educational reform research, students who are strongly supported during the freshman year have a much better chance of succeeding academically throughout the remaining high school years. Students making a transition to a new school may often worry about getting lost in the building, not knowing who to ask for help, and being overwhelmed by all of the "new" rules. As a result, middle schools and high schools are implementing an orientation day specifically designed to help students transition into their new school.
There are many other programs that have been set up to address the freshman transition year. Some include the following:
- Freshman Academy model where students have common, subject-area teachers, are provided a framework for academic structure which may include in-depth work on study skills, consistent discipline with understood consequences, and participation in a curriculum designed to meet high expectations and standards.
- Adviser/Advisee programs that offers a specific time for students in grades 9-12 to meet with teacher advisers. During the Adviser/Advisee period, students participate in activities designed specifically for supporting all students and addressing their concerns at each grade level.
- Peer Mentor programs also offer important help to rising freshmen when it comes to getting to know the school and its culture. Often these peer mentors are instrumental in helping younger students in overcoming the fear of not fitting in at a different school.
Regardless of which approach a school offers, as long as there is recognition that the transition year sets the tone for the remaining years, schools will encourage confident students and a successful school experience.