Mission Hills High School

Home of the Grizzlies

Adult Transition 


The Sprinters

 “On Track for the Future!” 

ATP at bus stop


San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) and the North Coast Consortium for Special Education (NCCSE) provide an Adult Transition  Program (ATP) for qualifying young adults with disabilities aged 18-22 years of age.  Eligibility is determined by the IEP team. 


The ATP provides training and instruction to facilitate transition from public school into appropriate adult programs and supported work placements.  The emphasis is to work toward a level of independence for every student (based upon the level of their disability) in the areas of living, working, and community involvement.  Young adults in the program will be encouraged to make choices, participate in work experiences, interact with others in the community and strengthen their confidence level and social skills.


The daily structure of the program may include work experience, a lunch break, and various activities including college classes, P.E., mobility training, shopping, and eating out.  The program is intentionally situated off-campus.  By meeting each day in a community setting, the young adults in the program are introduced to an environment similar to the one into which they will eventually transition and allows opportunities for students to regularly interface with the public. 


Work experience, (when appropriate), provides students with the opportunity to acquire skills, assess strengths, and determine work preferences.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to support students in transition from high school to adult life through classroom and community-based experiences that build on a student’s interests and abilities.

Key Features

·         A structured and predictable environment in a public location

·         A functional academic curriculum combined with community-based activities

·         Three separate classes that address the needs of different levels of disability

·         Age appropriate community activities and experiences

·         Collaboration with agencies to facilitate a smooth transition to appropriate adult agencies and services based on individual needs and abilities
 Transition Activities and Instruction

A typical day may include the following instructional components and activities:

Functional Academics
SMHS Student Store  

Money Management: Counting money, comparing prices, paying for items, budgeting pay, writing checks, paying bills, using a debit card, maintaining a balance sheet, banking, reading statements

Basic Skills: Telling the time, reading ads, using the internet, and reading news-papers for pertinent information

Vocational Skills
  Work Experience 1

Work Experience: Off-campus supervised work experience at various locations and in a variety of jobs including work enclaves and piece work, (assembly line skills)

Job Readiness: Writing resumes, practicing interview skills, completing job applications and time cards, projecting pay, and exploring job options 

Job Retention: Appropriate behavior, personal hygiene, and professional dress in the workplace

Supported Employment: When appropriate, students may participate in a WorkAbility subsidized work experience. 

 Cooking Skills  

Life Skills: Using public transportation, understanding street safety, stranger awareness, shopping for food, clothing, and other items, ordering from a menu at a restaurant, following schedules, making appointments, and exploring living options for the future

Domestic Skills: Planning and preparing simple meals, using a dishwasher, washer, and dryer 

Recreation & Leisure
Community # 2  

Personal Fitness: attending classes of interest at Palomar College with College-aged peers, social activities, using community services, and accessing community agencies

Contact Information




442 W. Mission Rd.

San Marcos, CA 92069

Office: (760) 591-4209

Fax : (760) 591-9064



Angela Castro

Tel: (760) 591-9453


Mike Redman

Tel: (760) 591-0722

 Tim Evilsizer

Tel: (760) 591-0657

Email: timothy.evilsizer@smusd.org



Mary Bunker

Tel: (760) 290-2555



Joanne Wimsatt

Tel: (760) 290-2555




(Interagency Transition Services Task Force)
ITST is a collaboration between 4 Workability programs (San Marcos, Vista, Carlsbad and San Dieguito) and 18 of the local agencies and programs that support transitioning students with disabilities.  We meet quarterly to share information and update procedures and policies.  Parents and students are invited to explore the Program Information Sheets to learn more about the various north county programs and agencies that may meet their needs.  Many of the agencies that support young adults with moderate to severe disabilities require that the person is a San Diego Regional Center client.  Please pay close attention to the Eligibility Requirements.  Our hope is that this resource will be a starting point for students and parents when researching available post secondary support programs.  

NCCSE (North Coast Consortium for Special Education: http://www.nccse.org/

NCCSE is a Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA) that is composed of 14 school districts in the North County.  NCCSE provides
and supports districts with:
  • Staff Development activities and parent education
  • Program Specialist services
  • Help when responding to needs of parents and special education students
  • Unification of common needs
  • Helping to identify unique needs within local school districts
  • Legal and technical assistance
  • Awareness and dissemination of current best practices
  • Creating forums for problem solving

The NCCSE Community Advisory Committee (CAC)


The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) is made up of parents, educators, and community members who are involved in special education. The CAC of the North Coastal Consortium for Special Education (NCCSE) provides meetings and special events throughout the year and advises the superintendents of the 14 school districts about special education services.  Each meeting includes information on a disability -related topic, an update on legislation that affects special education, and announcements of local events and workshops.

CAC Meetings Are Open to the Public:

Anyone with an interest in special education is encouraged to attend, particularly students who qualify for special education services, a parent or family member of a student, and district teachers or staff.

Why Is It Worth Your Time to Attend CAC Meetings?


