Tracing Transitions was a participatory research study about the impact of high school closure on students. What happened to the students who recently walked the halls of Jefferson? How did the closure affect them? How are they doing in their new schools? Given the prospect of future school closures, it is important that district officials and policymakers draw lessons from the experiences of these students. Towards that end, Tracing Transitions engaged and trained former Jefferson students to study how their peers adapt to their new schools during the 2006-2007 academic year.
The Tracing Transitions team, made up of seven high school students, two college students, and four adults, collected 100 questionnaires and interviewed 20 students about their experiences in new schools. We coded our data and identified overlapping themes. Findings were presented to district officials and a community group in June 2007. We are currently working together to write up a report and do outreach based on what we learned.
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Ben Kirshner, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, School of Education