The Freshman Transition Network

Working together to transition freshmen & transform schools from the bottom up!

Our administrative leadership team is starting the planning process to have a transition program in place beginning in Fall, 2015.  We would appreciate any feedback about successes/landmines than anyone is willing to share as we begin our journey.


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Gary - you've come to the right place to get assistance with your Freshman Transition needs.

I see you and your school have already purchased The Ninth Grade Opportunity.  While it's obviously self-serving, that was going to be my first suggestion.  Let me know how you like it and if you have any questions.

Next - have you checked out the Hot Topics section of this Network?  In particular, check out:

Also, check out this recommended timeline that I put together a few years ago:

It's based on the combined experiences of some of the schools I've worked with over the years.

Finally, if you're ever looking for any professional development, some consulting, or someone to lead a roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-to-work workshop, please do not hesitate to contact me.  You can contact me through this network, call me at 540-389-2610, or email me at  I've worked with schools across the country for over a decade helping them create meaningful transition programs that are personalized to their school's needs while encompassing the broad range of issues that are common to the freshman experience.

Best of luck!

One other key thought, Gary.  Don't feel like you have to separate your freshmen in order to transition them.  You might decide to - but it's not an inherent necessity.  Here's a link with some ideas along those lines:

In our first conversation earlier today, we discussed the data points listed in Part 1 - Creating a Freshman Transition Program.  As we examined assessment data, we found that we have at our disposal:

   Course grades - not the most reliable

   Our state NCLB assessments

   Benchmarking assessments for our RTI program

What other assessment data are people using?


I would definitely look at discipline referral data.  You would hope that a transition program would be able to proactively deal with student behavior in a way that would lead to fewer referrals.

Course grades should be fairly reliable if you look longitudinally.  What is the typical course average for English 9, for example?  How many students typically fail a 9th grade class?

Retention - what percentage of students have to repeat the 9th grade on a typical year?


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