Parents who have attended Community Advisory Committee meetings report that they have found opportunities to:

  • Connect with other parents and with school district teachers and administrators,
  • Learn about resources for their child and family,
  • Participate in shaping the activities of the committee, including conversations with school district staff and administrators, an annual parent conference, an awards ceremony, and
  • Develop and expand their leadership skills.

The San Diego Regional Center Communicator is now online!
Previous SDRC newsletters:

                                         SMUSD PARENTING CLASSES FOR FAMILIES WITH SPED STUDENTS 
CHIP- Challenges in parenting - Thursdays from 6:00- 8:00 PM

CHIP is a once monthly workshop for parents of special education students who are seeking additional supports to improve their student’s school performance. Licensed therapists from North County Family Counseling Specialists will conduct these classes.

These workshops will provide an opportunity to learn new coping skills and interventions and a venue to discuss your concerns.  An additional benefit is the potential for parent/s to widen their own support network with other caring and committed parents.


There is no cost to the families.


The workshops will be offered once a month on Thursday evenings at the district office: 255 Pico Ave. Suite 250, San Marcos.  The dates are: Oct. 16th Nov. 20th, Dec. 18th, Jan. 15th, Feb. 19th, March 19th, April 16th, May 21st


*Interpretation services provided for monolingual Spanish speaking parents.


 Contact Esther Flores at: esther.flores@smusd.org or at 760-290-2537 to reserve your spot for these workshops.


 Websites and Publications for Persons with Disabilities

Further Education:
A complete guide to college financing for students with disabilities, including advice on loans, grants and scholarships specifically for students with disabilities, as well as resources to help with the job search after graduation.
PSAT,SAT and/or ACT accommodations: If you have taken the necessary general education classes to apply to a four year university directly from high school, you will be taking the PSAT, SAT and/or ACT during your junior year.  You may qualify to receive accommodations similar to those written into your I.E.P.  College Board and ACT are not required to grant these accommodations, however you may want to see if they will be granted.
Apply directly to the test-taking companies.  You will need a copy of your I.E.P.
Department of Rehabilitation: http://www.rehab.cahwnet.gov - The California Department of Rehabilitation works in partnership with consumers and other stakeholders to provide services and advocacy resulting in employment, independent living and equality for individuals with disabilities.
Disability Benefits: http://www.disabilitybenefits101.org - DB101 brings together rules for health coverage, benefit, and employment programs that people with disabilities use. These programs may be run by state, federal government, non-profit, or private organizations. Here they are discussed under one roof and in plain language.
Disability Disclosure:  The 411 on Disability Disclosure - This workbook helps you think about disclosing a disability.  It does not tell you what to do, but it does help you make informed decisions about disclosing your disability and how that will affect your educational, employment, and social lives. Making the personal decision to disclose your disability can lead to greater confidence in yourself and your choices. Disclosure is a very personal decision that takes thought and practice.  Both young people with visible disabilities and those with hidden (not readily apparent) disabilities can benefit from using this workbook.
Disability Information: http://www.disability.gov/ - An award-winning federal government website that provides an interactive, community-driven information network of disability-related programs, services, laws and benefits. Students with disabilities, their families, educators, employers and others are connected to thousands of resources from federal, state and local government agencies, educational institutions and non-profit organizations.
Disability Resources on the net:
Developmental Disabilities resources: http://disabilityresources.org/DD.html  
Learning Disabilities resources: http://disabilityresources.org/LD.html   
A "wonderfully well-organized site ... for cutting through the morass of disability-related material on the Web"--Encyclopedia Britannica Internet Guide
HEATH Resource Center: http://www.heath.gwu.edu/ - A national clearinghouse on postsecondary education for individuals with disabilities that includes educational resources, support services and opportunities. The HEATH Resource Center gathers, develops and disseminates information in the form of resource papers, fact sheets, website directories, newsletters, and resource materials.
HOUSING: PACER: Preparation for Independent Living - http://www.pacer.org/housing/ 
PACER provides a number of resources to help you prepare to move into a place of your own.  Two new videos are now available online: "Housing: Starting the Journey," and "A Home for Devin" offers one parent's perspective about planning housing and services for her daughter.
LD Pride: http://www.ldpride.net - Information and explanations regarding learning disabilities, fun tests and evaluations, links and a message board.
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill: http://www.namicalifornia.org/NAMI California is a grass roots organization of families and individuals whose lives have been affected by serious mental illness who provide leadership in advocacy, legislation, policy development, education and support throughout California.
National Institute on Mental Health: http://www.nimh.nih.gov - Information, research, publications and resources concerning mental health issues. 
NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) Disorder Index: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/disorder_index.htm - an A-Z index of numerous disorders including ADHD, Autism, Learning Disabilities etc., with information regarding the disorder, treatment, prognosis, research, trials, organizations and resources.
Diagnostics Center - Southern California: http://www.dcs-cde.ca.gov/ - This Diagnostic Center is one of three regional assessment centers operated by the State Special Schools and Services Division of the California Department of Education. The Centers provide assessment, training and technical assistance to all Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) in California.
Regional Center: http://www.sdrc.org/ - The San Diego Regional Center (SDRC) serves as a focal point in the community through which a person with a developmental disability and his or her family can obtain services and be linked to other community resources within San Diego and Imperial counties. 
A Guide for Transition Age Youth -  A booklet designed by the San Diego Regional Center to help you and your child prepare for transition.  It answers those questions most often asked by parents and tells you where to get additional information.
The Journey to Life After High School: A Road Map for Parents of Children with Special Needs - 
This comprehensive guide from Ability Path.org examines the law as it impacts a child with special needs, the importance of the I.E.P. and the different paths a student may take after graduating from high school.  This publication examines the steps that need to be taken prior and subsequent to graduation. 
Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego: http://specialneedsresourcefoundationofsandiego.org/

