Supporting Student Transition during School Closure
For International School Bangkok (ISB) and the wider community, 2020 has been a year of transition and adaptation. While learning continues for our students virtually, ISB is already preparing for next school year. As we continue to manage the current challenging circumstances, we are also looking toward preparing all of our students for the next phase of their learning journeys.
In this transition, special attention is given to our students in Grades 5 and Grade 8 who are stepping up into an exciting but unfamiliar school division, as they move from Elementary School into Middle School and from Middle School to High School respectively. This is a very important time for these students, it is a culmination of their hard work in the early grade and a milestone in their journey to graduation. Learners will be met with new faces, new schedules, a change in the structure and location of their classrooms, and more expectations on them as learners and self-managing individuals. When school is open, this transition is met with orientation days, celebrations and assemblies, and support from faculty and counselors. In the times of Virtual School, this will continue albeit in an innovative virtual format.
ISB believes that student transitions must be planned with the utmost care. Now, more than ever, kids must be heard, supported, and encouraged. ISB’s network of experts, student ambassadors, and tailored transition programs is designed to give all of our students a sense of security and confidence as they progress from one phase of their school experience to another. They should not feel like they are walking a tightrope but running with excitement across a sturdy bridge. This psychological safety will allow students to channel their energies into one important activity: learning.
What your child can expect
ISB’s teams of counselors, psychologists, teachers, student ambassadors and lunch buddies have already started the transition program activities. For those in Grade 5, this is a weekly feature until the end of the semester and consists of two parts: logistical support and emotional support. The logistical component ensures kids understand the new vocabulary and cadence of the Middle School day. Through induction videos, presentations, virtual meetings and Zoom sessions, students are introduced to considerations like classes, schedules, lockers, lunch and laptops. On the emotional side, active engagement from counselors, administrators, student ambassadors, and teachers from both divisions provide students with avenues for sharing their excitement and concerns in managing this change.
The structure of the transition is similar for students in Grade 8, who have already been guided through their class registration process by High School counselors. In the coming weeks, the High School/Middle School administrators and counselors will host a Zoom webinar to welcome students to the High School. In addition to this, High School ambassadors and Grade 9 Advisory groups will be meeting Grade 8 students virtually throughout May to answer any questions about High School life. To help students feel comfortable and confident in this transition, ISB will ensure all Grade 8 students are familiar with the High School administrators and counselors before the end of the semester.
Long the school of choice for globally-mobile families from embassies and international organizations, we understand the unique needs of children in transition. The circumstances under which our community is operating are unprecedented and challenge our students, faculty and community in different ways. Through the collective expression of our ISB values of care, courage and commitment, we aim to progress and transition together as a learning community.