Parent Introduction 9 - 12
Parents have the most influence on their child’s development and successful transition to becoming an independent adult.  You can continue to do many things now to help your child continue on his or her path to independence.  The school gives your child the tools of reading, writing and mathematics, but most of their experiences are gained at home.  You are the expert when it comes to your child.  You, your child and the school need to work as partners to ensure a successful Individualized Education Program.

Your child’s most important job is to be a student. Reading, writing, science, social studies and math are very important. Your child will learn good work habits by helping out at home, at school, in your community, in your church, or by volunteering at local businesses and nonprofit organizations. Any kind of work that your child does will help him/her learn how to relate to adults and peers in work situations.

Grades 9 - 12 have the most intense academic and vocational focus.  How students perform directly impacts their future.  Your children need your help to do the best they can do to ensure they have the most options available.  Upon graduation from high school, your child may continue in an academic program at a two or four-year college.  They may choose to attend TRACE ( ) or go to a trade or technical program, ROP or directly enter the workforce.  Many students feel they want to take a break after high school.  It will sever the continuity of their academic and work history.

As your child matures, you are still a major factor in their lives.  They need your guidance and support to help them make the right choices.  Friends, peers and the media are extremely important at this age.  You need to get to know your child’s friends and do your best to keep communication open.  You are the parent and need to set realistic limits and expectations.  Encourage your child to take more responsibility and become independent.  They will make mistakes but be there for support and allow them to learn from their mistakes.

Many students feel that they become independent on their 18th birthday.  Legally, this is true.  However, if they are living in your house and you support them you need to be involved in setting up rules, responsibilities and in setting limits.

You need to consider whether your child is able to meet the requirements necessary to earn a high school diploma.  Students unable to meet all of the high school diploma requirements may earn a letter of recognition.  All students who earn either high school diploma or a letter of recognition can participate in all high school activities including the high school graduation ceremony.

By law, your child has the right as a special education student to continue going to public schools until the year of his/her 22nd birthday.  The 4-year plan developed in 8th grade may take more than 4 years to complete.

Your child needs to begin collecting the best samples of his or her work and pertinent information in a portfolio.  A portfolio can be as simple as a file folder to keep important information. It could be a collection of videotapes, DVDs, CD ROMs, pictures of your child working, forms your child has filled out, awards and samples of your child’s best work each year. These should be saved in a portfolio. This portfolio can be passed on from teacher to teacher, or kept at home.  Additionally, it is a good idea for your child to select the very best work samples from his or her portfolio and bring them to a job interview.  This might assist in making your child more confident, and give them something that they feel comfortable to talk about at an interview.

Click on the link below to learn more about how you can help your child get started on a portfolio.

Students: Grades 9 – 12 Table of Contents

Every year your child should take more responsibility for himself or herself.  This would include assuming more family, neighborhood and community responsibilities.  You will see many changes as your child gets ready to graduate from high school.  Many students are apprehensive about graduation and parents can assist with this transition.

Related California Content Standards 9 - 12

Related California Content Standards

There are four major sections of the parent’s portion of the website.  These sections will help bridge what is being done at school with what you are doing at home for your child’s successful transition to independence.

Explanation of the ITP
An explanation of the Individual Transition Plan required by law for all special education students beginning at age 16.

Sequential Transition Skills Introduction
A chart with a range of activities done at school to assist your child with life after high school

Family Activities to Support Transition
Lists of suggested activities you could do at home to assist with the nine categories of the Individual Transition Plan (ITP).
Transition Resources