Achievement House BLOG

Each year, hundreds of Pennsylvania special needs families, educators administrators and supporters gather at the PA Community on Transition Conference to share different ways students can prepare for life after high school. The conference helps promote a successful transition for youth/young adults with disabilities to post-school outcomes of employment, post-secondary education and training.

This year for the first time in the history of the conference, two Achievement House educators are presenting in a breakout session on how cyber education is breaking the mold and doing more than ever to help IEP students reach their goals of post-secondary education, training or employment.

The breakout session is entitled Awakening the Transition Journey in Cyber SchoolsAchievement House learning support professionals Angela Bruecks and Sherri Markiw will be joined by Lisa Krystofolski of PA Virtual Charter School and Brooke Bartman of PA Leadership Charter School. Their session will discuss how their schools are providing transition services to their students, services they would not traditionally receive in a brick and mortar classroom.

In the state of Pennsylvania, students with special needs receive an (IEP) Individualized Education Plan. At the age of 14, their IEP should reflect their post-secondary aspirations. At Achievement House if a student is over the age of 14, it is highly recommended that they actively participate in their IEP meetings with their parents and the school.

Achievement House empowers students with disabilities to find their strengths while recognizing their weakness to determine the best possible college and career options for their future.

By teaching self advocacy and self-determination, these educators are proving that there is a future for these students after high school. They work with students to find careers that interest them and matches with their ability level.

Additionally, the curriculum of AHCCS is built so that students are offered opportunities in computer science and the ability to attain certifications in the tech field on top of their traditional diploma.

“If a young adult with special needs can advocate for themselves in a job interview, they can explain to a prospective employer what their disability is and explain what tools they would need to contribute in the workplace and why they need these to be successful,” said Sherri. “We want to set the bar higher for these students and prevent them from being discouraged because of their disabilities.”

“It is easy for a family of a student with special needs to feel trapped in a traditional brick and mortar school, and they may not be aware that there are other options out there for them to help their child succeed,” said Angela. “Our goal is to raise awareness about how successful cyber education can be in serving these students in the K-12, setting and preparing them for the next stage in their life.”

The conference, which runs from July 20-22, is held annually at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College. Hosted by the Bureau of Special Education’s Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network, this particular breakout session will take place from 2:30 – 4 pm on Wednesday July 20. The hour and a half long session will highlight the unique programs in place at each of these cyber schools.

Are you the parent of a student with special needs in grades 7-12 who feels underserved at their current school? Click here for information on enrolling your child in Achievement House today!