Photo courtesy of McDaniel's Photography

HALLOWEEN FUN. The TIP house celebrated Halloween last October. TIP helps students grow and develop skills they need in the community and beyond. Members contribute in many ways to the community.

The Transition Internship Program (TIP) is designed to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities, ages 18-21, who need specially designed instruction in community integration and adult living.

After a year of preparation and with the support of Stacey Spencer, Director of Special Education for Sycamore Schools, Tamara Brewer began TIP in 2013. For the first two years, the program was housed in a classroom at the high school, but the need for a more authentic environment was apparent.

In 2015, with the support of our Superintendent and the Board of Education, the Transition Internship Program moved into the former technology house next to E.H. Greene on Aldine Drive.

TIP is designed to offer young adults with disabilities opportunities to familiarize themselves with and integrate into the community, as well as acquire and improve daily living skills.
Through authentic experiences and direct instruction, interns in TIP are able to gain a greater sense of independence in the areas of personal finances, daily living skills, lifetime skills, socialization, and career development. Interns learn how to apply previously learned skills, academic and otherwise, to adult life.

To participate in TIP, students must have all the requirements for graduation completed. They and their IEP team must decide to defer the acceptance of their diploma and continue to access public education with transition programming.

TIP interns are supported with individualized instruction from a special education teacher and educational assistants in the community and in the TIP house. Individualized Instruction occurs weekly in authentic environments such as Kroger, Matthew 25 Ministries, Blue Ash Library, the Blue Ash YMCA, Blue Ash Recreation Center and at individual work sites.

The interns run a coffee service at the high school in the mornings for teachers who subscribe to The Gourmet Brewers. Work skills like product quality, customer service, billing, emailing, and banking are all practiced and refined through this business.

Proceeds from The Gourmet Brewers are used to help support and offset the costs for interns as they access the above authentic opportunities and the large group trips on Fridays.

On this day, Interns visit places in the Greater Cincinnati area like the Art Museum, Scene 75, the William Howard Taft Museum, Operation Pumpkin in Hamilton, Envision Theater, Music Hall, and the Air Force Museum to name a few.

Additionally, they eat at a sit down restaurant that aids in practicing skills like seating, ordering, asking for items, paying, and tipping.

The Transition Internship Program offers rigorous, authentic practice for these young adults which cannot be duplicated in the classroom. I believe our program to be second to none and one of the best in the state.

We are very fortunate to have the support of our PTO, Superintendent, Frank Forsthoefel, and the Sycamore Board of Education who understand the importance of transition programming for students with disabilities.

Information provided by Mrs. Tamara Brewer.