting so intensively for the last four years and growing and maturing that we’re pulling back together in a facilitated visioning process to make sure that we keep our team healthy and that we don’t have factions.

I think that it’s important that we endorse the kinds of principles and structure that Bob has included in the tool, because we’ve actually lived through many of those processes that he’s talking about.

MS. KESTER: This is Joan Kester. I think one of the things, as Ellen had mentioned, that really has kept us alive and very passionate about what we do is that we see the results of our work and we have been focused on making a difference in the lives of youth with disabilities and their families.

Putting together an interagency agreement was a springboard. We’ve had three conferences that are examples of our activities as well as mentoring days that we’ve had annually based on the National Disability Mentoring Day model. I think one of the important elements is that we’ve been driving our process based on what local teams have been telling us that they need or what the primary issues are.

Last year as we planned our conference, we prepared it around the activities of the local transition coordinating councils. What we found, because of this history, is that some of the transition councils in our state have been in existence for up to 15 years. I think an important piece that I know we’ve learned as a state team is that we need to acknowledge the fact that this initiative, or this movement, with transition and communities of practice or interagency models isn’t necessarily a new concept. We are kind of cycling back and regenerating and providing support, and I think that was a very important step.

People have very busy schedules, and we spent a lot of time coaching local transition councils to give us some basic information; we saw our role as facilitating that connection from local-to-local practice.

MR. STOEHR: I think even prior to the conference we looked at going out to the local areas and meeting with local transition councils, which are basically local, county, or regional-based teams, and strengthening what they were doing. At the conference this past summer, they presented projects and activities that they were doing locally that could be shared from one local group to another.

This year we went out and actually looked at some of the guiding principles and elements that you have listed. Having the councils re-look at those and make sure that we were student-focused, youth-focused, in what we were doing and what they were doing locally. Throughout this process we kept asking them for their feedback, what they feel their needs are for the state group to go back and look at, to address, and to see what they can do themselves at a grassroots level to keep transition going into different areas.

MS. KESTER: We have a representative from the Department of Public Welfare, Kerin Kohler, who has been doing a lot of very intensive work with children and youth, and I was hoping she could share a few comments about that.

MS. KOHLER: This is Kerin Kohler from the Department of Public Welfare Office of Children, Youth and Families, and I guess I came to the state team from the policy perspective in the first place. I looked at a broader perspective of not just what our office can bring to the state team but also what my participation on the state team can bring to children in the child welfare system in Pennsylvania. Over the last few years, we’ve shifted from looking at things from an isolated viewpoint to looking at, most definitely, a cross-systems viewpoint and how our different systems can have an impact on the policy and practices within each of the systems.

Some of the things that I was able to take forward in our office was the language from other agency representatives and taking that back to the child welfare system. We’re in the process of rewriting several chapters of regulations for child welfare in Pennsylvania and for the first time the word “transition” is going to be seen in those chapters. A lot of concepts and language that I’ve learned from my partners from the different state agencies are going to also find their way [into the regulation], which we hope will be able to support local collaboration and efforts at the local areas.

We’ve also very much supported capacity building and sharing of resources. We’ve had at several of the child welfare conferences within the last year, people from the Department of Education, the Department of Health, the Office of Mental Retardation and Vocational Rehabilitation, that have done presentations. We’re expanding the knowledge of people in the child welfare system to those in other systems as well.

The other thing that is very exciting for me is that from the state team perspective and going around to those local areas, as Michael had talked about, we’re always talking to local councils as to what issues are relevant to them and what we can do as a state team to help with those local issues. One of the areas that we’ve heard throughout the state is the connection to the juvenile justice system and having juvenile justice cases represented. Within the Office of Children, Youth and Families, we deal not only with child welfare issues, but we also have our Youth Detention Centers for those youths that are adjudicated delinquent, and I’m lucky that, sitting next to me today, is a representative from our Bureau of State Children and Youth Programs that plans to be an active participant on the State Interagency Team. We are also looking to not just support the local areas but also to expand our state teams to support the efforts within the state.

MS. KESTER: Thanks, Kerin. We have with us Abby Barwick with the Department of Health to talk about what our activities are on many different levels and dimensions. Through the Department of Health a local team has brought to the state level and provided extensive training for interagency teams on a healthcare transition planning checklist, and I was wondering if Abby could say a few things about that.

MS. BARWICK: We developed a checklist because we were getting feedback from many of the parents that said, “My child is now 18, and I know they’re transitioning. They have to transition into that adult world, and although the education department is working with them to transition for life skills and those kinds of things, what do I do about health insurance? What do I do about changing from a pediatric model to an adult model?” So we developed this checklist that really goes into timelines, who do you have to see, what departments are involved, how are they involved and looking at all of those aspects that the youth needs to consider when they’re moving from pediatric care into the adult world. We’ve also put together a little checklist with a lot of resources for youth and families to assist them along that path.

The other piece that the Department of Health is doing is a program called the Special Kids Network, with six regional offices in local communities that work with the transition councils to help strengthen them, help build capacity, to work with them on some of their projects, and to provide technical assistance to them so that they can build on some of the projects that they currently have or actually engage in building new projects for them.

