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Designing Transition Programs That Work

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Presentation on theme: "Designing Transition Programs That Work"— Presentation transcript:

1 Designing Transition Programs That Work
Presented by: Cathy Grewe, Jackson Middle School Carla McCay, Parkersburg High School

2 Standard 2 – Program Delivery Function 2G: SUCCESSFUL TRANSITIONS
The professional school counselor establishes student supports for successful transitioning through programmatic levels, and from school to school, school to work, or school to post-secondary, or career and technical training.

3 Designing Transition Programs That Work
“ If students successfully make transitions into each level of schooling (elementary, middle, and high), they are significantly more likely to graduate from high school.” Robert Balfantz

4 Major Milestones Post-Secondary Education/Career High School
Elementary/ Kindergarten Middle School High School Post-Secondary Education/Career

5 Going to KIndergarten

6 Considerations Developmental concerns - gross motor coordination, fine motor skills, cognitive. Adaptive skills – dress, personal care. Language and Communication skills Attachment issues Emotional/Behavioral issues.

7 Kindergarten Transition Programs County Resources WV Kindergarten Transition Tool Kit Family Resources Transitions – presentation prepared by Betsy Peterson (2009)

8 3rd Grade Considerations
Social life becomes more important than schoolwork/wants to fit in. Gaining confidence/increased decision-making. Academic concerns/grades & standardized testing begin. Increased work/academic anxiety. Increased awareness of and tendency toward pop culture.

9 Moving Up to Middle School


11 Considerations Major developmental issues – physical, cognitive, social, and psychological. Academic performance tends to decline after students enter the middle grades. Student concerns are logistical, social/motivational and academic. Students entering middle grades are also entering adolescence - importance of peers and need to belong.

12 A well-designed transition plan…
…can restore the strong sense of belonging the entering middle school student once felt in elementary school – a key element associated with the positive motivation to enjoy and success in academic tasks. National Middle School Association Position Statement on Curriculum Integration

13 Transition studies… “ …are calling for a more comprehensive approach in which educators, parents and students work together to design and implement the best programs for helping students make the transition from elementary to middle grades schools.” Yvonne Thayer, Senior Director for SREB’s Making Middle Schools Work

14 Going to High School g High

15 Considerations Anxiety is high over school procedures
Increased importance of academic achievement (credits). Increased significance of peer associations. Environment requires more self-reliance and self-control. Influence of older peers. Increased societal concerns/issues.

16 Ninth Grade is known as …
“The pivotal year.” “Holding tank for high schools.” “Key valve in the education pipeline.” “Greatest leakage in the education pipeline.” “Most difficult transition point in education.” “The ninth grade bulge.” “The great sieve.” More students fail ninth grade than any other grade level.

17 9th Grade Bulge in WV Gr. 8 in ‘07-’08 – 21,262

18 20% of the 2007-08 Freshmen did not graduate.
15% of all West Virginia ninth grade students fail at least two courses. Several studies have found that schools with extensive transition programs had significantly lower failure and dropout rates than those schools that did not offer comprehensive programs. National High School Center

19 9th Grade Transition Programs
Dekalb County, Georgia Summer Bridge Program Freshmen Academy Increased Math or English Advisor/advisee Tutoring Programs for identified students Skills Acquisition Model

20 9th Grade Transition Programs
Bayou Blue Middle/Central Lafourche HS Summer Bridge Program Freshmen Academy Freshmen Seminar Class Advisor/advisee Tutoring Programs for identified students Speakers & Extra Curricular Opportunities

21 Wood County Freshman Initiative Innovation Zone
ENGAGE: Engaging Freshmen to Educate, Graduate, and Achieve Post-Secondary Goals KEY FOCUS AREAS: ENGAGE ACTIVITIES: Universal freshmen transition strategies to provide programs, activities, curricula, and support systems designed to address fears and alleviate transition difficulties, to increase opportunities for meaningful peer and adult mentorships, to provide stronger support systems for struggling students. P.A.S.S. PERSONALIZING ACADEMIC AND SOCIAL SUPPORT: Academic and social support will be available for all students who struggle academically, socially, behaviorally, or emotionally. GOAL MENTORSHIP PROGRAM: Community members, teachers, and senior students will serve as GOAL Mentors who will meet with groups of students to develop meaningful relationships and to help students develop academic and post-secondary goals.

