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Transition Resources

It does not take a lot to significantly help a youth transition. Small steps can be taken to help youth transition from grade to grade and from school to school. In this section there are several resources that can help with implementing a small or extensive transition program.

Vertical Transitions Webinar from April 17, 2013

Current Research and Preliminary Findings on the Eighth to Ninth Grade and High School to Postsecondary Transitions

Welcome to Our School—A Transition from Elementary to Middle School: A Lesson Plan for Teachers

Get your students involved in the welcoming of new students!In designing transition programs it is important to include all groups involved, including educators, families and students. Youth can be very effective in designing programs to support their peers because at one point they were in transition too. Involve second year students to help develop and carry out transition programs. Families who have successfully transitioned into the school can be a support for entering families – answering questions, providing suggestions, helping with orientation, among other things

Easing the Transition to High School: Research and Best Practices Designed to Support High School Learning

This toolkit contains four resources—a fact sheet, policy brief, research brief, and snapshot—on how to support and guide a smooth transition into high school.

Transitions: Turning Risks into Opportunities for Student Support

This introductory packet is designed to provide frameworks and practice tools for addressing transitions. When seen as a part of a comprehensive component for learning support, the potential risks stemming from transitions become opportunities to enhance learning support. Samples of tools, model programs, and evidence based interventions are provided as a way to stimulate thinking on how to maximize the opportunities of key transitions. In depth resources are suggested for working on specific transitions.


After school programs are a proven method of helping to improve a school's performance. Studies show that afterschool programs improve academic achievement, reduce grade retention and increase student attendance and interest in school. Across the country, afterschool is a key element in strategies to turn around under-performing schools.

Congress recognized the benefits of afterschool by mandating provision of extra learning opportunities in afterschool hours through the creation of the Title I Supplemental Educational Services program.

According to state departments of education, more than 7,000 schools in the United States are considered in need of improvement. Some characteristics of successful schools include high academic achievement, clear standards and evaluation processes, community involvement and students who are engaged in learning. After school programs offer a chance to reinforce and supplement the curriculum by offering new and different opportunities for learning that further engage students in school. Community involvement frequently is built in, as many afterschool programs are partners with community- and faith-based organizations.

Linking School and After School: Strategies for Success

The Evaluation Exchange produces a periodical on emerging strategies in evaluation. In this issue there is copious amount of information from linking school and afterschool, to evaluation of out of school time programs, and effective afterschool strategies. This is a good initial resource, but there is a tremendous wealth of knowledge on the Harvard Family Research Project website. Take a moment to read this periodical and check out the Harvard Family Research Project website.

Finance Project: Information Resource Center

Finance Project: Information Resource Center offers access to a wealth of information on policies, programs, and financing strategies for initiatives striving to improve the lives of children, families and communities. Resources focus on promising practices, guides to federal funding, out-of-school time, supporting and sustaining adolescent programs, and adolescents who are transitioning out of foster care.

The Finance Project is a nonprofit firm that helps leaders make smart investment decisions, develop sound financing strategies, and build solid partnerships that benefit children, families, and communities. A selection of recent publications includes

Summer School

A strong body of evidence supports the conclusion that summer learning loss affects nearly all young people. The types and amounts of losses vary, but overall, the research consistently shows that summer learning loss is real and results in long-term, life-altering consequences.

For example, new and existing research reveals that:

    • *Two-thirds of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college (Alexander et al, 2007).
    • Most students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. Low-income students also lose more than two months in reading achievement, while their middle-class peers make slight gains (Cooper, 1996). When this pattern continues throughout the elementary school years, lower income youth fall more than two and one-half years behind their more affluent peers by the end of fifth grade.
    • Most children – particularly children at high risk of obesity – gain weight more rapidly when they are out of school during summer break (Von Hippel et al, 2007).

The National Summer Learning Association serves as a national resource for individuals and organizations. Drawing from our own research and the research of others, we synthesize relevant information, make it available to general audiences, and distribute a growing collection of publications that cover summer learning issues.

Find resources, publications, research, and other extremely helpful information about summer learning loss, and how to combat it.

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