Supporting Students Through School Transitions

It's very likely that our students will spend more time at Soundview than any other school they go on to attend. This is a tremendous advantage when it comes to building relationships, character development, and academic achievement. But transitions are still difficult. And they take time. We assume a school transition period is at least one academic year. 

Every spring, the challenges and opportunities of transition move to the forefront of our work with students. Our 8th graders receive high school decisions. We welcome incoming families for the following school year. And we say goodbye to families. These transitions exercise and exemplify the IB Learner Profile Traits that we coach and model for students on a daily basis. 

Here's how we support our students and some ideas for how others can support students in their transitions: 

  1. Empower students to pass on their knowledge and experience to younger students. 
  2. Normalize the emotions, and help students balance feelings of the unknown of change.
  3. Set aside time to simply communicate about the journey of life and what it's like to experience transitions.
  4. Help students articulate who they are, the principles that guide them, and identify their unique contributions to our community. Remind them they will take these qualities into their new community too. 
  5. Reflect with students on the growth they've made. And help them visualize the ongoing growth they will continue to make. 
  6. Identify their core support network and review the importance of risk-taking and open-mindedness for future self-advocacy. 

Transitions teach adaptability. It's a wonderful way to see our students off - they always make us proud. In so many ways, the IB Learner Profile Traits prepare students to make the most of these opportunities and embrace the challenges.