NEW YORK, Nov. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Rethink, an educational technology company focused on making evidence-based practice a standard in every special education classroom across the country, is proud to announce the launch of its new Transition Curriculum. The Transition Curriculum is aimed at giving districts and teachers the resources they need to help students with special needs transition from high school into adulthood. The launch of the Transition Curriculum, which now stands alongside Rethink's award winning Abilities and Inclusion Curriculum, marks Rethink's coming of age as a fully comprehensive k-12 solution for special education programs across the country.
While graduation rates for students with disabilities have steadily improved over the years, evidence has revealed that students with disabilities are much more likely to be underemployed and underprepared for life outside of high school than their general education peers. When the nation's special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), was updated in 2004, changes were made to the existing transition requirements to address this discrepancy, including new mandates requiring districts to provide more intensive supports for the increasing number of students with disabilities who were graduating from high school. One of these mandates was that by the age of 16, transition planning must be a part of every student's IEP. In some state's transition planning is mandated to begin at the age of 14.
Given that transition planning is now a requirement for every school district in the country, the Rethink Transition Curriculum is fulfilling a crucial need. Using the new curriculum alongside Rethink's data collection system to teach and track progress on transition goals, teachers are better prepared to meet these mandates and more importantly, to prepare their students with the important life skills they will need to be successfully employed and to live independently after they graduate.
"There is a huge void in terms of programming tools for high school students with disabilities. Yet high school is such a critical time for our school system to prepare them for the 'real world.' Rethink Transition offers teachers an assessment and curriculum focused on community-based skills to set their older learners up for future success!" said Jamie Pagliaro, Rethink's Chief Learning Officer.
The Transition Curriculum was developed by a team of leading experts in the field of special education, including the renowned special educator and expert in transition planning, Dr. Peter Gerhardt, and was reviewed by Rethink's Scientific Board. The curriculum is divided into five domains: community, home, social, leisure, and employment, each with its own library of lessons. Each lesson in the curriculum fully integrates with Rethink's data collection and progress reporting tools, allowing teachers to track and monitor progress, and includes customizable goals and objectives that can be aligned with a student's IEP, various teaching strategies, printable materials, and a step-by-step guide for teaching the lessons.
To accompany the launch of this new curriculum, Rethink will also be hosting a special webinar on Wednesday, November 19th at 12 and 6pm EST on best practices for successful transition planning. This webinar is free and open to the public. Find out more and register for the webinar here.
Rethink (www.rethinkfirst.com) is an award-winning program model for supporting students with disabilities in classroom settings. The integrated and dynamic online solution, developed by nationally recognized experts in the field, features a comprehensive video-based curriculum, a sophisticated behavior intervention planning tool, job-embedded professional development for teachers and paraprofessional staff, individualized assessments, and online skills-based activities for students tied to the curriculum. Automatically generated data-based reports that track everything from staff utilization to student progress tie everything together, allowing school and district leaders to use Rethink to evaluate program effectiveness and student outcomes.
Strategic Communications Manager