Transition practices among special education preschool providers in New York City

Kristin Moore Taylor, Pace University


This study investigated transition services in New York City special education preschools and provides a profile of current transition practices. The purpose of this study was to examine child, family, and school characteristics and their impact on the successful transition of preschoolers with disabilities into kindergarten settings as mediated by effective transition policies and strategies. This study replicated several aspects of Transition to Kindergarten in American Schools (U.S. Department of Education, 1992), which investigated preschool to kindergarten transition for children without disabilities in 1,169 schools throughout the United States. The current study differs in that it looked specifically at special education preschools in New York City. The sample consisted of 25% of existing Special Education preschools in New York City, randomly selected. Several questions, guided by the research questions posed in the National Transition Study and by a conceptual model of transition for children with disabilities, directed this investigation: (1) What transition practices are currently in place for effective transition planning for preschoolers with disabilities in New York City? (2) What strategies exist that effectively involve parents in transition planning? (3) In what ways do the following child characteristics inhibit effective transition planning: (a) nature of disability, (b) severity of disability, and, (c) language? (4) What is the nature of the collaboration between preschool programs for children with disabilities, Committee on Preschool Special Education and Committee on Special Education regarding transition? (5) In what ways do preschool program characteristics influence effective transition planning? (6) What major barriers inhibit effective transition planning? and, (7) What are considered to be effective transition strategies by preschool program staff? The results indicate that there is a basic timeline for transition activities followed by preschool providers and school districts. Most schools described adhering to this timeline with little variation. Preschools report working closely with parents during the transition process and 80% report holding parent workshops to educate parents about the process. Transition activities had reached the status of formal, written policy in only 16% of the schools surveyed; 65% of the schools rated their satisfaction with the transition process as, "somewhat satisfied;" and 61% rated their collaboration with the various Committee's for Special Education as "satisfactory." Preschool providers cited many barriers to effective transition planning, such as lack of appropriate kindergarten programs and lack of communication with the Committee for Special Education. Another barrier often cited was that parents do not receive enough information from the Board of Education regarding the transition process. While schools reported many barriers, they have developed successful strategies to overcome them. Common strategies for effective transition planning included holding parent workshops, teaching parents to be advocates, and incorporating transition planning into the preschool curriculum.

Subject Area

Preschool education|Special education|School administration

Recommended Citation

Taylor, Kristin Moore, "Transition practices among special education preschool providers in New York City" (1997). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI9818543.



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