Item Coversheet

Action Items - Intermediate Unit - 4.

Title: Contract with Bridges From School To Work, Inc. for Student High School Transition Services ($200,000)

Board of Education Meeting Date:

Action under consideration


The Administration recommends that the Board of Education, acting in its capacity as Board of Directors of Philadelphia Intermediate Unit No. 26 (IU 26), authorize IU 26, through the Executive Director or his designee, to execute and perform contracts, subject to funding, as follows:  

With:  Bridges From School To Work, Inc

Purpose: To provide high school students with disabilities comprehensive secondary transition services

Start date:  7/1/2023

End date: 6/30/2025

Compensation not to exceed: $200,000


Administrative Office(s); Dobbins, Murrell Career and Technical Education High School; Fels, Samuel High School; Frankford High School; Furness, Horace High School; Lincoln, Abraham High School; Washington, George High School; Northeast High School; Overbrook High School; Philadelphia High School for Girls; South Philadelphia High School; Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush; West Philadelphia High School; and other schools approved by the Assistant Superintendent of Special Projects or Chief of the Office of Special Education and Diverse Learners.

Renewal Options: Yes

Number of Options: Three (3) 1-year options

Maximum compensation authorized per option period:

Each option at fixed amount of $100,000 or 110% of the preceding year amount 


Why is the contract needed

A primary mission of the School District of Philadelphia (District) is to prepare students for life after graduation by providing them with the education, skills and tools they need to enter the workforce, begin a career, enroll in college, or further their education. This mission is uniquely challenging  for students with disabilities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that school districts provide students with disabilities with transition services. IDEA requires that student Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) include comprehensive transition plans. In addition, monitoring transition outcomes of students with disabilities after high school graduation is an integral part of the PDE State Performance Plan under Indicator 14. As part of the State Performance Plan, the District must monitor the post-secondary transition outcomes of students with IEPs and report this information to PDE.

Secondary transition is the process of preparing students with disabilities for life after they leave high school. The Bridges from School to Work program provides comprehensive secondary transition support services for high school students with disabilities so that they graduate gainfully employed or ready for the job market, college, or post high school educational opportunities. The program’s mission is to provide high school students with the support they individually need to secure gainful employment and/or post secondary educational opportunities. Program activities and supports include career and education counseling, the placement of students in internships and jobs, work-based learning experiences, vocational skills and job-readiness training, preparing job and college applications, interview counseling, and supporting students to apply for and secure suitable jobs after graduating from high school.

The contractor will collaborate with itinerant support special education teachers in 12 high schools to provide program supports and coordinate the Bridges from School to Work program. In addition, the contractor will partner with the PDE Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) and the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN) to secure student internships, skills training and job placements. The District’s contract covers approximately 20% of the overall  costs of this transition program. Funding for most of the other program costs come from OVR and PYN.

Since 2007, over 900 students with disabilities have enrolled in The Bridges from School to Work program. Over 609 of these students were placed in or found long-term sustainable employment. Historically, students participating in the program have significantly higher than average high school graduation rates. For the 2022-2023 school year, it is projected that 98% of participating students will be awarded high school diplomas. 

The Bridges from School to Work program fully aligns with the priorities, directives and goals established by the Offices of Career and Technical Education, Pathways to Graduation, the Office of Special Education and Diverse Learners. These offices together collaborate with the contractor to ensure that quality transition services are delivered to students. 

How is this work connected to the District’s plan to achieve Goals & Guardrails?  

The Bridges from School to Work program shall provide the supports needed to enable high school students to reach proficient levels on state assessments in language arts, literature and math, and to be college and career ready.  Strong transition programs provide students with well-rounded and enriching educational experiences. 

How will the success of this contract be measured?

The success of this contract shall be measured by the following criteria: Student enrollment and participation, student transitional skills assessments, number of students receiving job training, number of students placed in suitable internships and jobs, participant high school graduation rates, and transition outcomes after graduation. 

When applicable, is this an evidence-based strategy?  If so, what evidence exists to support this approach?  

District administrators shall monitor student transition progress and collect student data relating to skills assessment, job training, internship and job placements, high school graduation rates, and post secondary transition outcomes. 

When applicable, was a larger community of District community members and/or stakeholders involved in this selection process? If so, what groups and how?  

Consistent with the District’s competitive procurement process, the selection of the Contractor included a committee of District staff with relevant special education, transition, instructional, programmatic, and fiscal expertise who reviewed and evaluated contractor’s RFQ responses.

Funding Source(s):

FY23-24 IDEA Grant

FY24-25 IDEA Grant

Office Originating Request: Academic Support

 Office Originating Request: Academic Support