All Tuesday Tips

Graduation Guidance

Many of you have been asking about Indiana Diploma Decisions, the guide for teachers and families from the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center, originally published in 2015. Because of the extent of the changes to the Certificate of Completion, graduation pathways, and diploma options, the guide was in need of an update, so you won’t find it among our resources on the INSTRC website. We’ve taken it down while INSTRC and DOE staff work on a new model.

It may take us some time, so please be patient. In the meantime, we recognize that teachers and special education departments around the state need resources. Here’s a compilation of information from DOE that may help. Print and post!

We promise: You’ll be the first to know when Indiana Diploma Decisions is back online!

Graduation Pathways (includes link to High School Diploma resources):
Graduation Requirements/Flowchart 2019-2022 
Coffee Talk Video/Certification of Completion
FAQs Certificate of Completion 

New! 'Indiana Transition IEP Rubric'

More updates! Last week it was fact sheets from Indiana VR. This week, we want to give you a brand new shiny “Indiana Transition IEP Rubric.”

This new edition of the rubric will be your go-to guide as you create quality, compliant Transition IEPs for your students this year. It features examples of written statements that illustrate quality, compliance, or non-compliance for each part of the IEP. Screenshots show you where to find and enter new information in the Indiana IEP (IIEP). Resources at the end of the rubric include everything from a video on authentic assessments to a resource collection for writing quality IEPs.

You can find the new rubric on the INSTRC website as a resource. Just type “Transition IEP Rubric,” or just “Indiana Rubric” or even just “Rubric” in the INSTRC resource search bar.

Need a quick look at the requirements for a Transition IEP? Review the Indicator 13 Checklist, which provides you with the specific compliance questions used when reviewing Transition IEPs. You’ll find those same questions in the rubric along with supporting information, examples, and resources.

New! 'Working with Indiana VR' Fact Sheets

New programs, processes, and policy changes bring updates (something along the lines of “Change is the only constant”). Today, those updates come from Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
With VR’s order of selection and its implementation of Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) in schools around the state, the agency wanted to update teachers and administrators about VR applications, eligibility, and referrals for transitioning students.

As a result, VR worked with staff at both the Center on Community Living and Careers and our own Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center to update the “Working with Indiana Vocational Rehabilitation” fact sheet series:

Download and share! Print copies of the Students and Families fact sheet to use at family information nights or transition fairs, hand them out during case conferences, or send the link to students/families in transition.

All three “Working with VR” fact sheets are now available on the Indiana IEP (IIEP) system under the documents section. We’ve also uploaded them to the INSTRC website as resources. You can find them whenever you need them by typing “Indiana VR,” or “Working with Indiana VR,” or just “VR” in the INSTRC resource search bar. You’ll also find them on INSTRC in Resource Collections, under the “New Administrators” and “Professionals New to Transition” tabs.

Indiana's Cadres of Transition Leaders

It is hard to believe that the Indiana Cadres of Transition Leaders have been going strong for seven years! In 2011, Indiana formed seven regional cadres of leaders in the field of transition to build capacity across the state and address regional secondary transition needs. Cadre members meet regularly (typically once a month or every other month) to discuss, plan, learn, and provide supports. Many cadres work on products to support their regions and the state. Some examples of Cadre-driven work include the Transition Assessment Matrix; Case Conference Cue Card; parent information brochures; and videos to support teachers, students, and families.

Each year brings new ideas and new challenges that Cadre members work on through a team approach. Each Cadre has one or two facilitators, along with a support person from the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center team. Cadres are also supported by the Indiana Department of Education.

Interested in joining a Cadre? We hope you are! Not sure which Cadre your school district is in? You can find a map of Cadre boundaries and a listing of currently participating districts on the following website: 

Once you’ve located your Cadre, please email one of the facilitators below to learn more about meeting dates and activities. 

Registration is still open for September 2018 Regional Transition Trainings. Training kicks off in Carmel and continues in Indianapolis, Bloomington, Huntington, Hammond, and Jasper. Click on the link for more information and to reserve your seat!

The Transition IEP from Every Angle

The Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) joins forces next month with other member organizations that make up the Indiana Resource Network to offer you a twist on our annual Regional Transition IEP Trainings. This September, during “Collaborative Transition Planning: From Process to Practice” we will collectively present information and updates on:

  • The Aligned Transition Process
  • Transition Portfolio
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Specially Designed Instruction
  • Standards & Content Connectors
  • Aligning Measurable Annual Goals

See the 2018 Regional Trainings registration flyer for dates and locations.

Road trip!: We’ll be in six locations throughout the state next month—Carmel, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Huntington, Hammond, and Jasper. For those of you who can’t join us in person, we’ll also offer an abbreviated version of the training in an online webinar October 11.

