STEPS: Successful Transitions from Elementary to Post-Secondary

Transition from elementary to secondary

What is the STEPS Program?

The STEPS program (Successful Transition from Elementary to Post-Secondary) is for students with learning disabilities and/or ADHD 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 a week-long summer program to teach Assistive Technology and prepare for high school.  

Students in the program are required to have a recent psychoeducational assessment (less than 2 years old). If you do not have a recent assessment, RARC can provide one. 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 

STEPS 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 and ADHD) 
  • 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 in Assistive 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

Applications are accepted in the students grade 7 year, from October to February. Program activities begin in fall of the grade 8 year and run through 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.

STEPS Student


I thoroughly enjoyed the STEPS program. It provides accurate information for those learning about IEPs 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 Parent

STEPS Information Session

Information sessions are held in the fall for Grade 7 families with questions about the program and application process.  A date and link will be posted here once the information session(s) have been scheduled. 


View and download the registration and informational forms for STEPS.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact our Transitions Coordinator, Gillian Goldsmith, at: (preferred) 

  (613) 533-6000 ext. 75220

  (613) 533-6564

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 Packages can be dropped off in-person to RARC during work hours (9:00am-12:00pm or 1pm-4:00pm, Monday-Thursday). Please do not leave packages unattended outside of RARC's office.