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Transitions - Grades 8-9 311
Transitions - Grades 8-9
Transitioning from elementary to secondary school is a very exciting time for students. A lot happens during Grade 8 that will help to make this transition smooth and enjoyable.  Below is some information about events, activities and opportunities that will occur throughout the year.
 
September/October
Knowing yourself is the best way to make decisions and set goals for your future. The Ontario Ministry of Education has identified the following Learning Skills and Work Habits as an integral part of a student’s learning:
  • Responsibility
  • Organization
  • Independent Work
  • Collaboration
  • Initiative
  • Self-regulation
The beginning of the school year is a great time for students to reflect on their interest, strengths and needs as a learner and set goals for a successful grade 8 year. There are many opportunities for students to do this, as a class, after school with the support of a parent, guardian or mentor, using the portfolio function of Career Cruising.
 
Additional Information: 
Learning Skills and work Habits
Ontario Skills Passport
 
Career Cruising
 
November
Many elementary students have an opportunity to visit the secondary school they will attend the following year. Often these visits are scheduled for “take your kids to work day” which occurs in November. Even if you don’t have a scheduled visit with your class, students can always make arrangements to visit their secondary school and become familiar the secondary school environment.
 
Applications to Regional Programs
Regional programs are focused programs that are available to every York Region student and housed at specific secondary schools located around the region.  The most current information is available on the York Region Public School Board website.  These programs include:  
 
High Performance Athlete, go to Admission.
Exchange Programs for Students (Available in Grade 7 & 8)
 
Each of these programs has both student/parent information nights and application deadlines.
 
Thinking about Course Pathways
Many students and parents would benefit from more information about the course pathway options available in secondary schools. Secondary courses are organized as Applied, Academic, Open or Locally Developed. Each offers a style of learning that meets the interests, strengths and needs of the student in a slightly different way. All these options lead to a Secondary School Diploma.
 
The Grade 8 Teacher and the fall Progress Report will help guide the course pathway decisions students will make later on in the year. It’s never too early to begin this conversation. For more information about course pathway options, go to YRDSB > Students > Regional Course Directory > Organization of Secondary Courses.
 
You may decide that you are interested in a secondary school other than your community school. There may be an opportunity to transfer to another secondary school if there is space in that school. Information about schools that are open for transfers is usually available in late November or early December. Your Grade 8 Teacher or Elementary School Principal will have this information when it is available. In order to be considered for a transfer, you must complete the Transfer Request form available through the office in your elementary school.
 
December
Although most occur in January, some secondary school open houses occur in November and some in December. Be sure to check with your Grade 8 Teacher or your community secondary school so you don’t miss the information evening event. December is also a good time to begin exploring the course selection features on Career Cruising and begin to think about the optional courses available at your secondary school. Every grade 9 students gets to select two optional courses.
 
January
Check the schedule of secondary school information nights posted on the YRDSB website and attend your community secondary school information night. Most secondary schools will also visit the elementary school either in December or January to inform the students about secondary school registration and course selection. They will also talk about many of the great opportunities that are available at every secondary school.
 
If you have applied to a regional program, acceptance to that program is usually communicated in January. Once accepted to the program, you will need to follow up with your Grade 8 Teacher to ensure that your acceptance of the regional program is communicated to the Regional Secondary School and the Community Secondary School.
 
February
Generally the deadline for Grade 9 Course Selection is in February. Your Grade 8 teacher will have all the important dates and deadlines, and will support you in using the Career Cruising program. Course selection should be based on the individual students interests, strengths and needs. It’s always beneficial to have a conversation that includes the student, teacher and parent/ guardian when selecting your courses for grade 9. Remember no decision is ever final and changes can be made even after you select “submit”.
 
March/April
At some point in March or April, you’ll be asked to verify the courses you have selected. At this point, you will have an opportunity to make any necessary changes to your Grade 9 Course Selection.
 
May/June
Enjoy your final days as an elementary student. Your community secondary school may offer addition activities or events for you to become more familiar with your new school or you may wish to schedule another visit on your own.
 
Now is the time to consider what Community Involvement opportunities may be available to you over the summer. Once you have completed grade 8, you may begin to accumulate your 40 hours of community involvement that is a secondary school graduation requirement. The summer immediately following grade 8 is great opportunity to get this graduation requirement out of the way. Be sure to check in with your new secondary school to obtain the necessary forms and information about eligible community involvement activities. For more information about the community involvement graduation requirement, go to YRDSB > Students > Community Involvement.
 
Student Support
Some students may need additional support throughout the transition process. There are several avenues to gain that support. Depending your needs, the Grade 8 Teacher, English, as Second Language Teacher or the Special Education Resource Teacher can be a great resource to help direct you to the assistance you need. Similarly there are departments at the secondary school that can also help such as the Guidance Department, ESL/ELD Department, Special Education Department and the Student Success Teacher. For more information go to:
YRDSB > Programs & Initiatives > Student Support > Guidance & Career Education
YRDSB > Programs & Initiatives > Student Support > Special Education/ Student Services
YRDSB > Programs & Initiatives > Student Support > Student Success
YRDSB > Programs & Initiatives > Student Support > First Nations, Metis and Inuit Education
YRDSB > Programs & Initiatives > Continuing Education > English as a Second Language
 
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