• OPTIONS Student/Parent Handbook 2018-2019

    Dear Parents and Guardians,
    We welcome your child to DCIU OPTIONS Transition Services. Transition has been defined as a process involving “a change in status from behaving primarily as a student to assuming emergent independent roles in the community.” OPTIONS is a person-centered program providing opportunities in the community for students to develop the necessary skills, habits, and attitudes for employment, travel, daily living skills and recreation and leisure skills. All referrals to OPTIONS are made through the Director of Special Education or Pupil Services when a student’s IEP team believes he or she is prepared to participate in transition services offered at the Intermediate Unit. All placements are individualized and based on each student’s current needs and goals.
    OPTIONS staff is available to attend all assessment (ER) and planning (IEP) activities. The staff wants to work with both you and your child’s current school program. As a team, we can help assess the content, direction and appropriateness of transition services for your child. Once your child is referred to a program, you will have a main contact professional and you can expect performance reports to be mailed to both you and your child’s home school quarterly.
    We are looking forward to working with you. Please call with questions or concerns. I can be reached at (610) 938-9000, ext. 2317. 
    Sonya Korinth, Supervisor, DCIU OPTIONS
    OPTIONS provides services for the fifteen area school districts in Delaware County.
    • Chester Upland School District
    • Chichester School District
    • Garnet Valley School District
    • Haverford Township School District
    • Interboro School District
    • Marple Newtown School District
    • Penn-Delco School District
    • Ridley School District
    • Rose Tree Media School District
    • Southeast Delco School District
    • Springfield School District
    • Upper Darby School District
    • William Penn School District   
    We have contracts with districts from out of county on a request/referral basis.


    Chester/ Upland Lawanda King  (Wanda) 610-499-1821 610-876-3089  
    Chichester Jim Stewart 610-485-1729 610-490-2093


    Garnet Valley   610-579-7482 610-558-7639  
    Haverford George Ramplin 610-853-5929 610-853-5921  
    Interboro Bill Bierman 610-237-9751 x331 610-237-6094  
    Marple Newtown Kathy Kane 610-359-4299 610-353-8177


    Penn Delco Mr. Groer 610-497-6300 x8604 610-485-7466 Tina Scott
    Radnor John Hearn 610-293-1947 610-971-0545  
    Ridley Darlene Burke 610-534-1900 x1102 (#3) 610-534-5459 Bus Yard, Dee-Dispatcher: 876-3820
    Rose Tree Media Bonnie Kinsler 610-627-6475 610-566-3576  
    Southeast Delco Dennis Kraus 610-522-4300 x5319 610-522-4392 Bus Depot: 610-461-2533
    Springfield Joe Baldwin 610-938-6085 610-938-6831 Head Driver: 610-938-6098
    Upper Darby Phillip Bush 610-352-7112 610-352-4294 Bus Garage: 352-8631
    Wallingford Swarthmore Patty Diaferio 610-892-3416 610-892-3440  
    William Penn kevin DiPoalo 610-284-8005 x250 610-284-8054 1st Student: 610-461-2586 | fax 461-1737


    Our goal is to support people with disabilities in preparing them to find and maintain jobs, access their communities, establish relationships, and develop their competencies and gifts within the community.

    OPTIONS is an assessment driven program offering a continuum of services in the community for individuals to develop the necessary skills, habits and attitudes for employment, independent living , and community access after graduation from school.

    OPTIONS Services Offered

    OPTIONS Community Living and Learning Program provides hands-on, real-life-experience training in the community.  Participants develop independent living skills by improving their social skills, problem-solving and decision-making techniques, and by learning to make use of available community resources.

    Participants receive training, practice and experience in a diverse array of crucial social and self-advocacy skills that are required for independent living.  In this unique community based setting, students develop daily living skills including budgeting, banking, cooking, cleaning, and simple maintenance and decorating.  They learn to access community resources including banks, post offices, retail stores, libraries, and recreational facilities.

    Students in the OPTIONS Community-Based program develop increased awareness of and confidence in, community living.  They practice pedestrian safety, awareness of potential dangers, and strategies to use if faced with uncomfortable situations.

    OPTIONS Meaningful Day Classroom provides hands-on, real-life experience training in the classroom and in the community.  This class is for life skills students who will need intensive support to access community activities and will work best as part of a group to participate in community services activities.  The program logistics model the existing Community Living and Learning Programs. 

    OPTIONS SAILS is a community based program titled Students Acquiring Independent Living Skills is a new full time class located in a community setting. SAILS is designed to increase the independent living and social interactions of young adults with a suggested minimum age of 17 with a variety of disabilities, including autism, who upon graduation could be expected to live semi-independently and/or participate in supported employment. The emphasis is on the acquisition and application of functional and age-appropriate skills in a naturalistic context. Students will receive intensive training in functional daily living skills and community access to develop and/or enhance their present skills.

