The grade-span configuration of a school district determines the number of school-to-school transitions students experience; a review of the literature concludes that these factors may have an impact on students' sense of belonging, the continuity of curriculum and instruction, and student academic achievement. This study derived input from the stakeholders of the school district: students, parents/guardians, faculty members, guidance counselors, principals, and curriculum directors and supervisors. In addition, a review of student assessment scores determined the impact on student academic achievement.
A focus on students' sense of belonging determined that, although the adults believe that students are safe, happy and comfortable attending their schools, students themselves stated that they are more likely to be proud to belong to their schools if they are active in sports or other extracurricular activities. Students believe that their teachers are friendly and respectful, but students do not feel especially close to the educators in their schools. Students are provided assistance before, during and following each school-to-school transition, but still experience an adjustment period following a transition into a new school. In addition, students report feeling a sense of belonging to the entire district rather than to any school in particular.
A focus on the continuity of curriculum and instruction determined that faculty members are not fully aware of the curriculum of the grade before and/or after the one which they teach, and that articulation time between grade levels and schools is minimal. The lack of communication between schools and restricted opportunities for vertical articulation are creating excessive reteaching of material and a lack of continuity in students' instructional programs. The faculty members also report that the students are not always ready for their new grade levels and that they must reteach material and spend time helping students become more comfortable in their new school settings.
A focus on students' academic achievement determined that faculty members believe that although their students leave their classrooms ready for the next grade level, students are not arriving to their classrooms ready. An analysis of the standardized test scores demonstrated a drop in academic achievement following each school-to-school transition.
|Advisor:||Mittricker, Margaret L.|
|Commitee:||Barrett, Michelle M., Crews, John R.|
|School:||College of Saint Elizabeth|
|School Location:||United States -- New Jersey|
|Source:||DAI-A 73/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, School administration|
|Keywords:||Grade configuration, Grade-span configuration, School configurations, School-to-school transitions, Student achievement, Transitions|
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