Post-School Survey FAQ


Community College

Any college that provides a two-year program.

Competitive Employment

Leavers have worked for pay at or above the minimum wage in a setting with others who are nondisabled for a period of 20 hours a week or more for at least 90 days at any time in the year since leaving high school. This includes military employment.

Engagement Formula

Engagement equals [(number of youth who had IEPs, are no longer in secondary school and who have been competitively employed, enrolled in some type of postsecondary school, or both, within one year of leaving high school) divided by the (number of youth assessed who had IEPs and are no longer in secondary school)] times 100.


Any student that graduates with a diploma.

Higher Education (1)

Leavers who have been enrolled in a full-or-part-time basis in a community college, college/university for at least one complete term, at any time in the first year since leaving high school.

Indicator 14

Percent of youth who are no longer in secondary school, had IEPs in effect at the time they left school, and were:
A. Enrolled in higher education within one year of leaving high school.
B. Enrolled in higher education or competitively employed within one year of leaving high school.
C. Enrolled in higher education or in some other postsecondary education or training program; or competitively employed or in some other employment within one year of leaving high school. (20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(B))


Youth with IEPs who left school by graduating with a diploma, aging out, leaving school early (i.e. dropping out), or who were expected to return and did not.


Young adult leavers who could not be reached to complete the survey interview questions.


Young adult leavers or their designated family member who answered the survey interview questions.

Some Other Education

Leavers enrolled on a full-or-part-time basis for at least one complete term at any time in the first year since leaving high school in an education or training program (e.g., Job Corps, adult education, workforce development program, or vocational technical school which is less than a two-year program).

Some Other Employment

Leavers have worked for pay or been self-employed for a period of at least 90 days at any time in the first year since leaving high school. This includes working in a family business (e.g., farm, store, fishing, ranching, catering services, etc.).


Abbreviation for the Transition Systemic Framework, CCTS's secure online data collection platform. In addition to the Post-School Survey, the TSF also houses an IEP Review Tool and the Quality Indicators for Secondary Transition (QuIST). Data-viewing permissions vary depending on the TSF user type. To gain access to the TSF, please contact your district’s data manager or the person who manages the Post-School Survey for your district. If you’re not sure who this person is, contact your district’s special education office. You can navigate to the TSF website directly by clicking either of the following links:, or

General Questions

What is the Post-School Survey?

The Post-School Survey is used to gather data in response to Indicator 14, one of 17 indicators addressed in Part B State Performance Plan under IDEA 2004. The survey is administered from June 1 to November 1 each year. School district personnel conduct the survey by contacting students ages 16-21 with an IEP one year after the students graduated or permanently exited high school. The surveys are administered via phone, and data are recorded in the survey form in the TSF2. After the surveys are complete, CCTS analyzes these data and provides state and district-level reports.

Why should I complete the Post-School Survey?

Completion of the Post-School Survey is a requirement of state and federal statutes, specifically 20 U.S.C. § 1416(a)(3)(B) of IDEA and WAC 392-172A-07015 and WAC 392-172A-07020 of the Washington Administrative Code. OSPI must report annually on Washington state's progress for each of those performance indicators and must report publicly each district's progress for Indicators 1-14. Post-school outcome data are tied to the LEA Application for Federal Funds for Special Education as one of four performance indicators. In addition, results of the Post-School Survey can be help districts in realizing areas of programmatic improvement to improve post-school outcomes for their students.

How are the surveys conducted?

Surveys are conducted via phone, and responses are recorded online in the TSF2. The survey typically takes 5-10 minutes to complete. 

Who conducts the surveys?

It is up to your district to determine who conducts Post-School Survey calls. Typically response rates are higher when the student knows the person conducting the survey. Often those conducting the survey calls are special education teachers, administrators, or school support personnel. 

What is the timeline for the survey?

The survey is open annually from June 1 to November 1. Surveys completed after 11:59 p.m. on November 1 will not be considered. For a detailed Post-School Survey timeline including important dates and milestones, please see our Post-School Survey Guide - PDF.

How do I access the Post-School Survey?

The Post-School Survey is recorded in the TSF2, which can be accessed from the CCTS website under Online Data Collection. Each person conducting phone calls to students will need their own login credentials for the TSF2. To request access to the TSF, first alert your district’s data manager. Then email with your name, district, and the school(s) you will need to access. Prior to conducting the Post-School Survey, users must certify the confidentiality of the student records per the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA; 34 C.F.R. Part 99) and under WAC 392-172A-05180 through WAC 392-172A-05245. 

Is there a paper survey I can download?