    OPTIONS Travel Instruction Program provides students with intensive, one-on-one instruction in how to travel safely and independently within the community, including the use of public transportation.  This greatly expands job opportunities for students and increases their access to community recreational facilities and programs. 

    Students work toward full competency in essential travel skills.  They master specific transit routes, street-crossing skills, and functional travel-related life skills.  They learn to adapt to travel variances like missed buses, route detours and last minute schedule changes.  Instruction is also provided in interacting appropriately with strangers, and identifying community workers if assistance is needed.  Emphasis is placed on problem solving through guided discovery. After a thorough assessment, a specific route and individualized instruction is designed based upon the needs of each student.

    OPTIONS Employability Skills Training Program provides non-paid training opportunities for students with disabilities from the fifteen Delaware County School Districts.  The school IEP team, as part of the mandated transition planning, determines the appropriate services.

    Students are assessed for their abilities to follow directions, solve problems and work independently for increasingly longer periods of time.  OPTIONS emphasizes appropriate social behavior.  The OPTIONS team works with each student to target the skills and strengths that are helpful in preparing for long-term employment activities.

    OPTIONS Enhanced Employment Opportunities Program provides services to assist students to prepare for long-term employment.  Identified students begin with part-time jobs to expand and refine their employability skills. When students are employed, a job coach works with each student at specific sites. Afterwards, the coach visits periodically to assure continued success. The coach is available to address issues and concerns as they arise. Students may work year-round and are available to work weekends and holidays when needed.

    Students’ progress through the various OPTIONS Employment Programs is dependent on individual needs. Some go from training to paid employment then back again. Others are involved in both simultaneously. Employers help us assess which skills the students need to develop.

    Vocational and Situational Assessment Services – DCIU OPTIONS Vocational and Situational Assessments Programs provide students 15 years old and above with information to assist the IEP team in developing an individual transition plan that merges a student’s interests and abilities. Assessments are part of the multi-disciplinary evaluation. 

    In a Vocational Assessment, an aptitude test is divided into sections of timed exercises. Clear instructions are provided before each section.  The administrator remains available to help with instructions necessary. The exercises involve: object identification, abstract shape matching, clerical matching, pattern visualization, computation (basic math), numerical reasoning (work problems), and word meanings.  Manual and finger dexterity, and eye-hand coordination are also tested. 

    In a Situational Assessment, the student/client is placed in an actual work setting where, under supervision, he/she performs work tasks with other employees or volunteers at that site. The assessor observes, records and interprets observations. A Situational Assessment can determine a person’s strengths, interests, and amount of support needed to perform a variety of jobs in the community. The assessment is used when determining a student’s participation in the DCIU OPTIONS program where students receive a continuum of services geared at promoting the development of their marketable work skills.The assessment is typically three half days.

    College Support Program is a  transition program on a college campus to support students that are academically prepared to seek a degree or certification from a post-secondary institution, but may require intensive supports to handle the social and emotional demands of a college environment. The program will provide support for students age 17-21 and will offer services that are outside the scope of typical student supports.

    OPTIONS Adult Programs  Since 1994, under contract with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), OPTIONS has provided assessment, job-development and coaching support for clients who are no longer covered under the umbrella of Special Education Services. Since 1995, DCIU has provided extended supported employment services to the Office of Intellectual Disabilities(OID).  Because OVR services are time-limited, customers who require less than 20% job coaching support and are eligible are referred to OID or other agencies for follow-along services. OPTIONS provides Home and Habilitation services as well. 

    OPTIONS Transition Services Staff

    Supervisor: Sonya Korinth, ext. 2317
    Secretary: Mariann Blackburn ext. 2244
    Data Manager: Lorna Fyffe, ext 2247 
    Lead Teacher: Vicki Herzog, ext. 2251
    Work Site Coordinators:  Kristin Whelan, ext. 2250 – Sheree Parkinson, ext. 2249
    Community Living and Learning Coordinator: Mary Keeley, ext 2239                                                               
    Meaningful Day Coordinator: Cathy Kildea, ext. 2289
    Teacher for the SAILS Program: Debbie J. Miller ext. 2237 
    Site Trainers: Glenda Butler, Tina Rich
    Jean Kane, Chris Krebs, Marianne McGillian, Debbie Perry, Joan Steven , Lisa Talbert, Marianne Turner, Ida Walsh           
    Travel Instruction Teachers: Bob Scarlota, ext. 2228 – Jen Raech, ext. 2234 – Lynne Baer ext. 2223                                                 
    Enhanced Employment Opportunities School Age Job Coordinator: Ruth Denny ext. 2297                                                                        
    Assessment Coordinator: Deborah L. Miller, ext. 2145  
    Employment Liaison Coordinator: Cheryl Bauman ext. 2231
    Employment Liaison Specialists:  Jean Wigo ext. 2233, Jen Schaivo ext 2235 
    Employment Training Specialists: Stephanie Bruskin, Heather Francese, David Key

