Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 23

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tudents face unique challenges when transitioning from pre-K to elementary school, elementary to middle school, and middle
to high school. What are the best ways to overcome these challenges? How can partnerships be formed with parents and
the community? How can principals prepare their teachers for these integral stages in students' lives? For this roundtable discussion, we convened experts who ensure students are as prepared as possible to move forward throughout their
academic and social-emotional journeys: Kim Templeman, principal of Central Oak Elementary School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma;
Brian Partin, principal of Ross N. Robinson Middle School in Kingsport, Tennessee; and Mark Shanoff, principal of Edgewater High
School, Orlando, Florida.
Q. What are the most effective ways of
securing school and family partnerships
to ensure a smooth transition for
students between grade levels?
Shanoff: I actually think having a
strong collaborative structure between
the different schools within a particular
feeder pattern is very, very important,
because families need to feel connected
to every school community of which
their child is going to be a part. As far as
my feeder pattern goes, we actually talk
quite a bit at the high school level about
what types of after-school programs or
summer programs would be effective.
And then I can contribute to the middle
school, and the elementary schools
can contribute to the middle schools'
decision-making, and then those two
groups can participate in any decisions
that I make about what I'm going to use.
The idea is that we're creating a very
collaborative structure as students move
from kindergarten all the way through
12th grade.

Q. What about the transition from
pre-K to kindergarten?
Templeman: Our pre-K and kindergarten
teachers work closely in terms of expectations of mastery, what our kindergarten
teachers would like them to come in with,
and then our pre-K teachers work very
closely with the families because it's their
first experience in school. Ours is a smaller
urban district in the middle of Oklahoma
City, but it's an independent school district.
It's very much a community, so we have lots
of families that we've had their parents, their
grandparents, their cousins, so that helps.
Partin: I would say, also, we are very
intentional about what we're doing, and so
we have preview days, where students and
parents are coming over and visiting the
schools, at all levels, and transition meetings,
where high school teachers are coming
down to the middle school, and the middle
school teachers are going down to the
elementary school and the pre-K and the
kindergarten teams are meeting together.

Q. What steps should be taken to not
only ensure academic confidence, but
also social-emotional confidence during
these transitional phases?
Templeman: I would say we spend a good
deal of time in our collaborative work,
our PLC with kinder and pre-K, working
on social-emotional. At that level in the
developmental process, that often will
interfere with the academic process, if it's
not where it should be. So, many times we
have to focus on getting that right before
we can focus more on the academic. We
have to work with parents to help them-
maybe it's their first child and their first
experience in school-they're not sure
why their child is not adapting or why
they're crying or why they are not sitting
still. It's definitely a training process for
all involved. Because if you get that right,
then the academics aspect is much easier.
Partin: We've developed a jump-start
program. It's a three-day program where
students will come in and meet with the

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018

Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - Cover1
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - Cover2
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 1
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Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 3
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 4
Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - 5
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Principal - Mott Supplement - January/February 2018 - Cover3
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