Helping Middle School Students Make the Transition into High School (page 3)

By — Educational Resource Information Center (U.S. Department of Education)
Updated on Dec 16, 2008

Parent Involvement

The importance of parents being involved in their young adolescent students' transition from middle to high school can hardly be overestimated. When parents are involved in their student's transition to high school, they tend to stay involved in their child's school experiences (Mac Iver, 1990); and when parents are involved in their child's high school experiences, students have higher achievement (Linver & Silverberg, 1997; Paulson, 1994), are better adjusted (Hartos & Power, 1997), and are less likely to drop out of school (Horn & West, 1992). 

Parent involvement in the transition process to high school can be encouraged through a variety of activities. Parents may be invited to participate in a conference (preferably at the middle school) with their child and the high school counselor to discuss course work and schedules, visit the high school with their child in the spring or in the fall, spend a day at the high school to help them understand what their child's life will be like, and help design and facilitate some of the articulation activities for students. In planning activities for parents, high school educators will want to remember that parents of students who are already in high school are an excellent resource for other parents and may also help to encourage new parents to be more involved in school activities. At the middle school level, teachers and administrators can inform parents about transition activities and encourage them to participate. Perhaps more importantly, they can work to keep parents involved in their child's education and school activities during the middle school years so that they are comfortable "coming to school" and confident that their involvement makes a difference in their child's academic success.

Fore More Information

Barone, C., Aguirre-Deandreis, A. I., & Trickett, E. J. (1991). Mean-ends problem-solving skills, life stress, and social support as mediators of adjustment in the normative transition to high school. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY 19(2), 207-225. 

Belcher, D. C., & Hatley, R. V. (1994). A dropout prediction model that highlights middle level variables. RESEARCH IN MIDDLE LEVEL EDUCATION, 18(1), 67-78. 

Hartos, J. L., & Power, T. G. (1997). Mothers' awareness of their early adolescents' stressors: Relation between awareness and adolescent adjustment. JOURNAL OF EARLY ADOLESCENCE, 17(4), 371-389. 

Hertzog, C. J., Morgan, P. L., Diamond, P. A., & Walker, M. J. (1996). Transition to high school: A look at student perceptions. BECOMING, 7(2), 6-8. 

Horn, L., & West J. (1992). NATIONAL EDUCATION LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF 1988: A PROFILE OF PARENTS OF EIGHTH GRADERS. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. ED 350 341. 

Linver, M. R., & Silverberg, S. B. (1997). Maternal predictors of early adolescent achievement-related outcomes: Adolescent gender as moderator. JOURNAL OF EARLY ADOLESCENCE, 17(3), 294-318. 

Mac Iver, D. J. (1990). Meeting the needs of young adolescents: Advisory groups, interdisciplinary teaching teams, and school transition programs. PHI DELTA KAPPAN, 71(6), 458-464. EJ 402 385. 

Mac Iver, D. J., & Epstein, J. L. (1991). Responsive practices in the middle grades: Teacher teams, advisory groups, remedial instruction, and school transition programs. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EDUCATION, 99(4), 587-622. EJ 436 976. 

Mizelle, N. B. (1995, April). TRANSITION FROM MIDDLE SCHOOL INTO HIGH SCHOOL: THE STUDENT PERSPECTIVE. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco. 

Oates, J., Flores, R., & Weishew, N. (1998). Achieving student success in inner-city schools is possible, provided.... RESEARCH IN MIDDLE LEVEL EDUCATION QUARTERLY, 21(3), 51-62. 

Owings, J., & Peng, S. (1992). TRANSITIONS EXPERIENCED BY 1988 EIGHTH GRADERS. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. ED 343 943. 

Paulson, S. E. (1994). Relations of parenting style and parental involvement with ninth-grade students' achievement. JOURNAL OF EARLY ADOLESCENCE, 14(2), 250-267. EJ 493 540. 

Phelan, P., Yu, H. C., & Davidson, A. L. (1994). Navigating the psychosocial pressures of adolescence: The voices and experiences of high school youth. AMERICAN EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL, 31(2), 415-447. 

Reyes, O., Gillock, K., & Kobus, K. (1994). A longitudinal study of school adjustment in urban, minority adolescents: Effects of a high school transition program. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY, 22(3), 341-369. 

Vars, G. F. (1998). "You've come a long way, baby!" In R. David (ed.), MOVING FORWARD FROM THE PAST: EARLY WRITINGS AND CURRENT REFLECTIONS OF MIDDLE SCHOOL FOUNDERS (pp. 222-233). Columbus, OH: National Middle School Association; Pittsburgh: Pennsylvania Middle School Association. 

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