EDITORIAL: Programs help ease the transition to high school

Sometimes it’s easy to forget how daunting transitions can be. As you move along in life you deal with many, so they can seem less formidable. But for many, particularly young people, they can be nerve-wracking.

You can take entering high school as a case in point. It can be a challenge, and if you happen to be facing a language barrier, even more so. 

School districts like Meriden, where 60 percent of the student body identifies as Latino, recognize the challenge and make efforts to ease the transition. Those efforts range from summer programs to a bilingual program and English as a second language classes.

Angelique Flores told the Record-Journal she was “really nervous” about starting high school “I expected the work to be extremely hard and it is, but I’m figuring it out,” she said. A summer program helped.

The two-week Summer Bridge program for those about to enter ninth grade includes community service and lets those who participate earn a half a credit. Once school starts, staff keeps an eye on all freshmen students in regard to attendance, behavior and academics. The aim is to help students stay on track.

The start of high school is also the time to take into account the future, as in what the next step will be, and schools help in that regard as well. Lysette Torres, Meriden schools director of equity and instruction, told the R-J ninth graders need to get involved. That includes extracurricular activities, like clubs and sports, that colleges will look for when it becomes time for the next transition.

This attention helps form a sense of community, which can also go a long way in helping. These are worthwhile efforts that ought make a difference for many students.

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