Evergreen Transition Program FAQ
What is the difference between high school and Evergreen?
Evergreen is a community-based instructional program. Students in the program are generally out several days a week applying what they have learned in the classroom in a real-life setting. While in Evergreen, students do not join the high school assemblies nor participate in the high school bell schedule. For the most part, jobsites and other community experiences dictate student schedules.
Will be student have graduated before coming to Evergreen? What about their diploma?
No. Students may attend their high school graduation ceremony and receive the empty diploma case, however they will not receive their official diploma until they graduate from Evergreen. We hold our own graduation ceremony each year in June. Students receive a diploma from the high school they attended. A student’s graduation date on the IEP will reflect the year they leave Evergreen, not the year they leave high school.
What is the attendance procedure?
We are not a part of Interlake’s attendance system. If your young adult is sick, please contact the classroom teacher directly via phone or email. Or if your young adult is able to do this on their own, we highly encourage them to do so as this is an adult skills that demonstrates independence and autonomy.
Is there standardized testing in Evergreen?
Most students have already participated in all mandated testing while in high school, but occasionally if a student still has not met testing requirements, they may complete testing while attending our program.
What do students’ IEP goals look like at Evergreen?
The overall focus in the Evergreen program for most is ultimately to gain meaningful employment, as well as to gain independence with Adaptive, Communication, & Social Skills that will allow students to generalize skills in the community better. While students still work on academics, these goals are geared in a very functional direction. A writing goal may include working on a resume, email skills, or writing personal information. A reading goal may include reading a bus schedule or a grocery list. A math goal may include a budgeting or shopping goal. These are just some examples. IEP goals are individualized per student. For students who are not employment-bound, instruction may focus on independent leisure and, recreational and social goals. We also support students college-bound. Their instruction may focus more closely on exploring colleges, improving independent work habits, applying to colleges, and improving their academic skills. Regardless of the pathway a student takes, we focus largely on all students increasing their self-awareness, self-advocacy skills, and self-determination, as well as gaining independent work habits to the best of their ability.
How much time do students typically spend at jobsites?
This completely depends on the student. Most new students spend the first few weeks at Evergreen participating in pre-vocational assessments. Once teachers are familiar with student’s skills, and have had input from students, families and former teachers, students are placed at a jobsites. Some students may even take longer to be placed at jobsites if the IEP team believes that they are not yet ready to participate safely in a community outing. Depending on the jobsite availability and the student’s work stamina, he/she may work anywhere from 1 day a week to 4 days a week, anywhere from 1-4 hour shifts, depending on the student’s work stamina.
When do they get a paid job?
Again, this depends. Students whom are eligible for DDA services (Developmental Disabilities Administration) can participate in King County’s STW Program (School-To-Work) their third year and obtain supported employment (have access to a job coach beyond school years). During this time, they work with our embedded employment vendor, the At-Work! Agency. After several community-based assessments and work trials, the goal is to eventually be placed in a paid supported employment position. For some students, this happens early on in the school year. For others it takes some time. The goal is for students to graduate with a paid job, though this is not a guarantee. DDA will provide long-term job support indefinitely. Students also need to apply for DVR (Department of Vocational Rehabilitation) during their time in Evergreen. DVR helps fund the STW Program along with the School District and DDA, as a braided funding model.
Students whom are not eligible for DDA can still access short-term job support through DVR services, and should apply for services their final year. These students would be applying for competitive employment positions and would not have access to ongoing job support such as a job coach.
What will my young adult’s schedule be at Evergreen?
We follow the same general times that they had in high school. The school day is from 8:00-3:00 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and 8:00-1:00 on Wednesday. While the majority of students attend full time, we do have a handful of students participating part-time to accommodate their work schedule or participation in part-time college classes. The decision of implementing a part-time schedule is an IEP team decision.
What does my young adult do for lunch?
Students are encouraged to bring their own lunches from home if possible, as the ultimate goal of our program is to start preparing students for the work force. Most employees bring their own lunches to their job. Free & Reduced Priced lunches are available through Interlake High School Cafeteria.
How will my young adult get to school?
If they took the school bus to high school, then those services can continue. We also encourage students to take metro or walk to school if at all possible! Some students can take the King County Access Bus as well, visit this page for more details about the assessment and application process, as well as Access bus application. If your young adult would like FREE King County Transition Training so they can ride metro independently, please visit this page for more details. Regardless of how they will get to school, all of our students should have a reduced fare metro card upon arrival to our program Year 1. For this, your young adult will need to complete an application, get it signed by a medical professional to confirm documented disability, and bring $3.00 to the nearest transit center to apply for card. Please visit this page for more details and to download the application. Once we have the card information, Bellevue School District will load funds for your young adult to use while attending our program. Students can keep the card after graduation and continue to use with their own funds.
What happens after they finally graduate? Are there transition services available to help plan the future?
The teachers and program coordinator work closely with families and students to ensure that connections are in place with appropriate adult agencies and services (DDA, DVR, Guardianship, Medicaid, SSI, etc). Parents are invited to a series of informational sessions hosted by BSD and the BSNPTA which include guest speakers from various agencies (day programs, supported employment, college programs, etc). They are also invited to several meetings throughout their time in Evergreen with the teacher and program coordinator to check in and discuss status of services, plan next steps, etc. It is our goal that we help not only transition students to a successful post-secondary future, but help transition the families as well. The future is very overwhelming and we are here to help plan and fill the gap that will be left when school finally ends.
For any additional questions, please reach out to your young adult’s teacher.