George Lucas Educational Foundation
Family Engagement

Transition Resources for Parents, Teachers, and Administrators

Matt Davis has highlighted resources for parents, teachers, and administrators that can help students make the transition into elementary, middle, and high school -- and beyond.
May 16, 2013 Updated May 26, 2016
Eight elementary-age students are smiling, running out of the school building through three opened doors.
Photo credit: ©Gable Denims/500px

The end of the school year can be a nervous time for students, especially for those who will be making a major transition into elementary school, middle school, high school, or college in the fall. For these students, there are many curiosities and questions about academic rigor, managing a social life, handling coursework, and worries about using a combination lock. (It took me more than a couple of tries.)

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources on the web with useful information for all stakeholders -- parents, students, educators, and administrators -- to help support a successful transition to the next major stepping stone. Here are a few for each milestone in the K-12 pipeline and beyond.

The First Day of School: From Early Education to Elementary School

Lockers, Bell Schedules, and New Friends: Transitioning Into Middle School

  • Tips for Parents on a Successful Transition to Middle School: Middle school is a time of incredible growth for adolescent students, and these years have an impact on helping students gain and develop their sense of independence. This article from offers four comprehensive tips for helping middle schoolers grow socially and emotionally.
  • 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 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 to middle school. The PDF guide includes links to helpful outside sources, as well as summaries of the best research on the subject.
  • Smooth Sailing to Middle School: Author Joy Jameson Lea of the Association for Middle Level Education provides practical tips and advice for incoming middle school students and their parents, in this article. Another useful source from AMLE for teachers: "Welcoming Students to Middle School."
  • Helping Your Child Transition From Elementary to Middle School: Marie Hartwell-Walker highlights strategies for parents and students to successfully make the jump to middle school.

The Leap Into High School

Off to College and the Workforce

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