South Carolina’s White Knoll Middle School (WKMS), a suburban school, joined the network in 2005 and has made substantial gains in student achievement over the past three years. On the 2008 Middle Grades Assessment (MGA), reading scores remained stable, but the percentages of students scoring at the Proficient and Advanced levels rose from 32 percent to 41 percent.
Denton Middle School in Mobile, Alabama, lacked a winning formula when it joined the MMGW network in 2007-2008. All four administrators, the counselor and two-thirds of the faculty were new to the school.
This article describes best practices in summer transition programs, identified through more than 10 years work looking at how to improve transitions from middle grades to high school. Observations are based on a range of school and district efforts to use the summer to get more students ready for challenging high school studies in grade nine, and have resulted in the identification of several critical actions necessary for success.