HOT TOPIC! What is an Exit Summary – Part 2

Young woman holding books

Students receiving Special Education services will receive an Exit Summary upon graduation. This is meant to be a description of the student’s overall current skills, abilities, limitations and needs.

Academic achievement and functional performance should show the student’s current level of performance, strengths, abilities, interests and needs in subject (i.e math, reading) and skill (i.e. advocacy, technology) areas. Other areas that should be looked at include, but are not limited to:

Activities of daily living

  • Personal care
  • Managing resources

Intellectual functioning

  • The student’s problem-solving ability
  • The student’s attention/memory

Adaptive behavior

  • How the student copes with demands
  • How student makes decisions

Learning style

  • How does the student learn best

How long it takes for the student to learn new skills/information

When developing the Student exit summary there are also considerations in the areas of  skills and needs. Below are some possible areas that should be considered for both current skills and present needs.


  • Reading, writing, math, etc.
  • Learning new tasks

Problem solving

  • General and specific situations
  • Making decisions


  • Ability to make needs known
  • Preferred method of communication


  • Ability to get around the community

Personal Management

  • Identifying accommodations/supports
  • Managing finances

Along with the academic and functioning skills/needs, other areas that should be looked at are:

Social Development

  • Students relationships with others
  • feelings about themselves
  • interpersonal skills/needs
  • self-advocacy skills/needs.

Physical development

  • overall health
  • limitations
  • personal management
  • independent living skills/needs

The last part of the student exit summary is the recommendation section. Recommendations should help the student and family when transitioning to the adult world to ensure continued skill development and goal achievement. Some possible recommendations could include:

Supports and accommodations that were helpful with success in school/community

  • e.g. – benefits from extended time on tasks to allow time to process the information and determine the best way to complete the job.

Types of supports that may be available from adult service providers

  • e.g. –  continue to work with a Job Coach to help develop work skills.

The intended goal and the student’s needs and functional limitations that will need to be worked on to achieve those goals

  • e.g. – wanting to work in retail but needs to continue developing ability to clearly communicate with the customers.

The Student Exit summary should provide information that is relevant to the students Post-Secondary Goals. The information should provide guidance to the student/family post-secondary education and/or training, employment and/or independent living environments. The student’s goals should reflect their skills and abilities while helping show the supports that may be helpful to continue skills development and goal achievement.

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