“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” – Albert Einstein
A focus on the transition from middle to high school is critical in preventing students at risk of dropping out of school from actually leaving school. The review of research on transition programs finds that students are less likely to drop out of high school if they participate in programs that help them transition from middle school (Mizelle, 1999). A recent study of Maryland schools revealed that many schools have instituted schools-within-schools, 9th grade academies, smaller learning communities, and other strategies aimed at improving the transition from middle to high school (Legters and Kerr, 2001).
This transition occurs at a time when most young adolescents also are experiencing the physical, psychological, and social changes associated with adolescence, including the new role demands presented by parents, peers, and teachers. Visit: Seven Ways to Prepare for the Transition to Middle and High School
The National Parent Teacher Association suggests the following strategies for family involvement during the transition from middle to high school:
- Keep the lines of communication open between you and your preteen. Ask open-ended questions, which require more than a yes or no answer. For example, you might ask, “What did you do that was interesting today?” as opposed to “Did you have math today?”
- Continue to provide rules and structure for your children, inviting them to contribute to the establishment of the rules.
- Encourage your preteens early on to familiarize themselves with their class schedule, locker procedures, school rules, and so forth in order to decrease anxiety.
- Provide opportunities for your preteen to become more responsible, whether it’s locating volunteer opportunities in the community or assigning them regular household chores.
- Get to know the school’s administration and faculty, so that you can keep track of your preteen’s progress.
- Request copies of the school calendar, discipline and other policies, class outlines, and so forth if these are not routinely sent to parents. Make sure, too, that you receive your student’s report card every quarter.
- Continue to do things as a family, whether having dinner together or taking day-trips to places of interest to your child.
- National Parent Teacher Association PTA – Every child. One voice. Search for middle to high school transition.
An important strategy for successful transition for Kentucky Middle School students is the development of the Individual Learning Plan or ILP. The Individual Learning Plans or ILPs for Kentucky’s 6th grade through 12th grade students are changing how student prepare themselves for their future. The ILP has many features and resources that involve students on a variety of levels:
- Exploring careers beginning in the 6th grade
- Finding careers that match their skills and interests
- Creating education plans
- Establishing personal goals and revisiting these as they progress through school
- Creating, maintaining and changing resumes
- Tracking and reflecting on their community services experiences, work experiences, career-planning activities, and extra-curricular and organization activities
- Exploring colleges and postsecondary opportunities that match their career, postsecondary and life goals
Health and Development
The World Health Organization, WHO, identifies adolescence “as the period in human growth and development that occurs after childhood, from ages 10 -19. It represents one of the critical transitions in the life span and is characterized by a tremendous pace in growth and change that is second only to that of infancy.”Recommended Visits to Doctor
- Well-child checkups and immunizations: 14 years, 16 years, 18 years
- Early identification of problems – slow growth, inappropriate weight for height, maltreatment, delays, vision, hearing, language, acute and chronic diseases, mental health issues
- Young person learns to talk with doctor, describe lifestyle and symptoms, follow through with treatment regimens.
- Learn to make own health care appointments, refill prescriptions
- Learn about equipment, how to maintain and fix (or instruct others)
- Learn about health insurance – what it covers and when coverage ends
- Plan for transition from pediatrician to adult-focused doctor
- Health routines such as brushing teeth, hygiene
- Healthy diet and maintaining healthy weight
- Stay physically fit
- Adequate sleep
- Safety in sports, driving, home; has emergency plans
- Ability to determine if becoming sick and what to do
- Knows basic first aid and CPR
- Responsible sexual behavior
- Avoiding tobacco, alcohol, drugs
- Prevention and early detection of behavioral problems
- Early detection and treatment of depression/ suicidal thoughts
- Early detection of other mental health issues
- Caution in use of internet – people may not be who they say they are.
- World Health Organization – Adolescent Development