As your district begins to transition into a brand-new school year, this might be a good time to think about measuring how well your students are navigating their transition from one school to another. Moving on to middle and high school can be a very exciting time in a child’s life.
However, research shows us that each transition from one level to the next presents unique challenges. How well students make those transitions can help determine how they view school and how successful they are in their academic careers.
Students entering middle school may struggle as they face increased academic standards and social pressures, in addition to learning how to navigate their new building and class schedule – and even remembering their locker combination. Knowing where to go for help, finding connections with teachers and peers, and learning study skills and time management are all critical to students’ success.
Researchers have found that entering high school is the most challenging transition students will face. As they move from middle to high school, students are less dependent on their parents and are increasingly influenced by their peers. Positive peer-to-peer bonds are essential as students make decisions that ultimately affect their long-term future. Students may also need more support in knowing which classes they should take and how to prepare themselves for life after high school.
At School Perceptions, we have built surveys to gather data from both outgoing and incoming middle and high school students to help you gauge how well students are doing in those areas and how you can help.
Learning from the outgoing students can help you prioritize your efforts and resources in helping the incoming students succeed. Our elementary and middle school exit surveys have been developed to give you insight into important questions such as:
Do your students have a positive attitude toward school?
How well did you support your elementary and middle school students?
Are your students prepared for the next level?
What can you learn from your outgoing students before they leave?
What challenges did students experience?
Similarly, there’s much to be learned from incoming students as they enter into a new school. Our middle and high school entrance surveys help you to answer questions such as:
How has the transition to middle or high school impacted your students?
Do your students have supportive peer relationships?
What are your students’ most significant barriers to their success as they adjust to middle and high school?
Are your students connecting and relating to their teachers?
Do your students feel like they fit in at school?
Do your students have the social, emotional, and academic supports they need?
Children grow and change very quickly during the middle and high school years. Educators have the unique honor of watching students evolve, as well as the opportunity to play an important role in their growth. We believe that the answers to these questions will help districts to anticipate students’ needs and provide them with the tools they need to meet many of the challenges that come with growing up.
The School Perceptions Blog and Resource Center features the voices of our team members. This post was written by Cari Udermann, Project Implementation Manager.