Transition Centers

Relocation can cause mixed emotions for children, including stress, excitement and anxiety.  There is the dread of leaving old friends behind, military parents being deployed and the uncertainty of trying to establish new relationships in an unfamiliar place.  Changing schools is probably the most stressful part of the relocation process, especially if the transfer is made in the middle of the school year. 

Transition Centers are designed to assist students and military families who deal with the challenges of relocation.  These centers are available in Military Impacted schools.   Transition centers are set up to ease the students' shift to a new school and environment, helping to make the relocation process a positive experience.  Counselors and designated teachers are trained to recognize and address problems that affect mobile students.  The main focus of the center is to prepare and familiarize the student with school policies and services, and to evaluate him on how he can better adjust and succeed in his new school. 

Orientation seminars and campus tours are often conducted by transition centers for students and their families or guardians.  Some even arrange for lunches with students and families, to help students voice how they feel in their new school, express concerns, and share positive experiences.  This gives the center's staff a chance to get to know the students more and assess problems that may arise later on.  Parents are also given regular updates on their child's performance and adaptation to their new school.  Some Transition Centers practice an open door policy for students, parents and guardians, which allow them to walk into the centers to seek assistance and use the facilities or obtain information. 

To help new students feel more welcomed, some transition centers have peer ambassador programs that create a more welcoming atmosphere. New students are introduced to a peer partner who helps them get acquainted with other students on campus and make new friends.
Interactive counseling on the internet is sometimes offered in transition centers, like at Radford High. This type of program is a virtual, real-time, video conferencing procedure.  It allows students to conference online with the transition center's staff, teachers, coaches, or students before the student relocates. This helps avoid unexpected events that often accompany the transfer process. 

Transition centers focus on the student's academic success and the ability to adapt to their new environment.    Information of events and activities within the military communities are available and military students are encouraged to mingle with others to explore what their new community has to offer.

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