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About Us

Project Description

Next Steps NH is a project to increase the college and career readiness of New Hampshire students with disabilities and/or those at risk of dropping out of school. The project will do this through implementation of evidence-based transition practices. Project flyer (PDF, 2 pages)

Image of all the words in the Next Steps NH grant proposal

The New Hampshire Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education, was awarded a State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG) for this project from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, for the years 2012-2016.

Next Steps NH focuses on developing and sustaining the skills of New Hampshire school district staff and families to increase the college and career readiness of students with disabilities and/or those at risk of dropping out. The project will focus on four strategies to meet this goal:

  1. Enhancing transition planning, activities, and opportunities
  2. Greater family-school engagement
  3. Increasing student competency through increased use of Extended Learning Opportunities (ELOs)
  4. Sustaining practices through our state institutions of higher education (IHEs), regional professional development intermediaries, a transition community of practice, and the use of technology

College and career readiness is not only an academic endeavor. Schools, students, and families must plan and work together to ensure successful transition. The outcomes of the grant will move the state from a compliance focus to a deeper, more comprehensive evidence-based approach to transition planning.

Project Partners

The leadership team for the Next Steps NH project is :

New Hampshire Department of Education

Amy Aiello, Project Coordinator, Next Steps NH, (603) 271-1536
Sherry Burbank, Education Consultant, New Hampshire Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education
Penny Duffy, Next Steps NH Grants and Contracts Technician
Tina Greco, Transition Coordinator and Section 504 Coordinator, NH Department of Education Vocational Rehabilitation
Amy Jenks, Next Steps NH Grant Consultant
Mary Lane, Education Consultant, New Hampshire Department of Education, Bureau of Special Education
Santina Thibedeau, Administrator, Bureau of Special Education; State Director of Special Education

Evergreen Evaluation and Consulting, Inc.

Brent Garrett, External Evaluator
David Merves, External Evaluator

Granite State Independent Living (GSIL)

Peter Darling, VP Community Economic Development Services
Marybeth Hammond, Transition Support Specialist
Maureen O’Donnell, Director of Educational Services

Keene State College

Steve Bigaj, Associate Dean and Professor, Education Department
Betsy Street, Project Leader

Monadnock Developmental Services

Jessica Bigaj, Next Steps NH Project Coordinator
Sheila Mahon, Project Director, MCST

North Country Educational Services (NCES) (through June 30, 2016)

Sarah Parsons, Postsecondary Transition and ELO Coordinator

Parent Information Center

Mary Grillo, Project Facilitator
Kimm Phillips, Project Director
Barbara Publicover, Project Facilitator

Plymouth State University

Ann Berry, Associate Professor, Special Education
Teneil Rineer, Graduate Assistant

QED Foundation

Kim Carter, Executive Director

Strafford Learning Center

Jill Heath, Program Director, Charles Ott Academy
Heidi Wyman, Transition Consultant

UNH Institute on Disability

Heidi Cloutier, RENEW Project Coordinator
Jonathan Drake, RENEW Project Training Coordinator
Kathy Francoeur, Project Director
JoAnne Malloy, Clinical Assistant Professor, Institute on Disability and School of Social Work

Mission and Values

image of vision values mission PDF

Contact Us

This website is maintained by Betsy Street and Steve Bigaj in the School for Professional and Graduate Studies at Keene State College. Please contact us with any questions or suggestions. We are continually updating and improving it.

Current Year Website Report

March 1, 2015 – Feb 29, 2016 (presentation size image)

Last Year Website Report

Dec 16, 2014 – Feb 28, 2015 (barely one quarter) (presentation size image)