Presentation on theme: "Fostering Protective Factors in the Grade 8 Transition to Secondary School."— Presentation transcript:
Fostering Protective Factors in the Grade 8 Transition to Secondary School
The Struggle The transition to secondary school comes at a critical point in adolescent development and has potential long term effects. Students who are unsuccessful in grade 9 are more likely to struggle throughout school and as young adults. Grade 9 students struggle significantly with peer interaction, teacher interaction, attendance, mental health issues, bullying and falling academic performance, putting them “at-risk.”
At-Risk As identified in the Early School Leavers Study (2005), an at-risk youth is one who is unlikely to successfully progress towards graduation with the skills and self- confidence necessary to have meaningful options in the areas of work, leisure, culture, civic affairs, and relationships (cited in Tilleczek & Ferguson, 2007).
Nested Transitions Tilleczek (2010) suggests the transition from elementary to secondary school is best described as a series of “nested transitions”: From childhood to adulthood (physical and cognitive development); Along pathways to success through schools, communities and families; From elementary to secondary school within these larger transitions.
The Paradox Want more independence and autonomy. Need more support to navigate changes. Elementary School Secondary School
Self-esteem hangs in the balance Self-esteem is the integrated sum of self- worth and self-competence. Self-worth is strongly influenced by quality of relationships with others and the judgements we make about how we are living up to expectations. Self-competence is related to our belief in our own coping skills. (Mruk, 1999 cited in Jindal-Snape & Miller, 2008).
Jindal-Snape & Miller (2008) summarize a number of resilience and risk factors in their exploration of transition using resilience and self-esteem theories. Self-esteem Locus of control social skills temperament personal awareness empathy parenting style parent relationship academic performance friend network Resilience Factors Risk Factors
5 Areas Key to Transition Decreasing the number of problems in child’s life, Thinking of life as a developmental pathway, Providing a secure base of attachments, Fostering self-esteem, and Facilitating self-efficacy by involvement in planning and preparation (Jindal-Snape & Miller, 2008).
Literature Review other comprehensive literature reviews studies involving 1:1 interviews/written feedback longitudinal surveys meta studies in which survey data was complemented by school data
Recommendations Foster school attachment. Provide opportunities to form and reinforce positive relationships with peers. Create opportunities for relationship building and mentoring by senior students and caring adults. Decrease anticipation stress of adolescents (and families) by providing accurate information about expectations, school structure, and strategies. Increase feelings of competency by providing opportunities to achieve success and practice skills Collaborate with families to support adolescents.
First week of school; seniors go Wed, gr. 9s Thu/Fri. Senior mentors meet grade 9s at camp and give out CCSS t-shirts, the unofficial camp uniform Grade 9s and student and teacher mentors participate in a variety of activities, each followed by a debriefing session ice breakers GLO motivational & problem solving activities high & low ropes challenges Highlight: motivational speech by Stu Saunders
Team building Goal setting Forming relationships with peers, seniors and staff Leadership Personal development and awareness Understanding “High school is what you make of it” Inclusive community building Embrace diversity Peer support Cultivating sense of belonging The Goals of the Activities
What we experienced … Staff Senior mentors Grade 9s
What happened later … Continued positive relationships between grade 9s and the staff and seniors who attended the camp Lots of CCSS t-shirts in the halls Dramatic reduction in the course failure rate between first semester this year and last for grade 9 students. (Only 19 grade 9 students failed courses at the end of semester 1, vs. 44 previous year.) Reduction number of suspension days for grade 9 students. Substantial drop in truancy rate for gr. 9s in semester 1 over the previous year. (Reduced by half.) At risk students who did not go to camp still face the most challenges
Suspensions First Camp Cohort Second Camp Cohort Sem 1GradeTotal ## of RepeatsAvg # of DaysMedian # of Days 2011/129923.53 2010/11916833 2011/12109121 2010/111024532 Sem 2GradeTotal ## of RepeatsAvg # of DaysMedian # of Days 2011/129 2010/11910531 2011/1210 2010/1110201133
Attendance First Camp Cohort Second Camp Cohort totalnumber% total days yeargradestudentstruant absentlateexcused 20129 201192163114%45020248 201092486126%93340977 200992716424%77134799 201210 2011102437430%94142487 2010102539839%1784568170 20091030212842%1677472188
The CCSS Grade 9 Retreat 2011 and 2011 and Follow up Expanded senior mentor training and role facilitated by The Beanstalk Project – www.thebeanstalkproject.orgwww.thebeanstalkproject.org Integration of leadership/teambuilding workshops in programming for those not attending Follow up motivational session mid-September by Beanstalk Project for all grade 9s Afternoon workshops with the Beanstalk Project for Shining Stars from Camp and Students who did NOT attend camp Follow up video presentation by Beanstalk Project facilitated by mentors in home rooms
What happened next … Increased participation More of the same – fewer failures, better attendance, fewer teacher concerns How do we pull in the students who we already know are at risk and refuse to attend camp?
Looking Ahead to 2012 Grade 8 Fantastic Fridays Addition of CCSS led workshops to camp schedule, e.g., mental health awareness and resources More mentor programming throughout the school year Incorporation of elements of the IPP into the follow up work with mentors and teachers
Nuts & … Approximately 2/3, ¾ have attended – 180 grade 9s, 20 senior students, 18 staff Grade 9s pay $100 each with poverty intervention and contests for bursaries Senior students and staff do not pay Seniors help facilitate activities and supervise cabins; many offer high school 101 in cabin Singing, skits etc. are encouraged at camp fire
… Bolts Teacher participation is voluntary and includes admin, guidance, co-op, EAs as needed Teachers with grade 9 classes either go to camp, do on-calls for others who go to camp, or provide/supervise program for students who do not attend camp Everyone needs to bring sleeping bag, pillow, towels, flashlight, cold and wet weather gear – we play rain or shine!
Facilities: www.ylcc.comwww.ylcc.com YLCC Orillia can accommodate approx. 300 overnight, Pigeon Lake approx. 120; cabins with bunks and mattress sleep up to 20; common washroom facility YLCC Camp counsellor ratio is approx. 1:15 with more staff on hand; all fully trained and safety certified All meals provided; nut free Facilitated activities run from 7:30 flagpole to 11pm Facilities include high and low ropes, rock wall, fixed and non-fixed initiatives, grassy fields, wooded area, camp fire ring, beach & kayaks Separate teacher cabins w/washroom sleep up to 12 Special needs can be accommodated
Promotion Promotion during January feeder school visits and Grade 8 Parent Night Posters and permission forms go out with draft timetables in June Summer reminders through e-mail, Synervoice Forms and money collected on Orientation Day and up to Camp Day
Organization Permission forms and money collected by feeder schools and forwarded to CCSS – NOT processed by feeder schools Forms and money collected on Orientation Day and up to Camp Day One teacher goes with senior students a day early for training Students assigned to cabins such that at least 2 students from any given feeder school are in a cabin – everyone knows someone Students permitted to request a cabin mate if necessary – few do Cabins are assigned to buses Grade 9s report to the foyer on the morning we leave and find their names on alpha lists which indicate cabin and bus number Bag checks are done as students board buses YLCC plans everything else!
The Bottom Line Coyote Retreat Camp fees$16 000 Bussing 3 000 T-shirts and prizes 1 000 The Beanstalk Project Mentoring Program 3 500 Includes 2 x full day workshop 1 video module