The Freshman Transition Network

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

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As many members of The Freshman Transition Network are aware, Alan Seibert, Ray Moore, and I published a book on Freshman Transition.  The book is titled The Ninth Grade Opportunity and is based on the many workshops we have done about how a school can change the culture of the ninth grade and in a few years transform an entire school "from the bottom up."

Anyway, the book has been out for a year and has sold fairly well.  We've received feedback here and there, but, frankly, desire some more.  Have you read the book?  If so, do you have any feedback, thoughts, constructive criticism, questions, ideas, etc.?  

Please reply to this discussion and give us your thoughts on the book.  Did it help you and/or your school?  Were you able to apply any of it?  Was it not helpful?  

Thanks!  We look forward to hearing what your thoughts. 

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I have to admit I have not read the book. However, I wonder if my previous administrator did. The reason I say that is because many of the tenets of your transition plan were highlighted components of our attempt to create a freshman academy. In its third year, under new "management" and feeling the pressure of constrained budgets, some of these principles have been replaced with attempts to use every second of every teacher's time. However, I have to say as a "participant-observer", we have a good thing going here.

I would like to offer kudos to you and your colleagues for taking the time to research a topic which is often overlooked and yet so critical to the success of so many young people.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. They probably didn't read it since it was just published in December 2008. Sounds like your school began its efforts before that time.

Thanks for the kudos!
We had Scott Habeeb come and speak to teams of teachers from each of our high schools. We provided each attendee with a copy of the book. I had several schools request additional books to give to teachers who had not attended his presentation. I think it is an excellent book to introduce teachers to the freshman transition process and get them thinking about how to help freshmen be successful in high school. Many of our high schools are successfully implementing the ideas from the book and we hope they will continue to do more.

By the way, I highly recommend bringing Scott or Ray in to speak to your teachers, if that is an option for you. Scott was a motivating factor in getting some of our schools on board with our freshman transition initiative.
Thanks, Emily. I'm glad the book was beneficial for your teachers. Hope things are going well in Shelby County!
The information about Success Conferences will be very helpful in the upcoming weeks as we prepare for our first round! The book provides a clear followup and reinforcement of the ideas presented in the Freshmen Transition Conferences.
Thanks, Deanie, for taking the time to leave some feedback. Hope all is going well!
Loved the book! It reminds me why I stayed in teaching. We bought copies for all our freshman teachers. It's readable and common sense. Highly recommend! Also, thanks, Scott, for braving the snow and being with us in Tullahoma. The feedback from the teachers has been great. By the way, we have a snow day tomorrow!

Kathryn Rose
Thanks, Kathryn - I'm glad the book has been useful. Had a great time with you all today!
Scott - I just received our shipment of the book. I have enough copies to distribute to the members of our Freshman House. Any suggestion on how to go about reading it as a group? I was thinking about having them read certain sections, and then bring it to our meeting to discuss. We would be comparing your suggestions to the strategies and ideas we already have in place. Looking for ways to improve or change for the better. Kind of a book group...maybe even like Oprah's club?????

Let me know if there are ways you would recommend.
So how can we get the book on Oprah.... :)

You'll see a bubble chart on page 9. Most of the chapters are based on the bubbles - 1 chapter per bubble. Each bubble represents an essential component of a successful Freshman Transition Program. I recommend that schools find their own ways of accomplishing each bubble. While we give some suggestions or ideas, it really is best for school's to develop their own ideas.

If you split the book up you could have each group focus on 1 bubble. Then each could come up with things you are already doing that fall under that bubble as well as new/improved ideas.

I would suggest that all groups read:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 11
Chapter 12

Chapters 3-10 are the ones you could split up.
Scott - Do you have a copy of the "Yellow Sheet" that is discussed in Chapter 4? In our group discussions, we really like this idea and would like to see what one looks like to create our own. Thanks
When I'm at my other computer I can email you one. However, all it is is a grid with students names going down the left-hand column and one row per student. You could use one column per day but that would probably be overkill since it would be unusual to mark people down daily (it would also cause the Yellow Sheet to turn into a club of sorts if you one was making that many marks. Sort of defeats the purpose.)


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