Transition Time Connecting the Virginia Transition Outcomes Project to Effective IEP Development

by Debbie Grosser, M.Ed., Kristin Holst, M.Ed., and Dale Pennell, C.A.S.

Local education agencies (LEAs) throughout Virginia have been participating since 2003 in the Virginia Transition Outcomes Project (VTOP), the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Priority Project to improve post-school outcomes for students with disabilities.

The VTOP initiative calls upon LEAs to:

  • Select a team of professionals who are trained to conduct an initial file review of Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students of transition age,

  • Analyze data from the IEP file review to discern elements of transition planning that need to improve,

  • Set goals for improving transition IEP development in a manner that meets the requirements of IDEA 2004,

  • Design and implement a corresponding action plan, and

  • Conduct a post-implementation file review to assess effectiveness of the action plan.

The first three VTOP cohorts have completed post-implementation file reviews, and five LEAs in Superintendents' Regions 2 and 3 are celebrating significant improvements in their transition planning efforts. File review elements that address transition content of the IEP are summarized in the left column below. Corresponding data in the right column reflect the most significant improvement from pre- to post-implementation among the three cohort LEAs.

Transition Content of the IEP
Percentage Point Increase From Pre- to Post-Implementation

The IEP reflects the student's interests/preferences


The Present Level of Performance summarizes current transition assessment data


The IEP includes courses of study that increase the likelihood of the student achieving his or her vision for adult life


The IEP includes transition service activities


The transition services represent a coordinated set of activities


The transition activities promote movement from school toward the student's desired post-school goals


If appropriate, the IEP includes a statement of interagency responsibilities or any needed linkages


Six of these seven LEAs have now written "second-generation" action plans that reflect a continuing desire to improve post-school outcomes for students and meet the new transition requirements of IDEA 2004. We congratulate these VTOP participants for their success!

If you would like to participate in the VTOP initiative, please contact:

Region 2: Dale Pennell ([[dppenn]])

Region 3: Debbie Grosser ([[dagro2]])

Date: May/June 2007