All Aboard! The 8th Grade Transition to High School Program

Posted on 10/16/2018
This is the image for the news article titled As the new school year begins, staff at both Central High School and Nathan Hale High School are busy preparing 8th graders for their big transition to ninth grade.

“Our goal is to provide high school mentorship for intermediate school students and opportunities for parental/guardian involvement. We work to help our incoming students understand clear and consistent expectations for academics, attendance and behavior,” explains Christina Kralik, Innovation Coach at Central.

All Aboard! provides a number of supports for incoming freshmen:

9th grade Preview Night - Both High Schools - November 28, 2018
Central: 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.     Hale: 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
All intermediate school students and their families are invited to an evening at their high school. The program includes a presentation about the school, tours, and an opportunity to meet club supervisors, coaches, and teachers.

8th Grade Expo (Field Trip to High School) - All Intermediate Schools - January 17, 2019
All intermediate students head to their high school to tour the school, meet with teachers, observe classes, and get information about extracurricular activities.  

Small Group Sessions
Small groups of high school students travel to the intermediate schools to meet with 8th graders. The “question and answer" format gives students a chance to talk about the things that are important to them. Following the small group sessions, the high school students eat lunch with the intermediate school students. Now, there’s a familiar face students will see at the high school,” says Angela Gerloski, the Central Social Studies teacher that also helps coordinate the program.

Scheduling Information Night
Both schools conduct  Scheduling Information Nights that focus on the courses available to students. According to Karin Houston, Hale Counselor, “Our 8th grade parents have questions about courses and these information nights are a great way to connect them to the curriculum and expectations.”

Some 8th grade students are connected with high school mentors. Mentors help acclimate the students to their new surroundings and check in with them to make sure they are doing well.

Freshman Orientation Day
In August, incoming students come to school for a morning of school orientation activities. Students follow their class schedule and meet their teachers. Then students go on a school scavenger hunt. At the end of the session, students, teachers, and staff eat lunch together in the cafeteria.

Sports Sign Up
Both schools conduct Sports Sign Up nights for students and their parents. It’s an opportunity for students to learn about the sport schedule, meet coaches, and complete paperwork necessary to participate.

Says Kralik, “We’ve moved beyond a typical ‘orientation day’ to a series of events designed to help 8th graders feel welcomed, supported, and excited for high school. We want every Bulldog and Husky to feel right at home in their new school!”