Transition Team Review, Grade Contract, Spring Semester, 2000 : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Transition Team Review

Submitted by Jill Katrin

Spring Grade Contract 2000

I served as a committee member on the International Falls Transition Team for the 1999-2000 school year. This team consisted of teachers from grades sixth through eighth, administrators, seventh and eighth grade students, and parents. I was serving on this committee as both a parent of a sixth grader and an educator. Our first meeting was held on September 28, 1999. At this time, transition goals, obstacles, assets, enrichment opportunities, parent involvement, and a list of "Dreams" was discussed. The next step taken by the committee was shorten the list to a few goals or issues, accomplish those, and then move forward. The team discussed the importance of visiting other schools to see how these schools helped with the transition process including: advisor/advisee programs, class periods, team teaching, common planning time for teachers, and etc.

During the next meeting, a decision was made on what schools to visit and who was to go where. It was decided that trips must be completed by November 19, 1999. Committee members were divided amongst the following schools: Kelliher, Bemidji, Perham, Grand Rapids, and Warroad. A list of questions to ask the schools was developed. During the next meeting, members discussed what they gleaned from the visited schools. A list of what members felt was needed to help with the transition was developed. These goals consisted of:

1. Set up an Advisor/Advisee period

2. Create a five year plan

3. Consultant for staff development

4. Move classrooms into clusters

5. Adjustment of class periods

One of the committee members developed a list of activities that could be done during the advisor/advisee period. Examples consisted of: tutoring time, conferences between student and advisory teacher, sharing circle (Responsive Classroom), pleasure reading and discussions, fun activities such as games, and educational activities for social skills, study skills, and test-taking. Recognition of seventh and eighth grade students for school achievement was also discussed. Ideas for recognizing a "student of the week" were discussed. Arrangements for the sixth grade students to spend the day at the high school were made, too. Each sixth grade student was paired up with a seventh grade student.

The seventh and eighth grade staff member feel that reducing the current eight period day would help with the transition of sixth grade students. Other staff members were not all supportive of the proposed scheduling changes. Thus, the staff at the Falls High School voted down on changing the current period schedule. No class periods will be changed for the 2000-2001 year. Further discussion will continue with this area of concern.

Our next meeting will be on May 11, 2000. The following is a agenda of what will be discussed: update on recognition, update on scheduling, update on classroom changes, advisor/advisee plan, and parental communication and community connection. I would have waited until after this meeting to submit this review, but I wanted to submit it before our last class on May 10, 2000. The goals developed by this committee are so valuable. It is my greatest hope that some of them will be in place next year.

-- Anonymous, April 30, 2000

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