Those are two of the pieces that we can and do provide for the councils. There are two other aspects that the department provides: the department has district offices peppered throughout the state, and within each district office we have a special needs consultant that is a nurse who works with families and youth in helping them through the transition process.

MR. KESTER: Bob, I think you and the other folks on the call can see that truly the statewide team does reflect a very diverse group of folks who are committed to working with students and young people with disabilities and assisting in their transition. Each of us brings something to the table but expects to get something from the table also. I think that’s a very important piece in terms of the guiding principles of effective teams to realize that not only do you bring something to the team, but you are also there to gather information, services, resources, and assistance for those folks that you work with as well as everyone else at the table doing the same thing. I think that comes to the issue of being honest and forthright with everyone at the table and goes to the empowerment of all the members as the number two element of your principles speaks to.

If anyone would have questions for the members of the team, I’m sure we would be open to giving any answers or ideas that folks might like.

MR. LEVINE: We’ve been developing little meetings and councils such as linking agencies, collaborators, and the various other types of names, but I think the way you have been doing it, it seems much more formalized and much better for us here on the Virgin Islands, and I’d like to try to get more involved with you all, if possible.

DR. STODDEN: That’s great. Well, right at the end of the call, we’re going to talk about some next-step activities.

MS. PALMER: This is Barbara Palmer from the Colorado Department of Education. I have two quick questions. One is for Abby. Is it possible for us to get the healthcare checklist that you mentioned?

MS. BARWICK: Certainly. I could just e-mail it out to you. My e-mail is abarwick@state.pa.us.

MS. PALMER: My other question is for Bob. Lots of the efforts in Colorado around interagency shifted from our formalized transition framework as the Workforce Investment Act was coming down and the development of the state-level and local-level youth councils. I’m wondering how your transition structure is aligning with the youth council structure?

DR. STODDEN: Well, it definitely should align with it. I can give you that input, and Marty, does someone on your team want to indicate how that has happened in Pennsylvania?

MS. KESTER: Yes, this is Joan Kester from Vocational Rehabilitation. What we find is that we have a connection in many parts of the state. I was in what we call the “northern tier” of Pennsylvania this past week, and they’ve pulled together a youth coalition. They have combined the youth council activities with the transition council, and they’re taking on some portfolio projects, which look really great from a digital format perspective. We do not have them formally linked. I’m not going to mislead you that there is some kind of policy in place; however, I’m on the State Youth Council, and the staff that works with the State Youth Council is on our state interagency team. We have a lot of the cross-pollination that I think you need.

MS. PALMER: That’s interesting, and it’s not the formal structure so much as I was wondering if others were experiencing that. We ended up with many communities, and they were questioning getting together multiple times during the month with the same faces around the table. We’ve had a lot of collapsing of some of those different groups into more what would be a youth coalition or, in many cases, it just comes under the umbrella of the youth council, but it’s the same players, and they’re talking about issues of all youth in the community, including those with disabilities.

MS. KESTER: That’s great. We have Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, which is in south central Pennsylvania. They have a transition council but then they also developed interested parties in a mental health task force. They were dealing with a little bit more specific issues and took on a project, but I know they connected that activity to the council. I think the idea of having a fluid group and having groups connect, not necessarily that one group takes over another group, but they’re allowed to function in a parallel way is really important.

MR. KESTER: I think the issue in rural areas is the fact that people wear many hats and go to many different meetings and that speaks to the issue of how do you keep people interested, how do you keep your membership together? Those are issues that you have to deal with when you have, as you said, Barbara, perhaps the same people coming to the same meetings and say, “Why do I have to meet five times a month?”

MR. DENNISON: Hi. My name is Harline Dennison, I’m from Delaware. I have a very quick question for you. When you talked about developing your transition conference and coalescing around a project, at what level did you develop your project goal? Was it at a lower level? A state level? A regional level? A school level? I want to be able to institute that here in Delaware.

MS. KESTER: The reality is that it depends where the money comes from, as to what the focus is. Local projects are developing around different pots of money, so as we develop the conference, we had an open process of saying to folks, “What activities are you involved with?” What we tried to do, which we want to tighten up this year, is to say, “We have 10 programs that are dealing with job shadowing,” and then we ask them to present together so that people could go to one session and get a picture of many different models. Except for where the monies come from, we weren’t necessarily driving the activity at the conference.

MS. KOHLER: This is Kerin Kohler again. The other thing that we did in developing the different strands for the conference was that we took the information from the local areas of what they felt their needs were and then tried to develop sessions based on the needs of the local folks.

MR. DENNISON: Okay, so you gathered information and pulled that all together.

MR. KESTER: Yes.

HEIDI: This is Heidi from Alaska. One of the main issues that we’ve had is trying to get the local business community involved. We don’t have a lot of big businesses here, and so I was wondering if you included the business perspective in these transition teams.

MR. KESTER: I’ve made some contacts over the past couple of years with the local teams, and at local levels there are many employers who are part of the local transition community and councils, but certainly not as many as we would like to see. We see interested employers and, as Joan had mentioned earlier, there’s some workforce activity that’s been helpful along those lines, too. It’s one of the areas that I know at a statewide level we’d like to see more involvement of the employer community in the transition efforts here in Pennsylvania.

