Specialized Transition Employment Planning Services (S.T.E.P.S.)
STEPS 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.
The STEPS office is located in the Focus Beyond Transitions Services building at 340 Colborne Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102. For more information, contact Rebecca Andestic, STEPS Lead.
Telephone: (651) 744-1974
FAX: (651) 293-5998
What is transition 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 16-21 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.
Travel instruction is provided for students needing to learn to travel independently in their communities and to and from their worksite.
Information about Travel Training
What does S.T.E.P.S. stand for and what is the program all about?
S.T.E.P.S. stands for Specialized Transition Employment Planning Services and is Saint Paul Public School service to help learners with special education needs, prepare for employment and independence after graduation.
Do the students get paid?
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.
How old are the students and what schools do they come from?
Students in STEPS are typically juniors or seniors and currently enrolled in a high school or program within St. Paul Public School District that have transition needs stated on their IEP.
What kinds of job sites are there?
We have sites involving food service, office/clerical, computer-based technology, automotive, maintenance, gardening, childcare, and woodworking and more.
What is the purpose of the job coach?
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.
How long do the students stay at a job site?
We have two daily "shifts". The AM shift starts at 8:30/9:00 AM and runs until 11:00/11:15 AM. The PM "shift" starts at 12 PM and runs until 3 PM. Students typically work at a site for one semester, September through January and February through June.
Can the students do any jobs at a site?
No, they can not take the position of a paid employee. S.T.E.P.S. follows labor laws regarding the use of dangerous equipment, machines and materials. Students typically do entry-level tasks that tend to be time-consuming for employers.