- Program Purpose
- Staff & Important Numbers
- Communication & Interpretation
- Absences & Leaving Campus
- Pick Up/Drop Off Procedures
- Special Transportation Information
- School Meals
- Cell Phone Guidelines
- Emergency E-Learning Days
- Registration, Activity Fees & Obligations
- Kiwanis Aktion Club
- Kiwanis Aktion Angels of Joliet
- Health Information
- Media Permissions
- Extended School Year – ESY
- IEP Meetings – Staffings (Reevaluations, Record of Conference, Annual Reviews)
- Summary of Performance (SOP)
- Aging Out
- Community Trips/Field Trips
- PACE Transportation Training
- Transition Center Clubs
- Community Fitness
- Vocational Site Information
- Work Coordinator
- JT Special Olympics
- Get involved in after school activities!
- SIP Days
The Transition Center serves students with disabilities ages 18 through 22. The program is designed to bridge the gap between high school and adult life. The focus is placed on self-advocacy and developing independence in areas of education/training, employment and community living.
The transition program is for students who have completed graduation requirements and need intense transitional supports to develop vocational, community, and independent living skills. Participation in the program is an IEP team decision and each students’ program is designed to meet their individual needs as identified by the team. The primary focus of the program is to provide vocational and independent living instruction along with hands-on opportunities in the classroom, in the community and at vocational sites.
The Transition Center provides education and training in the following areas:
Daily Living Skills including self-advocacy/self-care, money management, adult/home living, life skills cooking/menu planning/grocery shopping, and computers
Social & Community Living including social skills, community connections, transportation training, current events, and Aktion Club - a branch of Kiwanis
Vocational Services including vocational skills, Project Discovery curriculum, USF Work Enclave, JJC Food Service Partnership, and many other sites
Recreation/Leisure including home fitness, community leisure/fitness, fitness center, and Special Olympics of Illinois team participation
Each student has his/her own plan and schedule to best meet their individual needs. These plans may include internal job development opportunities, paid job sites, the Joliet Junior College Vocational Food Service Program, the USF Career Cluster Program, and a variety of community experiences that prepare them for the adult world.
Independent living skills development are hands on, and students are responsible for: grocery shopping, budgeting for shopping, making their own lunches, cleaning, and personal care. In addition, students will gain a better understanding of time management, access to community resources, and public transportation.
Students learn how to become their own self-advocates during their time at the Transition Center. Students are an integral part of their IEP meetings and evaluating their goals at the Transition Center. As a part of their transition programming, students learn to identify their strengths, interests, skills, and areas of improvement and present to their team during the annual review process.
|Jessica Wilkinson- Adminfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Maria Georgantas –Transition Coor.||email@example.com|
|Elise Piagentini – Speechfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Elizabeth Walder - Speechemail@example.com|
|April Gabel - Speechfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Katie Hynes – Social Workeremail@example.com|
Cicly Martin – Admin Assistant
We make every effort to provide our written communication in English and Spanish. If your need an interpreter for your communication with your student’s teacher, administrator or the office, please call Bilingual Family Engagement Liaisons. Alicia Rojas, 815-727-6774, firstname.lastname@example.org. Maria Castaneda, 815-727-6764, email@example.com. If neither are available and you need immediate assistance bilingual staff are available in the Central main office at 815-727-6750. This bilingual staff will work with the AVAC program and Transition Center to get your information relayed and questions answered.
Remind is a district-approved text messaging communication tool that teachers, coaches, staff and administrators may use to communicate with you and your student. With Remind, you and your student’s personal information is private, and phone numbers are not visible when using this text messaging tool.
If you're not already familiar with Remind, it is a communication tool that makes it easy to stay involved with your student’s learning. Remind is free for families to use, and you'll be able to get and send messages on any device if a teacher or coach chooses to use the Remind platform. You will receive an email or text message from Remind to join classes.
District Text Messages of High Importance
JTHS will continue to use the School Messenger System to communicate District text messages of high importance, such as school closures or emergency communication. If you have not already done so, please opt in to receive district text messages by texting “Y” to 67587.
Joliet Township Transition Center group is a CLOSED group. Only for current and former students and families of JTTC, colleagues, and community partners of JT Transition Center. It is a great avenue for us to post announcements about upcoming events, highlight good news, and most of all share pictures in a save way. Any member of the group is invited to share on the group page, INCLUDING PARENTS AND STUDENTS, but all posts and pictures must be approved by the group administrator. This feature ensures that only appropriate info and pictures are posted to our group. If you have questions or need help finding our group, please email Mrs. Jorgensen at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 815-724-1774.