No. As of 2016, CCTS requires that all surveys be completed electronically and entered into the TSF as the surveys are conducted. We enforce this policy for quality assurance and to encourage timely and accurate data entry.

From whom may I record post-school data information?

You may collect data from phone conversations with the student, their family member, or another designated alternate contact. Surveys may only be completed with information from that student, family member, or contact- not completed with information heard through word-of-mouth.

Who has access to these data?

Only TSF2 users from your district will have access to your district’s Post-School data, along with CCTS staff. Post-School data are confidential and belong to your district. If outside agencies request your district’s data, CCTS forwards the request to your district. Your district can then choose whether to share your data or not. 

CCTS accesses district-level data for technical assistance purposes. CCTS reports only those districts that have not completed the Post-School Survey by the survey deadline of November 1. CCTS is required to send a report to OSPI and ESDs of districts that have not completed the Post-School Survey by the deadline of November 1.

Do all leavers need to be contacted?

Yes. Document at least three contact attempts to survey each student, their family member and/or their designated alternate contact(s).  It is helpful to contact the student at different times of the day after an initial attempt. If after three attempts the students is still unable to be reached, continued contact attempts may be made, or the student may be noted as a Non-Responder. Note that a Non-Responder means that student cannot be counted as a respondent and will be reflected in your district’s response rate accordingly. As of November 2016, OSPI requires a 70% response rate for the Post-School Survey as a determination factor. For more information on this requirement, please refer to the Washington State Rubric for November 2016 Determinations.

What if I do not have the student's contact information?

Ask other school and district staff, community members, or other community members if they know how to get in contact with the student. No matter who you contact, make sure the student’s disability status is not revealed, even if you think that person may already be aware of this information. For more tips on increasing response rates, please refer to the Post-School Survey Guide - PDF

What do I do with the results?

District data managers have access to downloadable reports and PowerPoint slides containing the district’s post-school outcomes for each survey year. School district personnel can use post-school outcome data to evaluate the effectiveness of their special education programs. We encourage district data managers to disseminate data and hold discussions on how to improve post-school outcomes for students.

Technical Questions


Who are the special education leavers?

For the 2018 Survey, leavers refer to students between the ages of 16-21 with IEPs who exited school between September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017 by way of:
(a) Graduation with a regular high school diploma,
(b) Graduation meeting the requirements of their IEP,
(c) Receiving a General Equivalency Degree Certificate (GED),
(d) Receiving confirmed receipt of an Adult High School Diploma from a Community College,
(e) Dropping Out (includes youth whose status is unknown),
(f) Aging out at age 21 with no diploma.

Are students counted as leavers if they transferred out of the district?

No, students are not a leavers if you have confirmation that they transferred into another district and are still enrolled in the K-12 school system.

Are students leavers if they exited from special education services prior to leaving high school?

No, these students are not considered leavers because they were not included in the district’s special education count at the time they left high school.

Are students leavers if they have entered the 18-21 year-old program in our district?

No. Students who enter your school’s transition program are still enrolled in the K-12 school system and do not count as leaversEven if they walked in a graduation ceremony, if they are enrolled at your school they are not considered leavers.

What if a student on my list of leavers passed away?

It's always sad when a student passes away, but we do count those students as leavers. If the person responsible for contacting this student already knows the student is deceased, they should not call the family. Instead, open the student’s survey and select “check here if survey could not be completed” in question 11, select “other” for the reason, and note that the student is deceased in the comments. These data are collected for federal reporting purposes. 

Where do I get a list of the special education leavers for my district?

Each year, CCTS uploads information from CEDARS/Skyward databases that match the criteria for being student leavers. Before June 1, districts are required to log in to the Transition Systemic Framework (TSF) to verify that the list of leavers is accurate.

In order to verify the information in the TSF is accurate, it is helpful to track each year’s leavers consistently throughout the year. There is a Keeping Track of Leavers Spreadsheet template available for download on the Post-School Survey & Outcomes page.


Do students need to work for 90 consecutive days to meet the requirements for employment?

When asked if leavers have been competitively employed since leaving high school, they must be paid at or above minimum wage and work an average of 20 hours per week, over the course of at least 90 days. Those 90 days do not have to be consecutive and can occur over any period since the student left high school.

Are odd-jobs considered competitive employment?

Yes, if the jobs are paid. Odd jobs such as yard work, childcare, and a student running their own business are all considered employment.  

Is military service considered competitive employment?

Yes, serving in the military counts as full-time employment, even if the student is in boot camp, or isn't on active duty at the time of the survey.