I’ll mention one area very quickly, and that would be locally—it’s often helpful to get your local elected officials to become members of the team. Many councils have been successful in doing this because they’re interested in their constituents, and their constituents are interested in what they can support locally, too.

MS. KESTER: One more comment about employers. In many ways, I think it’s unrealistic to think that an employer is going to come and take time and sit at a process meeting, but that if they’re going to receive something in return for participation, such as youth coming out to do job shadowing or that they have a role with youth, like helping to practice interview. We did have some employers involved in our employment expo, or Disability Mentoring Day. We also tried to build in educational sessions about disability sensitivity and the ADA. We have a lot more work to do, but we’re thinking that we really need to be offering employers something to get them to the table.

DR. STODDEN: Great discussion, you guys, but we’re going to have to pull it together. I’d like to just take a minute and thank Marty and the Pennsylvania team. You guys are doing some great things, and we really appreciate your input to the call here. It brings a lot of this alive, and that’s a necessary part of these calls. So thank you very much and thanks a lot, Marty, for agreeing to do this.

MR. KESTER: Thanks for having us.

DR. STODDEN: You’re welcome. Just a couple of things before we finish. We’re starting a process over the next six months of preparing for the National Summit in June 2005. We’re preparing teams to attend and participate, so I want to lay a couple of these things out and then request your input via e-mail to me, because several of you, I know, are very interested in this, and there’s a lot of ways we can probably be of help.

  1. First, this call is the kickoff of this process.
  2. The second activity will be the release of the Essential Tool over the next two weeks, and it will be posted on the NCSET website, www.ncset.org. You might want to check in a week or so for that. It will also be announced on various listservs.
  3. Thirdly, we’re organizing a sequence of activities between now and June that might include regional or national workshops around different parts of the Essential Tool. We are also holding a number of teleconferences on very specific aspects of the Essential Tool. There all kinds of possibilities like putting together discussion boards, providing individual technical assistance to teams trying to get started around various elements of the Essential Tool.

I’m going to give you my e-mail address, and I’m open to you e-mailing about whatever your thoughts might be around what would be helpful to you and your team in getting organized and being in quality condition prior to the summit and in general. My e-mail address is stodden@hawaii.edu. Thank you, everybody, for your participation.

MS. CRANE: As Bob mentioned, we do have several activities coming up prior to the National Leadership Summit, which is scheduled for June 14-15, 2005. Registration is not open yet, but we will be sending out an announcement once that opens, and it should be very soon.

Our next teleconference call of the National Center on Secondary Education and Transition is in January. We don’t have a specific date for that call yet. The topic will be the national standards and quality indicators that have been developed around secondary education and transition by a group of national associations and experts from around the country. Over the next six months, complementing the work that Bob will be doing with states, the teleconference calls will be in preparation for the summit and focus on specific content around these national standards and quality indicators.

E-mail Bob if you have any specific comments, concerns, or ideas, about pre-activities with your states as we approach the summit. You can also e-mail any of us at NCSET by visiting the NCSET website. The transcript from this call will also be up on the NCSET website within the next couple of weeks. If there are no more questions, we’ll let you all go and thank you for participating.

MS. MOORE: This is Maryann Moore from Virginia. I took Robin Barton’s position as Secondary Transition Specialist with the Virginia Department of Education. I’m curious about “registration.” How will you know who’s on the Virginia team? Were you supposed to get a listing of those people?

MS. CRANE: This is how the registration for the National Leadership Summit happens: the letter of invitation will go out to your State Director of Special Education. They are our primary point of contact, and we’ll work with that person to put together your team. In some cases, the state director will turn it over to the transition specialist. I know for the last summit Robin was the person who pulled together your state team in Virginia. If you call us, we can look to see if a team from your state has actually registered and connect you with them so you can get on that team. Our primary point of contact has to come through the state director of special education just to avoid confusion.

MS. MOORE: Okay, that makes sense. It’s just that I know that from looking at the things Robin had, she had this group of people already on the team, and I guess my question is should it be those same people?

MS. CRANE: States to do it differently and we suggest team members but do not prescribe. What we’re asking for is a state-level interagency team. Some states send their current interagency transition team. Other states pick their priority issue they might want to work on, whether it’s postsecondary education or workforce development, and they build a team based on that issue. I think that’s what Virginia did last time. As I recall you had a team that was built around some of the issues your state actually wanted to focus on because you had a lot of postsecondary people like Susan Asselin and Sharon Defur. It is up to you how you do it. We just strongly encourage an interagency team—education, vocational rehabilitation, youth and families—to be a part of your team. We are looking at around seven members, but if you have more or less, it’s what works best for you.

MS. MOORE: Okay, because we’ve all sort of been in some kind of contact already, and I got the impression from looking at Robin’s notes that we were supposed to be in contact. Thanks for responding.

MS. CRANE: Not a problem, and you can always e-mail me if you have any more specific questions in terms of the Summit at kcrane@transcen.org.

END OF TELECONFERENCE

 

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