Register now; seats are filling fast! Please limit your team’s attendance to no more than three people. See you soon!

Welcome Back and Regional Trainings

The Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) staff would like to welcome you back to another year of Tuesday’s Transition Tips. We are excited to have another year to work with all of you and support your transition efforts.

A couple of things as we gear up for the 2018-19 school year:

        • If you have a new colleague in your building, make sure that you let them know about Tuesday's Tips. To subscribe, email Lori Pierce at, explain that you’d like to be added to the TT mailing list, and give her your name and email.
        • This year’s Regional Transition IEP Trainings begin September 4 and take place throughout the month and in various locations around the state. Register soon! Seats are filling up.
        • In case you have not met all of our INSTRC staff, here we are:

      * Judith Gross: Director of the Center on Community Living and Careers
    • * Mary Held: Project Coordinator
    • * Mike Nevins: Research Associate
    • * Wendy Ritz: Research Associate
    • * Joni Schmalzried: Project Coordinator

  • We are all here to help you in any way we can. If you have an INSTRC request, please email Joni at 
  • Keep your eyes out for some favorite resource updates. 
  • The Transition IEP Rubric is in the final stages of revision and will be ready for your use soon.
  • Transition Services & Activities Manual is also in the revision stage and should be ready by October.
  • and there will be more!


    Have a wonderful 2018-19 school year!

Happy Summer Vacation

Tuesday’s Transition Tips is floating in a relaxing pool, with a tall lemonade, a page-turning novel, and lots of time to kill. Okay, maybe not. But you definitely should!

While you’re taking your well-deserved summer vacay, we’ll get to work on some new resources and updated materials. Vocational Rehabilitation is helping us with some new information fact sheets, we have several Transition IEP trainings we’re hoping to overhaul, and we want to redo our diploma decision guides.

Meanwhile, we’ve archived presentations from this year’s Cadre Leaders’ Capacity Building Institute, “Digging Deeper” on the training page of the INSTRC website. Find information on mental health, transition in rural and urban areas, Pre-ETS, and more. The INSTRC training page is at  

Tips will begin again in September, but until then and as always, find the help you need on the Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center (INSTRC) website, and look through previous tips by clicking the "View all tips" button, below.

Rest, relax, have fun, and we’ll expect a full “What I Did on my Summer Vacation” report in the fall!

Indiana Transition Resources

As we wind down the school year, we know you are already thinking about 2018-19. Don’t forget to access the many available resources offered across the state to support the professionals who, in turn, support our transition-aged students.

  •  This site is the IDOE’s Certificate of Completion Resource site.  Please remember that the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are updated on a regular basis.  Have a question?  Check there first to see if it has already been addressed. It is a wonderful living document.
  •  Project Success continues to provide resources on their website that address Content Connectors and high expectations for students with disabilities. They have several summer trainings that would be well worth your time.
  •  The Indiana IEP Resource Center has resources to support teachers not only with the IIEP System, but with professional learning in the areas of goal writing, LRE, and more.
  • Last but not least…keep your eyes out for some great fall resources from those of us here at Indiana Secondary Transition Resource Center:  Look for more information on upcoming supports from INSTRC in next week’s TT.

 Have an Authentic Assessment you would like to share? If so, please submit it with this form to Joni Schmalzried at You will not only receive recognition for your work, but will be providing support for your colleagues around the state. 

Innovative Self-Advocacy Through Deafverse

The National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes has a new online, interactive game to help students develop self-advocacy skills. In “Deafverse,” students who are deaf or hard of hearing can test out their responses to a variety of situations, conflicts, and challenges in “parallel universe” environments. In “Duel of the Bots,” for example, they’ll problem solve and make decisions about situations involving missing interpreters, broken CapTel devices, and bullies. The game is available in both English and ASL.

Find out more information, watch the trailer, and play Deafverse here:  

Capturing Big Picture Transition Services and Activities for Individual Students

A number of events and programs occurring in our schools can be good transition activities for your students. The key to capitalizing on these larger, group activities for a particular student is to understand 1) the individual needs of that student and 2) how the activity can help the student move toward his/her goal. If you’re finding it challenging, documenting and describing these large, group events as individual activities, this tip is for you.  

This short presentation we’ve recorded on YouTube walks you through the best practice process of moving from thinking about the “big picture” event to focusing on what each student needs and will gain from participating in a larger scale opportunity. Take a look and see how it might apply to your students or your school.

DON’T FORGET: When you are writing a transition service and activity, think about whether or not there will be an outcome that you can capture and use as part of next year’s age-appropriate transition assessment. That’s what brings the authentic experience full circle for students and helps them continue to make informed decisions about their future.