You are 18. Who is your guardian?
The Transition Center staff always want to ensure your safety. Although you are 18 and an adult, your parents and guardians still have responsibility for you. When you leave the Transition Center for any reason that is NOT with your class or for work, your identified parent or guardian will be contacted.
If a student will be absent for a partial or full day, the student or guardian must call in to the Transition Center, 815-724-1771 with the reason for absence. If leaving a message, please leave the student name, teacher, date and reason for absence.
Special Transportation is discussed at your student’s IEP meeting. Door to Door busing is provided to and from school each day. There must be someone in the home to receive the student or they will not be dropped off. If your student can be dropped off at home to an empty house, there must be a letter on file with transportation. The main JT Transportation number is 815-727-6873.
Proof of residency must be completed each year at JTHS. If you move during the school year, you are required to provide three proofs of residency to the Central Main Office. Three days will be required to change bus routing when your address has changed. If residency is not provided in a reasonable amount of time, transportation can be terminated until it is provided.
Students can purchase school meals from Joliet Central. Eligibility and free/reduced lunch information will be mailed to your home and available on the Joliet Central website. JTHS has implemented a cashless system in the cafeteria. Students cannot use case to purchase any item. All students have an online account using www.myschoolbucks.com. Students and parents/guardians can make deposits online or through the textbook cashier in the Galleria at Joliet Central. It takes 24 hours for the deposit to be processed, so the funds will not be available until the day after the deposit.
Individual Student Lunch
Students who work during the lunch period are offered the opportunity to fix a lunch to eat outside of the designated lunch period. The Transition Center program provides a food selection to students for these lunches.
At least once each week students will plan and prepare a group lunch for students at the Transition Center. These lunches are prepared and offered to the students at no cost. Participation in planning and preparing these lunches can vary from week to week based on student participation in vocational training obligations and paid employment.
Free or Reduced Lunch/Online Meal application, Fee Waiver
Information concerning Free and Reduced meals, District 204 Waivers and Direct Certification will be mailed mid July. The Free and Reduced meal forms and the District 204 Waiver form will be available ONLINE.
To access the form, go to www.jths.org choose DEPARTMENTS in the top row and choose FOOD SERVICES. Scroll down to the Menus and Forms and click on "Free and Reduced Meal Application".
If you have other questions concerning the free or reduced lunch applications and District waiver, please call 815-727-5414.
This year the school is implementing E-Learning Days. The purpose of an Emergency E-Learning Day is to provide a continuum of learning for all students. E-Learning days will only be used in the event of an emergency. At this time, it is still being determined how Transition Center students will be participating in E-Learning Days.
Registration – Activity Fee
All students at the Transition Center will be charged a $25.00 Activity fee annually. In addition, JT charges an Instruction & Materials Fee for all programs annually. this fee is $160.
If you believe that your student may be eligible for free or reduced lunch, or a fee waiver, you MUST fill out this application every year.
The online meal and fee waiver application portal is now open. Families that are not directly certified for free meals/fee waiver through an eligible program (SNAP, TANF, Medicaid, Foster Child, Migrant) can complete the online application to see if their child qualifies for free/reduced meals and the student fee waiver. Students must qualify each school year for free/reduced meals and the fee waiver. Submit your online application HERE.
More info on School Fee Payment System – MySchoolBucks
Outstanding Obligations – NO Diploma
This is a reminder that if a student has outstanding obligations from their time at JTHS, they will NOT receive their diploma when they exit the program. At any point when the graduation requirements are met, and obligations are paid in full their diploma will be issued.
What is Aktion Club?
Aktion Club is a Service Leadership Program of Kiwanis International, a global organization of volunteers. Local Kiwanis clubs sponsor Aktion Clubs. Kiwanis members recognize that individuals with disabilities want to take an active role in solving problems and meeting needs of the world around them.
Aktion Club provides an opportunity to build leadership and decision-making skills, as well as hold leadership roles in the club. Members experience meaningful community-service activities. They learn by doing. They learn organization, teamwork and leadership. But the most important lesson they learn is that individuals working together can, and do, make a difference to the world around them.
Aktion Club is the only community-service club for adults with disabilities with more than 12,000 members worldwide. Aktion Club is a student run organization lead by student officers. Meetings are held on Thursday SIP days. During this time, we participate in team-building activities, plan service projects, and determine fundraisers to help fund those projects.
