8th-9th Grade Transition

Incentive Team Project

Sha Boyle

Judi Ferreira

Rachel Carney

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Intended Goal:

- initiate communication between 8th and 9th team

- focus on creating a plan for a smooth high school transition


- dropout rates of 8% with schools with a fully operational transitional program versus a 24% rate without a transition plan

- important for students to feel part of a community and this should begin prior to entering the high school building

-low attendance during the first 30 days of the 9th grade year is a stronger indicator of students dropping out than any other 8th grade predictor, including strong test scores, and other academic achievement.

-the more connected students are to their school, the better they will do in terms of grades, test scores, attendance, and discipline.


- students 3-5 times more likely to fail class in 9th grade

- 9th grade failure rates higher than any other year

- between 70-80% of students who fail first year will not graduate

Breakthrough Collaborative


May 2013

- initiate communication on current transition practices

July 2013

- review current literature

- shared documents with principals but could not schedule meeting time

September 2013

- met with 9th grade team

- discussed strengths and weaknesses of current transition practices

- ideas generated to bring back to 8th grade team about preparing students for 9th grade expectations

October 2013

- had 9th graders complete survey- shared results with team

- created parent survey- asked to wait due to the Endicott Survey

- contacted Hudson school district, discussed transition activities that they implement

- had a 2 hour PD at the high school to discuss transition activities- alternatives to full grade level step up day

- pilot program- bring small group of 8th graders to the high school for an entire day

- list of teachers interested in doing a shadow day

- 9th graders talking to 8th graders

- created steps:

1. identify 10 kids at KRMS, and 10 kids at KRHS- decide on date

2. shadow day for some teachers

3. panel discussion from 9th graders to 8th graders

4. present senior projects to middle school

5. parent survey- send home with report cards (not able to do this year)

November 2013

- coordinated teacher shadow day

- met with Lynn Healy to discuss transition ideas

December 2013

- teacher shadow day

- ten students shadowed 9th graders for the entire day

- collected feedback from students

- had students for lunch to process experience

January 2014

- 8th grade team met with high school and middle school guidance to talk about expectations of schedule

February 2014

- digital portfolio scoring- included cross district members

- high school teacher brought back information on digital portfolio to present to 9th grade team

- high school guidance department presented to 8th grade, brought 9th grade students, 9th/10th grade special education teacher came as well

Spring 2014

- high school special education teacher shadow middle school for the day

- school newspaper article highlights of shadow day

- special education/alternative students visit high school

Throughout course of the year, ongoing research review.

Future Transition Plan to be Implemented:

1. Every 8th grader should shadow in small group a 9th grader one time.

2. The 8th grade pilot group from this year should act as mentors for next year.

3. Every 8th grade student should attend the incoming 9th grade parent night.

4. Continued shadowing between 8th and 9th grade staff.

5. Encouragement of junior/seniors to volunteer at the middle school.