Person Centered Approaches in Schools and Transition
For students being supported in schools, it is not only person centered planning that matters, but also the consistent presence and use of person centered thinking by educators and other supporters. If people who use services are to live self-directed lives within their own communities, then those who provide support on a day-to-day basis need to have person centered thinking skills.
Person Centered Planning is a positive and strength-based planning process that centers on and includes the student in all meetings and discussions. It is comfortable and highly collaborative, gathering valuable information from all areas of a child’s life from the people who know him or her best. This process uses various facilitated conversations that help supporters learn deeply about strengths and gifts, what is most important to each child that we need to stay present in his/her life, how each individual child is best supported by others, and the dreams he/she may have for the future.
At Eastern Regional High School, we are continually exploring new ways to learn more deeply about each student and how to use this person-centered information to help guide everyday supports and add valuable information to the IEP development process. It is our hope that through the implementation of person centered approaches we can increase each student’s success in developing the life they envision for themselves.