T-Shirt Order Form
This group is for students who are aging out of the Transition Center Aktion Club, past graduates of the AVAC Program, or any adult in the area with Special Needs.
What is Aktion Club?
Membership is open to ANY adult living with a disability, regardless of age, that desires to become a leader in his/her community and wishes to provide service to others. Aktion Angels Club is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Joliet.
When & Where:
1st and 3rd Wednesday of the Month
Crossroads Christian Church
2312 Essington Road, Joliet
10:30 a.m. to Noon
Sponsor Mrs. Terry Kunze
Phone- (815) 483-9211
RSVP if possible
*Announcements are also posted on the Joliet Township Transition Center Facebook page.
We request that the Transition Center have a current list of medications that the student is taking in their medical file for emergency purposes.
Any updated medical information, seizure plans, therapy scripts, outside agencies, should be sent to the Transition Center, Cicly Martin or Lynda Shanks. This information will be updated in our student management system.
As part of the Joliet Township High School community relations and recognition programs, the District periodically releases information to the public about our students, their classwork, and/or accomplishments. To highlight student success, your child’s name, picture, video, classwork, and/or information pertaining to their accomplishment may appear in various District and non-District publications, which includes but is not limited to, newspapers, web pages, social media, print and electronic communication.
Any media permission approved by the school will be positive, focusing primarily on student successes. If you DO NOT wish to have your child’s information shared or spotlighted in any of the local, school, or District and/or non-District media coverage, please complete the Refusal of Permission for Media Participation Form HERE.
If there are any extenuating circumstances you feel the school should be made aware of, please contact the school principal to further discuss your concerns.
Extended School Year is a recommendation made at your IEP meeting. The AVAC ESY Program traditionally runs 6 weeks starting up to one week after the last day of school through the third week of July. There is a break the week of the 4th of July. AVAC HS students attend at Central Campus and our AVAC graduates at the Transition Center. Each session week will be Monday through Thursday from 8 am – 1 pm. There will NOT be ESY on Fridays! Students receive a free breakfast and lunch. Transportation is provided. The students participate in a variety of community outings and experience fun lessons in nutrition, science, social studies and more. Specific dates and program information for this year will be available in the spring.
Each student at the Transition Center will have an annual review. In addition, every three years a reevaluation is required. Students and parents are invited to participate in all IEP meetings. Every attempt will be made to accommodate schedules when requested. Bilingual Interpreters are available for IEP meetings. If needed, our Transition Center can conduct phone conferences. Andrea Fotopoulos is the IEP Manager for Transition Center.
Every student with an IEP is required to have a Summary of Performance upon their exit of special education services in the public schools. This information is gathered with the student prior to them aging which is the completion of the school year that they turn 22. This information is kept in their student file and sent home. This information will be important for adult services.
A student may complete the school year which they turn 22. At this point students leave the public-school sector and can utilize eligible adult services resources. The Transition Center staff and students have traditionally planned a special event or day for students on their last day of attendance.
Students will apply skills taught in the classroom during community-based experiences. This experience provides students with hands-on, interactive lessons on how to use public bus transportation including PACE and Paratransit. Students will learn about and apply crucial transportation skills, such as looking up directions and using technology. In addition, students will gain a solid understanding of transportation safety, and social etiquette.
These opportunities are designed to allow students to participate in a variety of community activities. Experiences within the community will allow students to explore a variety of places such as park district facilities and recreational facilities Students will develop a self-awareness and understanding of various locations and their importance in the community. Students will be provided the opportunity to work out at the state-of-the-art Joliet Park District Inwood Athletic Club. Students will be taught how to use the exercise machines safely, in addition creating a workout regime to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Vocational Site Paperwork Requirements
Transition Center students will have the opportunity to participate in vocational training sites throughout the year. Some of our training and volunteer sites require specialized paperwork. If your student is participating in one of those sites all site requirements must be met prior to your student starting. Some sites require personal or health information, immunizations and copies of social security cards. These will be handled with the utmost security and confidentiality and only used for the purpose requested.
Work Sites/Vocational Sites
We have many work and vocational training sites at the Transition Center that we partner with in the Joliet and surrounding communities. It is our goal to have the students participate in a variety of sites with a variety of skills explored to determine vocations in which your student will see success. Your student will be interviewed as a part of their transition plan and their educational program to determine interest levels for vocational opportunities.