22 Wood County Freshman Initiative Innovation Zone
KEY COMPONENTS A transition day on the first day of the school year for incoming high school students to include formation of ninth grade groups, tours, and activities to promote academic success. Monthly Freshmen ENGAGE assemblies and activities focusing on achieving academic success, career awareness, and activities that promote the ninth graders’ commitment to take responsibility for academic success and choose to graduate. Identifying at-risk students for more intensive transition activities and preparation for high school. Developing and implementing stronger support systems for ninth grade at-risk (PASS) students through additional tutoring and scheduled academic support opportunities. Using a monitoring matrix based on the ABC risk factors, freshman teacher teams will monitor student achievement and form personalized intervention plans. One-on-one GOAL Mentorships: Adult mentors will be assigned to At-risk PASS students to encourage academic and behavioral engagement, goal setting, and help students develop a vision for their futures and the importance of school.

23 Freshman Transition Programs School Counselors Protocols 8th Grade Transition Protocol Freshmen At Risk Early Warning Interventions

24 Transition Key Components
Transition is an ongoing Process, not an Event Comprehensive Multi-Faceted Well-planned Systematic Involving all stakeholders Considers three-fold concerns: Cognitive Academic Affective Social-Emotional Expectations Behavioral

25 Comprehensive Transition Key Components
Three Tier Approach Recovery/Intensive Targeted Intervention Transition Strategies Universal Transition Strategies

26 Universal Transition activities may include:
School visits/Step Up Days providing students with a snapshot of a normal day at the new school. Freshman Seminar/Freshman Class Multiple orientation events involving students from both feeding and receiving schools. Freshman Advisories/Advisor/advisee Welcome pep rally Speakers Extra-curricular opportunities

27 Targeted Transition programs may include:
Summer Start-up Program for targeted at-risk students. Social support groups and counseling. Safety Net Programs/Tutoring or support classes for academic support. Doubling doses of English or Math Assign adult advocates/Mentors Linking students to students/student mentors/tutors. Close monitoring of academic performance and attendance of at-risk students.

28 Other recommendations:
Personalize the learning environment with ninth grade academies and academic teams. Teacher teams can establish a common system of expectations, and discuss students regularly to identify common problems and discuss solutions. Provide ample opportunities and encouragement to be involved in school activities. Involve parents and the community to encourage students and help them see relevance in their coursework. Develop a Freshman Transition Team to develop, monitor, and evaluate Freshman Transition Programs.

29 Comprehensive Transition Key Components
Orientation activities involving teachers, students and families to alleviate the anxieties accompanying a move to a new school setting Providing students and parents with information about the new school. Sponsoring Parent Nights and other means of sharing new school information with parents. Arranging School Visits – Receiving school representatives to feeder school and students visiting receiving schools. Plan program to meet the needs of the local learning community.

30 Comprehensive Transition Key Components
Collaboration – Collective, Collegial Approach between schools, parents and teachers before and during transition. Relationships – Provides clear connections with caring adults. Early Identification – recognizing students who could be considered at-risk before and in the process of the transition year. Having a rigorous plan for providing relentless academic support. Modify staff and schedules when needed. Develop a “failure is not an option” culture for students, parents, and teachers.


32 Table Talk: What are some issues affecting transitions related to your school setting or programmatic level? What practices or programs is your school or district using to facilitate successful transitions for your students?

33 Sites and Resources: West Virginia Department of Education: National High School Center: National Middle School Association: National Education Association: Also:

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