Two years ago, SHS life skills teacher Josh Nordell and Becky Stoughton, special education director, wanted to start a transition program to better prepare the school’s special needs students for life after graduation. The pair met with HDESD Transition Network facilitator Margie Blackmore and the trio put their heads together to help make the dream a reality.

Charting a PATH

The three decided to use the PATH planning process to help chart their course. PATH is a creative planning tool that uses graphic drawing to map out steps from a future goal backwards to small, positive steps that can be taken in the present in order to reach that goal.

PATH helped the team map out realistic and do-able steps to launch the Sisters’ Transition Program. The three then formed the Sisters transition cohort adding autism consultant Treasure Lewis, speech pathologist Jen Trout, and Youth Transition Program specialist Dan Saraceno to the mix. The group met monthly to make the vision a reality.

The SHS Transition Program began last September and serves 10 to 12 kids. The team was so successful they were asked to present at the OAVSNP conference this year.

Any school in the HDESD service area that is interested in starting a transition program can contact Margie Blackmore, Transition Network facilitator for assistance at