A website and publication which bring together people, information and resources.

San Diego Family Magazine's Flourishing Families: Each year San Diego Family Magazine publishes a special needs resource guide for families and agencies in San Diego County, Flourishing Families. It is a comprehensive list of behavior, education and health resources located here in San Diego County and beyond.  Use this link to access the digital issue Flourishing Families 2015.
Youth Transition Tool Kit: A Guide for Youth with Disabilities Transitioning to Adulthood - http://www.tknlyouth.org/  This toolkit was developed by the California Health Incentives Improvement Project (CHIIP) and includes information on education, employment, independent living, health care, finances, and social/recreation.  Each section contains information for the young person, tips for parents, and resources. Most sections also contain youth worksheets. Youth may create their own notebooks by printing the sections of the tool kit that are relevant to their needs and interests. 
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): http://www.nichd.nih.gov/pages/search.aspx?q=autism
Future Horizons: http://www.fhautism.com/ - books, videos and conferences
Chronic disease and physical disabilities:
California Children's Services: http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/services/ccs/Pages/default.aspx Tel: 619-528-4000 - The CCS program provides diagnostic and treatment services, medical case management, and physical and occupational therapy services to children under age 21 with CCS-eligible medical conditions. Examples of CCS-eligible conditions include, but are not limited to, chronic medical conditions such as cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, cerebral palsy, heart disease, cancer, traumatic injuries, and infectious diseases producing major sequelae. CCS also provides medical therapy services that are delivered at public schools. Currently, approximately 70 percent of CCS-eligible children are also Medi-Cal eligible. The Medi-Cal program reimburses their care. The cost of care for the other 30 percent of children is split equally between CCS Only and CCS Healthy Families.  


English - http://www.dhcs.ca.gov/formsandpubs/publications/Documents/CMS/pub4.pdf 

Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Recovery Services:

North Coast Mental Health Center: http://www.mhsinc.org/north-coastal-mental-health-center  Mental Health Systems is a non-profit agency founded in 1978 to improve the lives of individuals, families and communities facing substance abuse and behavioral health challenges.  They serve young adults, adults and older adults with severe and persistent mental illness who are uninsured, indigent or have MediCal and/or Medicare Insurance. 

Self- Advocacy Online

Find self-advocacy groups, view stories from self-advocates, learn about self-advocacy and research self-advocacy. 

Social Security Administration: http://www.ssa.gov
The Red Book - 2011 RED BOOK - A guide to employment supports for persons with disabilities under the SSI Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs. 

SSI/SSDI - Disability Help Center: http://www.ssdhelpcenter.org/  - the Disability Help Center assists people seeking to receive Social Security Disability, SSI and Veteran's Disability Benefits.  Their services are free.

Ticket to Work Logo  

If you are age 18 through 64 and receive Social Security Disability benefits you can take advantage of Work Incentives that make it easier to work and still receive health care and cash benefits from Social Security, and protections if you have to stop working due to your disability.  Social Security’s Ticket to Work program supports career development for Social Security disability beneficiaries age 18 through 64 who want to work. The Ticket program is free and voluntary. The program helps people with disabilities progress toward financial independence.  Ticket to Work connects you with free employment services to help you decide if working is right for you, prepare for work, find a job or maintain success while you are working. If you choose to participate, you will receive services such as career counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and job placement and training from authorized Ticket to Work service providers, such as Employment Networks (EN) or your state Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)  agency. The service provider you choose will serve as an important part of your “employment team” that will help you on your journey to financial independence. 
Each year San Diego Family Magazine publishes a special needs resource guide for families and agencies in San Diego County, Flourishing Families. It is a comprehensive list of behavior, education and health resources located here in San Diego County and beyond.

Use this Flourishing Families 2015 link to take the digital issue “to go” and you’ll have access to it on your iPad, tablet or mobile phone.

Please access specific information relating to disability resources, job searches, volunteer opportunities etc.
on the relevant San Marcos Unified School District SPED pages: http://www.smusd.org/Domain/37

Last Modified on June 25, 2015