Transition from elementary to secondary
What is the STEPS Program?
The STEPS program (Successful Transition from Elementary to Post-Secondary) is a two-year program for students with learning disabilities, ADHD and/or Autism Spectrum Disorders, and their families in the Kingston and surrounding areas. The aim of the program is to assist students with issues affecting their learning to make a successful transition from elementary to secondary school and beyond. Program activities include information and training sessions for students and parents/guardians during the school year, as well as week-long summer programs to teach Adaptive Technology and prepare for high school.
In the past, the program was fully funded by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, to help bring students with disabilities to post-secondary school. Although the funding for the program has since been withdrawn, RARC is committed to continuing to provide this valuable program at no cost. However, students in the program are required to have a recent psychoeducational assessment (less than 2 years old). There is a fee for the assessment (with flexible payment options over a 2-year period). For more information about the psychoeducational assessment for the STEPS program, visit Transition Program Assessments.
The Elementary to High School Transition
Goals of the STEPS Program
This two-year program begins in Grade 7, and supports students and their parents/guardians as they approach the transition to high school. Our goal is to give students the tools they will need to be successful in secondary school, which will lead to further success in post-secondary school.
The STEPS Program aims to:
- Teach students about their individual learning profile and learning challenges (such as learning disabilities, ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder)
- Promote self-knowledge and self-advocacy
- Support parents/guardians in understanding how their child learns, their child's rights and responsibilities, and how to support their child in and out of the school environment
- Train students and parents/guardians in Adaptive Technology, and explain how and why these accommodations can help students learn
- Prepare students for the upcoming transition and what changes to expect at secondary school
Program recruitment runs from September to January for grade 7 students. Program activities begin in May of the grade 7 year and run through until the summer before grade 9. For information about the program, eligibility criteria, and to complete an application, please see the flyer and application forms below.
To hear from former students and parents, please watch this video: STEPS Impact
Please note: for the testimonials below, stock images were used and names were changed to protect the privacy of participants.
The STEPS program made a difference for me – I liked learning how to talk to my teachers about my learning issues and it made me feel more comfortable when I actually did it. It also helped me with being able to meet new people because coming into the program without knowing anybody prepared me for the first day of high school when I also didn’t know anybody. Also my parents seem to get me more now and believe me when I say I am trying. They also now think that I can go to college, when they didn’t before...and I didn’t either! So, ya it was good.
I thoroughly enjoyed the STEPS program. It provides accurate information for those learning about IEP’s and the process of Special Education and it gives specific resources and skills in learning to help your child be successful in school. Although I had prior knowledge about some of the school-related information, it was extremely helpful for my son. He was receptive to the information being delivered by someone other than his parents, and being in a group of his peers reinforced his self confidence as a smart and capable person. I highly recommend the program.
STEPS Information Session
Every year in November, we host an online information session for the STEPS program. Check back in fall 2023 for this year's meeting information.
*Registration to begin the STEPS program in spring 2023 is NOW CLOSED. Registration forms and information for next year's cohort will be available in fall 2023.*
- STEPS Information Flyer
- STEPS Registration Form
- STEPS Financial Contract
- STEPS Teacher Contact Form
A Note on Queen’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy
At this time, proof of vaccination and masking is not required to attend most in-person activities at Queen’s, including STEPS programming. The university may reinstate its Policy Regarding Mandatory Vaccination Requirements for In-Person Activities, if the local public health environment changes or if government mandates or public health recommendations restore proof of vaccination requirements. If the university does reinstate its Policy, STEPS participants who cannot provide satisfactory proof of vaccination could find their ability to participate in activities restricted or discontinued. Please contact our Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
For more information, please contact our Transitions Coordinator, Gillian Goldsmith, at:
Completed registration packages can be sent by fax, via email or dropped off in person. For confidentiality reasons, electronic packages should be password protected or sent via a secure portal such as SecureDocs to email@example.com. Packages can be dropped off in-person to RARC during work hours (8:30am-12pm or 1pm-4:30pm, Monday-Friday). Please do not leave packages unattended outside of RARC's office.