There are times when student records are not completely transferred to the new school until sometime after the new student begins classes there. Teachers have difficulties till the time the student’s records are fully updated as they don’t know how well the student has progressed in the previous schools. Luckily there are some strategies that schools can use for a smoother transition for the student and the teacher.
Strategies for a Smoother Transition
Since the records do take some time to get from the previous school to the present one, a member of the staff of the new school can be given the responsibility of calling up the previous school in order to collect information about the student. This can be done as soon as the student enrolls and starts appearing for the classes.
This can effectively take place in the form of a questionnaire that can be used as a reference when the staff member calls up the previous school. A school team can build this questionnaire for the staff member to ask. While they prepare the questionnaire, the team should incorporate the following ideas and questions:
- How were math and reading instructions at the school? The staff member should ask about specific programs and the time given to them. Inquire about the approach of the teacher instructing the students during these programs.
- The student’s academic strengths. This will give the new school some idea about what the teachers can expect from the students during the course of instruction
- Any concerns of the previous school regarding the student’s academic shortcomings. This will allow the new school to come up with supplemental programs to transition the student to cope better with the subject matter being taught.
- Any problems with attendance and the demeanor of the student. This aspect will serve to inform the new school how to deal with any behavioral issues of the student and whether they can expect class disruption from the student’s end. This will allow the new school to come up with strategies for disciplinary action.
- Asking if the student was involved in any special programs by the school such as co-curricular activities, after school lessons and so on. This may help the new school come up with strategies that keep the student motivated and not lag behind other students in the school.
Another strategy that can be used to accommodate mobility in schools for new students is to use screening measures to assess the student’s abilities. This includes the student’s reading ability (pace and understanding) and if any special instructional needs have to be catered to. These screenings and series of interactions can help evaluators assess where the student stands currently.
If they are lagging behind the expectations for the current grade level, the school team can step in to see where the student is lagging and come up with measures to bring the student up to speed.
Planning is necessary for both strategies to be effective. The staff involved should know their exact roles and be familiar so that the transition happens more effectively.