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All students go through transitions in their educational careers, from moving up a grade, to moving to a different school. Schools need to provide transition programming to improve school goals by supporting youth development and reducing dropout rates. Comprehensive transition programming includes providing social and academic support for students in new grades or new schools through counseling and mentoring, family outreach, community engagement, and by providing post-secondary and workplace readiness programming and training for educators and youth to help further support students in periods of transition.
WHY FOCUS ON TRANSITION PROGRAMS?
Comprehensive transition programming includes, but is not limited to, providing social and academic support for students in three significant periods of transition:
- Students Accessing Special Education Services: Transition programs for students in special education help prepare students with disabilities to gain access to the supports and services necessary to become as independent as possible. The transition planning process includes helping students successfully move from school to post-secondary education and training, independent living and employment, based on a student’s abilities, needs and goals.
- Students Progressing to New Grade Levels: Ninth grade transitions are incredibly significant. Freshmen frequently demonstrate a decline in academic achievement and attendance and students fail ninth grade than any other grade of high school. Assisting middle school students and their families with successfully negotiating their transition to high school through outreach like academic support, mentoring, and post-secondary and workplace readiness programming and make the difference between dropping out and graduation.
- Students Moving Schools: Highly mobile students such as homeless youth, migrant students and youth in foster care are often most at risk during these transition periods. Student mobility rates are significantly increasing in Colorado and the research shows that mobile students are more likely to fall behind academically and have higher dropout rates during their periods of transition from school to school.