The end of the school year can be a nervous time for students, especially those that will be making the jump into elementary school, middle school, high school or college next fall. These transitioning students are left with a variety of questions -- from curiosities about academic rigor to managing a social life and coursework, to worries about using a combination lock. (It took me more than a couple tries.)
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources on the Web that offer useful information for all stakeholders -- parents, students, educators and administrators -- that will help ensure successful transition. Here are a few for each major stepping stone in the K-12 pipeline.
The First Day of School: From Early Education to Elementary School
- Perspectives on Kindergarten: The Transition to Elementary School: From Stanford University, this blog highlights strategies to help students prepare for kindergarten, but also included are tips for elementary transitions. The article will certainly answer many questions about your child’s early education development.
- Transitioning to Elementary School: Tips and Strategies for Students with Disabilities: MyChildWithoutLimits.org highlights some great transition strategies to help your student succeed in elementary school.
- Preparing Your Child for Elementary School: OneToughJob.org produced this blog that offers some quick tips for helping your child transition into elementary school.
- Transitions to School: What Helps Children Succeed?: This post from the American Psychological Association features three strategies that can help students succeed in early learning programs, from PreK or elementary school. One of the most suggestions is building strong family-school partnerships, and the post offers ideas for accomplishing that.
Lockers, Bell Schedules, and New Friends: Transitioning into Middle School
- Transition to Middle School from the NEA: Retired teacher Peter Lorain wrote this for the National Education Association, offering ideas for schools that can help elementary school students transition successfully into middle school. Lorain also provides strategies that involve all stakeholders in the transition process.
- Making the Transition to Middle School -- How Mentoring Can Help: From the Department of Education, this guide provides plenty of tips and ideas for using mentoring to help students transition from elementary school to middle school. The PDF guide also includes links to helpful outside sources, as well as summaries of the best research on the subject.
- The Elementary to Middle School Transition -- Five Helpful Hints for Parents: These tips from the Association for Middle Level Education are basic, yet extremely practical, offering parents quick and simple strategies for helping elementary students start middle school off on the right foot.
- Transition from Elementary to Middle School -- Strategies for Educators: Authors Valerie Niesen and Paula Sachs Wise provide transition tips for elementary and middle school educators. There are plenty of useful insights into helping students succeed.
The Leap into High School
- Helping Middle School Students Make the Transition into High School: This comprehensive guide from Education.com has a lot of valuable ideas and strategies for educators and schools, offering tips for providing social, emotional and academic support for incoming students. There are suggestions for connecting middle school and high school educators and engaging parents.
- Ensuring Successful Transitions from the Middle Grades to High School: Ad Lit produced this blog, which features expert recommendations and examples of what a successful transition program might look like. There is great information here for parents, administrators, and educators.
- Middle School and High School Transitions -- Parent Resource Guide: This is a valuable guide for parents from Slyvan Learning that's available for download. It features different strategies for dealing with transition realities -- like new social opportunities and new academic challenges. Also included are several discussion questions parents and teenagers can talk through when preparing for middle school and high school.
Off to College
- Transition to College -- How You Can Help Your High School Senior: CollegeParents.org produced this blog, featuring some helpful tips and food for thought for parents of high school seniors. It’s a great starting point for parents, and these plenty here to help students start their post-secondary educations off right.
- High School to College Transition -- Three-Part Series: This Huffington Post series from Brian Harke, Dean of Students at the University of Southern California, is a great premier for parents of incoming college freshmen. First, Harke covers how to put some realistic expectations in place, and he also touches on academics and social challenges.