"The Transition Team" article submitted by Jill Katrin

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Jill Katrin

Grade A Proposal

Part II

November, 1999

The following article has been submitted to The Daily Journal newspaper in International Falls. I wrote this article with another member from the Transition Team. This article explains what the team is and what its goals are. I will write a paper in the Spring to update the programs goals.

The Transition to Middle School International Falls Expansion Project

There are many transitions in the life of a student with varying levels of stress. Since adolescence itself also brings a time of questions and changes, students entering a middle school or junior high seem to have a difficult time adjusting to these transitions. Students leaving the security of one elementary school teacher encounter even more uncertainty upon entering several different secondary classrooms. A committee has been formed in the hopes of easing this transition period for our youth.

With a grant from the Center for School Change and matching funds from the school district, a transition team consisting of students, parents, teachers of sixth, seventh, and eighth grade, and administrators meet monthly to discuss transition needs and concerns of middle school students. Vicky Nelson of the Center for School Change is the groups facilitator.

Team members developed a list of transitional needs and goals. These consist of:

 A community learning environment

 Advisor/Advisee program with Social Skill curriculum

 A differentiated 7-8 schedule

 Improved communication tools for students, parents, and teachers

 Enrichment opportunities, talents and gifts incorporated

 Assurance of Mastery and mentoring programs

Telephone surveys were conducted to obtain information about Middle School programs. The telephone survey inquired about class schedules, homeroom/advisory periods, multidisciplinary team teaching, common planning time for teachers, and curriculum approaches such as interdisciplinary or thematic units and enrichment opportunities. Team members will be visiting schools throughout the state of Minnesota to further examine Middle School programs and facilities.

-- Anonymous, November 15, 1999

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