Military children move three times more often than their civilian peers. This equates to students going through approximately six to nine different schools during their academic K-12 years. Studies show that frequent moves cause stress and anxiety adversely impacting students’ academic, social and emotional well-being (Desrosiers, 2014). A systematic and comprehensive student transition program has been shown to positively impact students’ academic and social achievements.
The Pacific Transition Program (PTP) was developed to address these issues. The PTP is aligned with the DoDEA Blueprint Goal 1: Strategic Initiative 1.2: Developing comprehensive programs to support students for their transition into college and career. Through its fun and engaging activities, the PTP fosters social, emotional, wellness, and resiliency skills, which are all necessary to navigate through college, career and life. The PTP reduces the time it takes for students to adjust to their new school and new environment. The sooner students are integrated into the school and community, the sooner they focus on academic performance and feel adjusted socially and emotionally.
The PTP is also aligned with Goal 5: Strategic Initiative 5.1: Partnerships for Student Success. Partnerships with military and community counterparts, including School Liaison Officers, Teen Centers, Parent and Teacher Organizations, are an integral part of the PTP. The PTP fosters these partnerships through continuous collaboration while planning, implementing and participating in student transition activities including monthly events open to all stakeholders.
DoDEA Pacific’s Student Transition Program is designed to assist newly arriving middle and high school students with finding community within their new school.
Each Student Transition Program is served by a Program Coordinator and Student Ambassadors and provides:
If you’d like more information about the Student Transition Program, please contact our school or your School Liaison Officer.
Student ambassadors are the heart of the program. Each new student is assigned a student ambassador and their main responsibilities are to escort new students for a week, eat lunch together and provide informal on-boarding (go over the content of the welcome pack, answer questions, hang-out and become a “buddy”).
Student ambassadors support the transition coordinator and actively participate in all other transition activities including monthly welcome and farewell events and social and cultural trips. The PTP provides a great opportunity for student ambassadors to learn and practice leadership skills. Student ambassadors are recognized by the school administration for their contribution and leadership.
The transition program delivers four one-hour sessions once a week (every Wednesday/Thursday- whichever is a B day) every month for new students or when needed. Sessions will take place during school hours (advisory period). Each new student should attend all four sessions within his/her first month. When possible, transition coordinator trains and delegates delivery of sessions to student ambassadors.