The transition from elementary or middle school to high school is a huge transition. There are many reasons why this is a huge transition and why many students struggle in grade 9 because of this transition. Highschool expectations are much higher than in grade 8 or previous years for students. The students have to balance increased academics, increased responsibility and a new format of classes.
At Step Up Academy, we help prepare the students for the more challenging academics and increase in workload by providing them skills to manage the workload and introduce them to the concepts in preparation for the challenge in academics. We also promote responsibility and increase the academic expectations to help prepare them for high school.
While this gap always exists, it will be amplified for current students transitioning to high school based on the 2019- 2020 academic year and the challenges and closures it brought. The students missed days of school from the strikes and then the pandemic caused significant reduction in instructional time with their teacher. We have included these factors into our current high school prep model. Our high school prep program is currently being offered entirely online and the students can see with the teacher and the other students in the class via video conferencing.
The High School Prep program is a dynamic program that changes to accommodate the different learners and engage them in education. Our teachers are always looking to understand their students’ interests, needs and goals to ensure that every class is relevant and purposeful.
The Step Up Model for preparing students for high school focuses on the academic skills and content which will benefit them in highschool and pre-teaches some of the content to prepare the students for the fast-paced environment of high school.
The teacher starts the class with a whole class lesson, similar to how a high school class begins. With the small class size, the certified teacher is able to adapt the lessons to ensure they are relevant and meaningful for the students in the class. The students will then work on some independent practice with full access to the teacher for any questions or support they need. The teacher will virtually circulate to check-in with each student and provide feedback for each of the students to promote learning and growth.
There is often a collaborative activity included in the class to engage the students and have them interact with each other. Many digital tools are integrated into the classes to familiarize the students with different tech tools and to provide a dynamic and engaging learning experience for the students. The teacher has lessons and work prepared for the students in advance to ensure they are able to engage and support the students while in the class. The teacher will wrap up the class and assign homework for the students to continue to practice the skill(s) they learned in the class. There is a different teacher for math and English as the teacher is certified in specific subject areas and multiple teachers helps prepare the students for high school.
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