Essential actions to keep students on track for successful transitions.
Do When Schools are Open and Operating
Ensuring the Class of 2021 is on track to graduate is an important priority. Districts should review the status of each senior as soon as possible to determine progress towards meeting district graduation requirements. Successful transitions programs along with intentional planning for the Class of 2021 will ensure students achieve their postsecondary goals.
Each high school student shall complete a minimum of 200 high school credit hours prior to graduation, and at least 80 percent shall be from the core curriculum prescribed by the State Board of Education (Nebraska Revised Statute 79-729). The requirements, as outlined in Rule 10: Regulations and Procedures for the Accreditation of Schools, include, but are not limited to the following:
- English Language Arts – 40 credit hours,
- Mathematics – 30 credit hours,
- Science – 30 credit hours, and,
- Social Studies – 30 credit hours.
A school district may have graduation requirements that exceed the minimum requirements outlined in Rule 10, but these additional credits are at the discretion of local school boards and can be modified by the local school board.
Considerations for Students with Disabilities
Graduating with a regular high school diploma or reaching the maximum age of eligibility both result in termination of a student’s eligibility for Special Education (IDEA) services. Procedurally, the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team must meet to review the student’s status and issue the appropriate coding for the student, specifically 210 or 211 as described in the ADVISER Data Elements Manual, a reasonable time before the student’s eligibility is terminated. These meetings may be held via the telephone or through a virtual platform (e.g. Zoom, Google, etc.) and should include the student (if possible).
The school district must also provide the student with a summary of performance prior to graduation or ending services because of age. Some IEP teams may have already provided a Notice of Graduation or Notice of Ending Services Due to Age to certain students. As this is an issue of IDEA eligibility, the Nebraska Department of Education recommends that school districts make every effort to complete these steps in a timely manner. For questions related to these requirements, contact Amy Rhone (email@example.com).
Quality transitions programs offer focused support to mitigate transition challenges through high school graduation and into placement to postsecondary. This includes preparing students to search for emerging opportunities, explore non-traditional postsecondary options, and understand current labor market expectations. Focusing on career readiness skills and how be flexible in these new environments while navigating college and career goals will always be beneficial. Though time may be limited now, be mindful of these goals and resources for improved transitions programming in your school district in the future. Career & Technical Education (CTE) specifically prepares students for career transitions. The following resources are offered to help support local districts in implementing high quality CTE and transition programming:
- Nebraska CTE programs of study and Career & Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs): https://www.education.ne.gov/nce/
- Nebraska Career Development Toolkit – provides resources to promote career readiness standards, effective career decisions, and positive transitions planning: https://www.education.ne.gov/nce/careerdevelopment/
- Workplace Learning Experiences for Nebraska – helps students identify and create career opportunities for themselves in current labor market uncertainty and provides resources for those creating or implementing a program locally: https://www.education.ne.gov/workplace-experiences/