Per the recommendation of an IEP team, students may participate in vocational training opportunities within the district which includes Project Discovery Curriculum, JJC Vocational Food Service Partnership, and USF Work Enclave. Through these experiences, students will learn employability skills, specific occupation training, career exploration, and job shadowing samples to prepare for future employment to enhance student’s independent living within their community. Students will have hands on opportunities to learn and practice the skills necessary for a variety of specific jobs as well as explore a variety of career areas such as Auto Detailing, Child Care, and Carpentry. Students will be trained to work with job coaches in various positions and will be evaluated on a regular basis. Vocational training is an opportunity for students to gain workplace experience; it is NOT a paid employment.
The Role of the Job Coach on Vocational Sites
Job Coaches assist students on their training or work sites. They are the students first stop for help with schedules, problems on the job, transportation questions or requesting time off work. Our job coaches work to build strong relationships with community partners and are actively involved in the pursuit of new work opportunities. Job Coaches model, modify and adapt lessons to meet the needs of all students. They meet with students individually and review strengths and weakness on a monthly basis. They collect data on performance on the site to assist in future planning or training needs for students.
Requesting Time Off Work
For Field Trips or Vacation
Students are required to fill out a request for Personal Holiday form at least 2 weeks in advance when possible. This form must be signed by the student and parent before turning in for review. Forms are available at the Transition Center. They can be turned in at the Transition Center in the folder or to the student’s job coach.
Students are required to call their work supervisor or manager to let them know they will not be reporting to their shift. They should also contact, Mrs. Cottrell or their job coach to let them know the circumstances.
Corrective Action Agreement
Students who have excessive absences, discipline on the worksite, or other significant incidents at school may be placed on corrective action. Corrective action is a natural consequence which may include the exclusion from field trips and special events, community outings, community/food purchases for a designated amount of time. Parents are informed of corrective action. Students, job coaches, work coordinator and case managers can all be involved in the corrective action process.
Jennifer Flynn is the Work Coordinator for the Transition Center. She has very complex responsibilities that include management and organization of all our vocational sites. This includes our shadowing, training and competitive work sites. Mrs. Flynn works with scheduling our paras to provide job coaching supports at our sites. In addition, she works with site managers to ensure our students are ready for their experience, problem solving issues that may occur, and assisting students in gaining skills at the site. She collects inventory information about student readiness for working and interest areas. Mrs. Flynn works with students to find jobs and complete the application, interview, and on-boarding process. If needed, job coaching for competitive employment to get familiar with the job is provided. Students are monitored on their jobs to ensure success. All students who are interested in competitive employment work with Mrs. Flynn.
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Through the power of sports, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success. Our athletes find joy, confidence and fulfillment -- on the playing field and in life. They also inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential. The transformative power of sports to instill confidence, improve health and inspire a sense of competition is at the core of what Special Olympics does. In Special Olympics, the power and joy of sport, shifts focus to what our athletes CAN do, not what they can't. Attention to disabilities fades away. Instead, we see our athletes' talents and abilities -- and applaud them for all that they can do.
In order to be eligible for participation in Special Olympics, every athlete must have a valid Application for Participation (App) on file with the Area or State office. This App is valid for 2 years from the date of the examination date regardless of the parent/guardian/entrant signature date. The Medical Clearance section must be completed, signed, and dated by a medical practitioner licensed to administer physicals by the state in which he or she practices. Faxed signatures of the physician/medical practitioner will not be accepted by Special Olympics Illinois.
JTSO currently is offering SO sports opportunities in the following sports:
Bowling (not officially Special Olympics sanctioned)
Basketball (Blue team won the SO State Championship Gold in 2018 and 2019)
Buddies Unite - Come join us! It is time…to make new friends, have some fun, and explore new activities! We had an incredible year last year with Buddies Unite. We had over 70 participants at each of our 4 events, for the upcoming year. We would like to grow stronger each event, so please join us! Our goal is to create friendships with no boundaries based on disabilities or campus! Our students with Autism, intellectual and developmental disabilities want to share experiences with you! Learning together to make our Joliet Township High Schools united through buddy friendships! Please watch for more information during the school year. Information is sent out before each event!
STEAM Club - We are excited to share that in our partnership with Dr. Coleman and her After the Peanut organization, we will be offering an after school STEM Club for 8 weeks designed for our AVAC and Transition students. The club will meet for 60-90 minutes after school at our Transition Center. This club REQUIRES parent/guardian pick up at 4:30. We allow a maximum of 10 students from AVAC and 10 students from Transition to join so that students get the most out of this hands-on experience. We will fill all 20 slots. Please watch for more information during the school year about when STEAM will be meeting. Contact Ms. Jessica Wilkinson, email@example.com with any questions.