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Designing Transition Programs That Work. Presented by: Cathy Grewe, Counselor, Williamstown High School Kelly Mordecki , School Counselor Lead, Office of Institutional Education Programs. Designing Transition Programs That Work.

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Designing Transition Programs That Work


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    1. Designing Transition Programs That Work Presented by: Cathy Grewe, Counselor, Williamstown High School Kelly Mordecki, School Counselor Lead, Office of Institutional Education Programs

    2. 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

    3. Major Milestones Post-Secondary Education/Career

    4. Major Milestones

    5. 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

    6. Transition Key Components Transition is an ongoing Process, not an Event • Comprehensive Multi-Faceted • Well-planned • Systematic • Involving all stakeholders • Considers three-fold concerns:

    7. 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

    8. Comprehensive Transition Key Components Three Tier Approach

    9. Universal Transition Strategies Systems/programs in place that help ease the fears and anxieties, teach students expectations and familiarize students with the routines of the school, help students feel safe and develop a sense of belonging, address the developmental issues common to their age group, provide opportunities for engaging students, and help students realize their personal plan for success and the importance of school in the process.

    10. Targeted Transition Intervention Targeted Intervention Systems/programs in place to identify, monitor, and provide needed academic and emotional support for students who struggle with the transition.

    11. Wood County Freshman InitiativeInnovation 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.

    12. Wood County Freshman InitiativeInnovation 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.

    13. Targeted Transition: • Begins with the identification of students who potentially may struggle at the new school. • Communicating with teachers, counselors, and administrators at the feeder schools to develop an advanced warning system. • Monitoring systems to identify students who struggle academically or emotionally during the course of the new year. • Providing systems of support to address the individual issues of struggling students.

    14. 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

    15. Five key Challenges

    16. 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.

    17. Freshman Transition Programs wvde.state.wv.us School Counselors Protocols 8th Grade Transition Protocol Freshmen At Risk Early Warning Interventions

    18. Kindergarten Transition Programs wvde.state.wv.us/oel/school-readiness.php County Resources WV Kindergarten Transition Tool Kit Family Resources Transitions – presentation prepared by Betsy Peterson (2009)

    19. Sites and Resources: West Virginia Department of Education: wvde.state.wv.us National High School Center: www.betterhighschools.org National Middle School Association: www.ncmsa.net National Education Association: www.nea.org Also: www.education.com and www.kidsource.com wvde.state.wv.us/oel/school-readiness.php