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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

TRANSITION PROGRAMS

Effective transition programs require the childcare center, preschool, parents and school to work in partnership to create the most positive experience for the child when they are moving to a new grade or school. Here are some concept to keep in mind when creating transition programs:

1. The focus should be on creating positive relationships with all stakeholders. Encourage meetings with future teachers, parents and current teachers to develop a plan of transition.

2. Facilitate the child's development as a capable learner who is involved in the process of transition. Take the child to the new environment (not just once) so the child can become familiar with the changes that are occurring.

3. Develop long term transition plans with the intended schools in the neighborhood.

4. Involve a range of stakeholders in the process.

5. The transition should be well planned and evaluated taking into account any special circumstances or strategies the child may need in order to be successful.

6. Be flexible and responsive. Share information regarding the child's learning styles and strategies so the learning can continue not start from scratch.

7. Base your program on mutual trust and respect allowing for reciprocal communication between all parties.

8. Make sure to take into context the needs of the family, child, and the uniqueness of the community.

Supporting the relationships through the transition period is required and sometimes teachers require release time to meet with new parents and children. Develop a contact list for the parents so they can easily access the individuals or agencies that may be of help to them. Direct your meetings so they are focused and efficient. Questionnaires can be developed for parents to fill out for future teachers.

ASK the CHILDREN what they think is important in their school environment and discuss how they feel about moving to a different environment. Let them take pictures of things they enjoyed and cherished which will allow them an opportunity to create a positive feeling rather than dreading or becoming anxious about their new school or teacher.

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