• Specialized Transition Employment Planning Services (S.T.E.P.S.)

    The S.T.E.P.S office is located in the Focus Beyond Transition Services Building
    340 Colborne Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102.


    Nora Avery, STEPS lead


    Telephone: (651) 744-1968 
    Fax: (651) 293-5998

    S.T.E.P.S. (Specialized Transition Employment Planning Service) is a Saint Paul Public School service to help students with special education needs prepare for employment and independence after graduation.

    Students are placed at work-based learning sites within the community and receive hands on job training at these community-based sites.  S.T.E.P.S. is responsible for the placement of the students and the coordination between site staff and Saint Paul Public Schools.

    What is transtion planning?

    Preparing students with special education needs to achieve maximum independence and become successfully employed after high school graduation is the focus of successful transition planning.

    Federal and State legislation have mandated “transition” as a curriculum requirement for all students 14-21 years old with special education needs. Learners with special needs are individually placed at non-paid educational training sites within the community. Learning occurs while students are engaged in daily living skills, occupational guidance and preparation and personal social skills. These sites are considered to be S.T.E.P.S. classrooms in the community; as such, Saint Paul Public Schools assumes responsibilities typical for students in regular classroom settings. Each community experience provides an opportunity for application of previously acquired "on the job" knowledge and skills. Students learn new skills in realistic work settings. S.T.E.P.S. sites are coached/taught by school personnel. Classroom credit is given for this valuable educational experience.

    What transition areas are addressed through STEPS?


    Career Exploration
    A wide assortment of materials on “Careers” is available for use through the Transition Resource Library for use at schools.

    Job Exploration and Entry Level Job Training
    An opportunity for learners to experience a variety of occupations within the community. With or without Job Coach support.

    Skill Training
    Training in a specific occupational field offered in a school based or community setting.


    Community Orientation
    Contacts with community resources that have an impact on a student’s life. (Police, fire, human services, corrections, government, health, etc.)

    Travel Training
    Travel instruction is provided to students needing to learn to travel independently in thier communities.


    Post High School Planning
    Assist in IEP team planning to develop a post high school transition plan based on individual interests, aptitude, school experience, life skills, abilities and choice.

  • What does S.T.E.P.S. stand for and what is the program all about?

    Posted by:

    S.T.E.P.S. stands for Specialized Transition Employment Planning Services.  At Saint Paul Public School service to help learners with special education needs, prepare for employment and independence after graduation.

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  • Do the students get paid?

    Posted by:

    No, but they do receive credit towards graduation.  Their job here is considered their daily class, including thier transportation to and from the job site.  At the end of the semester they will receive a grade from their job coach.

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  • How old are the students and what schools do they come from?

    Posted by:

    Students in STEPS are typically juniors or seniors and currently enrolled in a high school or program within St. Paul Public School District.

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  • What kinds of job sites are there?

    Posted by:

    We have sites involving food service, office/clerical, computer-based technology, automotive, maintenance, housekeeping and more.

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  • What is the purpose of the job coach?

    Posted by:

    Job coaches communicate with work coordinators, parents, case managers, teachers, school nurse, S.T.E.P.S. staff and therapists regarding the progress, attendance and behavior of the student.  Coaches also provide direction, teach communication, social and problem solving skills as well as assisting students in learning the task/job at hand.  They maintain records for attendance and grades and attend Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings if necessary.

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  • How long do the students stay at a job site?

    Posted by:

    We have two daily "shifts".  The AM shift starts at 7:30/8:00 AM and runs until 10:00/10:15 AM. The PM "shift" starts at 11 PM and runs until 2 PM. Students typically work at a site for one semester, September through January and February through June.

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  • Can the students do any jobs at a site?

    Posted by:

    No, they can not take the position of a paid employee.  S.T.E.P.S. follows labor laws regarding use fo dangerous equipment, machines and materials.  Students typically do entry-level tasks that tend to be time comsuming for employers.

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