‘Picturing Your Future When the Internet Is Out’ by Jim Kreatschman at DOL

It was late August 2020 and I was still hopeful that things would turn around and students would be back in school. I received a call from Robert Whipple, a teacher in Hooper Bay.  He was looking for secondary transition resources for his students in special education.

Public school students who receive special education services have a ‘Transition Plan’ as part of their Individualized Education Program (IEP). The transition plan outlines goals unique to each student’s interests and strengths to ensure a smooth transition from school to college and/or training, work and community living.

Hooper Bay Village

Robert explained how his students had little to no access to the internet away from the school building.  He was only able to work with each student for 30 minutes a week on the phone and needed activities to help them focus on their own transition from school to adult life.

I sent Robert a bunch of resources but I didn’t hold out much hope of anything really being useful.  It would take him hours and hours to comb through all those resources just to find a few good nuggets to use and almost all of them required you to “click a link”.

I kept thinking about Robert and his students.  How could we address this gap?  Through generous funding from the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority the Picture Your Future: Exploring Your Transition Goals Student Workbook was completed in January 2021.

For students: Picture Your Future: Exploring Your Transition Goals was designed for Alaskan students, urban and rural, to help them start to imagine what their future could be. Through engaging activities, inventories and learning stories students have the opportunity to discover their own unique strengths and interests and how they can use that knowledge to make decisions for their life after high school.

For teachers: Picture Your Future: Exploring Your Transition Goals student workbook was designed to help teachers gather the information they need from their students for good transition planning. The companion Teacher’s Resource Guide provides them with additional resources to assist them in developing IEP objectives and classroom activities.

The student workbook is designed to be printed, in sections or as a whole, for a student to work through. Depending on a teacher’s specific situation and the level of their students, the workbook can be facilitated in a group setting, one-on-one, or even over the phone.

Check out the Student Workbook and Teachers Guide HERE