U of O
The Center on Brain Injury
Research & Training

School Transition & re-Entry Program (STEP)


Funded by:

US Department of Education—National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research

Project Period:

October 1, 2006 – September 30, 2011

Project Contact:

Debbie Ettel, Ph.D.



Project Director/Principal Investigator:

Ann Glang, Ph.D.




Bonnie Todis, Ph.D.



Research Team:

Debbie Ettel, Ph.D.



Melissa McCart




Due, in part, to inconsistent procedures for transitioning students from hospital to school, many students with TBI who need support are not identified for special education and as a result do not receive appropriate services when they return to school. This federally-funded project is studying a hospital-school transition model, the School Transition & re-Entry Program (STEP) which includes hospital, school, and family components.

Hospital: The STEP model provides hospitals with a simple, consistent process for linking TBI patients and their parents with school personnel. After obtaining parent consent, the hospital contacts the State Department of Education (DOE) to provide general information about the child and his or her injury.

School: The contact person at the DOE informs a trained school STEP facilitator in the region where the student attends school that the student is returning to school. This local educator contacts the student’s parents, and provides resources as needed. The STEP facilitator also assesses the school’s need for support and resources, and provides these as needed, or points the school toward the necessary resources. The STEP facilitator sets up a process for tracking the student’s progress over time, and is available to provide resources to the family and school staff.

Family: After discharge from the hospital, parents receive a parent information notebook with (a) materials about childhood TBI, and (b) the Brain Injury Partners parent advocacy training program (http://free.braininjurypartners.com). In addition, parents can call the STEP facilitator at any time for information about resources for the student and family.