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Successful Transitions to High School: Promoting High School Success and Facilitating College Readiness

Webinar date: June 23, 2011, 2:003:30 p.m. (EDT)

Successful Transitions to High School will highlight ways to support students and families during the transition from middle to high school—a critical time for setting the course to graduate from high school on time and ready for college. Presenters will focus on the knowledge needed to ensure a smooth entry into ninth grade, such as coursework sequencing and graduation requirements, and will also explore how schools and community organizations can partner with families to provide services such as tutoring, mentoring, and afterschool programming.

This webinar will highlight innovative practices that facilitate the transition to high school, information about how schools can help families stay engaged in their children’s education during the high school years, and services that offer essential information and assistance for students and their families throughout the college application process.

Samantha Wigand, from United Way Worldwide, will discuss the importance of active family engagement during students’ transition into high school. Joanna Hornig Fox, from the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, will discuss how to support high school completion and college readiness and will highlight the role of families, communities, and school staff in helping students transition into ninth grade. Beth Porter, from Breakthrough Collaborative, will discuss an intensive transition program for middle school students that involves a set of ongoing, comprehensive supports to help students succeed in college preparatory high school programs. And Carol Myers, from the Indiana State Parental Information and Resource Center (PIRC), will discuss the PIRC’s work in building school capacity to engage families and students to promote college and career readiness.

Featured speakers include:

  • Moderator: Samantha Wigand, Education Consultant, United Way Worldwide
  • Joanna Hornig Fox, Deputy Director, Everyone Graduates Center, Johns Hopkins University
  • Beth Porter, National Executive Director, Breakthrough Collaborative
  • Carol Myers, Consultant, Indiana State PIRC, Indiana Partnerships Center


Dropout Reports


  • The Parental Involvement Puzzle (2009) (Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Usable Knowledge Website)
    This article explores Nancy Hill’s research on family engagement with adolescents, published in Families, School, and the Adolescent. The article discusses concrete, developmentally-appropriate strategies families can use to effectively engage in their adolescent’s education.

  • Resource Guide for High School Transitions: Annotated Bibliography (2011) (Harvard Family Research Project)
    The resources in this bibliography address a variety of topics related to high school transitions including family engagement, school practices, and student outcomes.

  • Community Partnerships to Support High School Success (2011) (Harvard Family Research Project)
    This report from Harvard Family Research Project profiles the strategic planning process of eight United Way sites that received grants to identify promising family engagement strategies for high school students and their families with the goal of raising high school graduation rates. These sites created action plans by engaging families, schools, and communities in the planning process.

  • Engaging Families at the Secondary Level: What Schools Can Do to Support Family Involvement (2005) (SEDL)
    This brief provides a brief explanation of the research related to engaging families at the secondary level, suggestions for practice, and practical ideas for increasing family engagement at the secondary level.

  • Removing Roadblocks to Rigor: Linking Academic and Social Supports to Ensure College Readiness and Success (2009) (Pathways to College Network, Institute for Higher Education Policy)
    This report describes a framework of emotional, informational, and structural supports that help to ensure that all students graduate from high school ready for college and future career success. 

 Stories of Success


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