The Freshman Transition Network

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Hello everyone,

We are in the process of evaluating our freshman program to see what changes we need to make for next school year.  I was hoping to have the students take a survey for our needs assessment.  Has anyone administered a survey to freshman before and are you willing to share with me.  Any help would be appreciated.  We are an 8th and 9th grade building and we have a lot of dynamics going on between the two grades.  The freshman feel trapped in middle school still and the staff concern is the lack of role models for the freshman to look up too. 

I appreciate anything you might have to offer.

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I'm a 9th grade guidance counselor in NJ. We put together the questionnaire below to get some feedback. I can't say if it will provide us with useful informaiton, but if not, we will adjust it for next year accordingly.

May 2013

Good morning Freshman students!

For the last 8 months we have been assessed, evaluated, told what we are doing right , told what we are doing wrong, told what does not need to change and told what does need to change. Now it’s our turn to use our VOICE.

I will gather all of the information which you supply, via this questionnaire, consolidate all comments and bring this information with me when I meet with the PAR Committee members. Please take this opportunity to have your VOICE heard. These comments, suggestions, and valuable information will not only help us, but we can also help the incoming 8th grade class (remember when we were part of that??)

Please use the back of this page if you run out of room. Thanks for giving this your serious attention.

Your PAR (Perspective And Response) committee representative ( your homeroom rep)   is  _________________.

  • On the day before school started we had Freshman Orientation day – we had a Power Point presentation presented by your Vice Principal  in the auditorium and we took a tour of the building. Do you remember if any of the information presented was useful as an incoming 9th grader?
  •  What do you think would be helpful for a 9th grader to know even before the 1st day of school, i.e., what information  should be part of a Freshman Orientation Day? 
  •  We had a Freshman Seminar presented  in your English classes in October (either in your classroom or in the library – lots of colored handouts). Do you remember if any of the information presented was useful as an incoming 9th grade?
  •   What do you think would be helpful for a 9th grader to know within the first couple of months of school, i.e., what information should be part of a Freshman Seminar? 

Hi Ellie,

I like the questionnaire, it is a good starting point.  Would you mind sharing the details of the Freshman Seminar that you presented in the English Classes and what were the expectations? This gives me some good ideas and a direction to start. 


Hi Darrell,

please feel free to call me and we can talk. my number is 973-263-7001 x2332

Hello -

We put together and administered the following survey to our freshman academies last spring at David Douglas High School in Portland, OR.

For the first 12 questions, students responded by choosing "agree," "no opinion," or "disagree." The final 2 questions were free response. We had them complete the survey online so we could use a Google doc to compile the results.

Please feel free to contact me with questions!

-Kaitlin Nelson

Indicate whether you agree or disagree with the following.

1. My academy teachers expect the best from me.

2. My academy teachers push me to do my best.

3. My academy teachers care about me.

4. My academy teachers are “safe” adults to talk to at school.

5. My academy teachers helped me transition and “settle in” to high school.

6. I feel I am an important member of my academy.

7. I believe I am doing better in school as a result of being in an academy.

8. I know what is expected of me in terms of behavior and academics.

9. The classroom/teacher expectations are similar in all of my academy classes.

10. Each of my academy teachers enforces school and academy policies in a similar manner.

11. Along with course content, my academy teachers are also teaching me skills and ideas that will help me live a more successful life.

12. I’m glad I am in an academy.


Free response:

13. Which features of an academy stand out to you?

14. Please share any additional thoughts you have.

Thanks for the reply.  This is a big help. What has been the feedback from the surveys?

Hi Derrell,

Please feel free to email me at

I'll try my best to summarize what we found.



Great ideas being shared - thanks for making this a community!


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