    INCLEMENT WEATHER NOTICE – 515 or "DCIU Special Programs"

    * Check the  KYW 1060AM webpage 
    * Check the DCIU web page, Facebook or Twitter Pages
    * Check local TV stations 
    * On the television look for DCIU Special Programs.
    ***It is possible that your district is open and the DCIU is closed or has a delayed opening***
    If 515 is: 2 hour delay, then the following sites are open at 10:00am
    If 515 is: closed, the following sites are closed:

    Employability Skills

    • Boeing
    • Giant- Baltimore Pike
    • Thrift Shop on the Avenue
    • DCIU Morton
    • Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges (during school day)
    • Marshalls at MacDade Mall 
    • Marshalls in Springfield
    Community Living and Learning: Media Apartment & Newtown Towers Apartment
    Meaningful Day: Newtown Towers
    SAILS: Media
    Travel Instruction and Enhanced Employment – Students are required to work in paid position during inclement weather unless otherwise advised.


    Inappropriate behavior is not tolerated in the community.  Every effort should be made to achieve a solution, which will allow the student to remain in the program.  Behavior which may result in the student being removed from his/her current program should be discussed with the OPTIONS Supervisor, program professional and the home school team.


    The following actions should be taken in the event of a problem:

    • The program professional should discuss the problem with participants
    • The home school contact should be made aware of the problem
    • Expectations should be discussed clearly with the participants
    • If the problem is not resolved, a formal warning should be given before the participant is asked to leave
    • A team meeting should be held to develop training strategies to address the concern and to help prevent it from occurring again. A training plan should be agreed on
    • Implementation of the training plan and progress should be documented and the participant should display a predetermined amount of improvement before returning to the program


    • Repeated absences
    • Leaving a site without permission
    • Refusal to perform assigned tasks
    • Not abiding by acceptable standards (i.e. hygiene, dress or behavior)
    • Destruction of property
    • Aggressive behavior toward co-workers or supervisor
    • Stealing
    • Use, possession or sale of alcohol or drugs, on or in the area of community classroom, or reporting to site under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    Students who participate in OPTIONS are always in the public eye.  They need to wear clean, appropriate clothing that is well fitting and free of holes.Blue jeans, mini skirts, midriff tops, t-shirts (with decals) sweat pants or shorts are not allowed.  Bare legs, including shorts and/or skirts without hosiery, are not permitted at the training sites due to health regulations.  Students who are given uniform shirts and badges for work are
     required to wear them each and every workday.  Rubber-soled shoes are recommended.  Sneakers in GOOD condition are acceptable.
    Students should always dress prepared for varying weather conditions.  We ask that students wear watches and carry an identification card.
    Each program may have varying clothing policies which will be addressed by your instructor.
    OPTIONS staff members cannot dispense or administer medication or perform any other medical functions.  Students participating in OPTIONS must be able to take care of their own medical needs while in the program.  


    It is very important that your child establish the habit of calling in when he/she cannot come to work due to illness, missing the bus; previous appointment, or any other reason.

    This is a procedure that all potential employees and community volunteers will have to follow at any place of employment where volunteering.  When your son/daughter is working or volunteering as an adult, parental phone calls are not the most acceptable form of reporting absences.

    Your son/daughter can state the following:  I ____________ will not be coming to work/apartment or travel instruction today because _____________.

    • Employability Skills Site  –  # to call out   –  Best time to call
      Boeing –  610-938-9000 x2249  – anytime before 8am 
      DCIU Morton –  610-938-9000 x2001 –  anytime before 8am
      Thrift Shop on the Avenue  – 610-284-4190   –  anytime before 8am
      Giant  – 610-938-9000 x2249  – anytime before 8am
      Haverford College  – 610-938-9000 x2250   –  anytime before 8am
      Marshalls-MacDade Mall and Springfield  –  610-938-9000 x2250  –  anytime before 8am
      Swarthmore College – 610-328-7130  – anytime before 8am  
    • Community Living and Learning
      CLL- Media Apartment N. Jackson – 484-442-8682  – anytime before 8am
      CLL- Newtown Towers Apartment  – 610-353-3049 – anytime before 8am                                                                    
    • Meaningful Day – MD – Newtown Towers – 610-353-2691 – anytime before 8am      
    • SAILS Program  – Media N. Jackson St. – 610-565-8289 – anytime before 8am                                                                                           
    • Enhanced Employment – Job Coordinator – the number will be on the training agreement
    • Travel Instruction – Travel Instructor – the number will be on the training agreement and call employers