The transition unit, which is located in a large classroom space, is designed to assist students who are either new to the school or who are moving back to a mainstream setting. Hence, it is the entry and exit point of the school. Students are there normally for a period of five weeks.
The primary aim of this unit for those who are new to the school is to help the student adjust to this new school setting while allowing the staff to get to know who they are. This focussed program gives us the opportunity to assess students’ academic capabilities and accompanying social, emotional, and behavioural issues. This creates the platform for the establishment of an individual education plan for each student, which allows us to tailor our program to his or her individual needs. During this time, the student establishes, with the assistance of staff, his or her own social, emotional, academic, and behavioural goals. At the completion of the five weeks, an interview is conducted with the parents or caregivers to make them aware of our observations and the student’s goals for their time at Berne.
For those returning to a mainstream school the focus of the program is to assist them to transition to a new school setting. Goals are established with the student to enable them to focus on the key issues they need to attend to when returning to their new school. Special attention is given to coping strategies to address their own needs and goals and to academic skills. The student usually attends the new school for three days a week for five weeks, while attending Berne for the other two days. In the last week, this is reduced to one day at Berne.