ABOUT THE WINCHESTER HIGH SCHOOL TRANSITION PROGRAM
WHS TRANSITION PROGRAM
Each year more and more students suffer from emotional or medical illnesses and consequently an increasing number of students are re-entering Massachusetts schools after hospitalization and/or treatment. For students who have experienced prolonged absence or hospitalization, school re-entry can seem like a daunting task. In order to provide a supportive and smooth transition into the school setting, close collaboration among designated school personnel, family, and the treatment providers are essential. The transition program at WHS offers collaborative short-term services that help students and their family in the process of re-entry and reintegration into Winchester High School.
ROLES / RESPONSIBILITIES
The initial person who is contacted about the absence will provide relevant information to the Transition Coordinator who will then disseminate the information to the students Administrator, Guidance Counselor, Clinical Counselor, School Psychologist, School Nurse, and/or Administrative Secretarial Staff who are directly involved with the students care. This absence will be confidentially tracked in our system.
The Transition Coordinator will contact the parent or Guardian to attain all available information on placement status and discuss anticipated date of return. This will also provide an opportunity to discuss re-entry procedures and inform them that the Pre-Referral Form, Physician’s Statement for Temporary Home or Hospital Education, and Discharge Summary will be sent home.
Tutoring services will not be compensated by Winchester Public Schools until 14 days absence has elapsed and the Physician’s Statement for Temporary Home or Hospital Education has been properly filled out. This form will be turned into the Director of Guidance and a tutor will be assigned to the student either at home or in the hospital. Guidance Director/Director of Pupil Services decides how many hours of tutoring will be appropriate based on amount of absences accrued. Transition Coordinator will maintain contact with the teachers and the tutor to track work completion. The tutor will coordinate with classroom teachers to obtain subsequent work as material is completed.
With this supportive and comprehensive process involving academic monitoring and social/emotional support the transition staff strive to promote an environment where students can learn the skills to cope with illness. Administration, Guidance, Clinical Counselors, School Psychologists, and the School Nurse (the Support Staff Team) will collaborate on a joint treatment plan to ensure continuity between the school and community setting. The transition program provides short-term services (4-8 weeks) around the following:
A transition coordinator who communicates with medical providers
Collaboration with teachers/tutors to ensure that students maintain appropriate coursework
Help to reduce the anxiety of returning to school through counseling support for the student
Academic and emotional observation to ensure appropriate environment for student success
Coordination of tutoring services for students who have missed 14 or more days of school
Communication between the student and school personnel, therapists and other service providers
Assistance with accessing local resources outside of school
The Transition Program at WHS is currently in its third year. There was a clear need for a program to support students transition back to school after a long-term absence.
To create a better program, we welcome and encourage all feedback to make improvements.