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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging 



Advice for Periods of Transition

Children at school desk

First, let’s address the obvious. The last couple of years have been anything but normal, so you’re not alone if you feel shaky about an upcoming education transition.

The KDE Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Team would like to offer three solid pieces of advice for students transitioning to middle/high school who feel that due to COVID or other reasons, they may be underprepared:

1) Any student who has moved or is starting at a new campus in the fall should contact your school for a tour of the building.

Many students move during the summer. In addition, large groups of students are transitioning to the next level in their academic careers (rising kindergartners, new middle schoolers, freshmen, and any student new to a school or district). Visiting your new school can help reduce anxiety about finding classrooms, lockers, the cafeteria or other areas.

Additionally, you can request to meet with the office staff- who can help parents navigate paperwork needed for registration, medical forms and attendance notes.

2) Any student who needs a little support as they start off the school year should connect with a school counselor

School counselors help students focus on academic, career, and social-emotional development to maximize students’ academic success. Counselors can help students develop the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to become healthy, competent and confident learners who grow to be college and career ready.

 Some of the many areas in which counselors can assist:

  • Study and test-taking skills;
  • Goal setting and decision making;
  • Peer relationships;
  • Coping strategies;
  • Practical social skills;
  • Education on an understanding of self, including strengths and weaknesses;
  • Transition plans;
  • Crisis intervention; and
  • Conflict resolution.

3) Any student who needs a little support with mental health wellness as they start off the school year should connect with a mental health practitioner. 

A school-based mental health practitioner promotes the mental health wellness of students by assuming responsibility for providing evidence-based interventions at the individual and group level. These professionals also engage with families, coordinate with community partners, and provide training, collaboration and consultation for school personnel.

The practitioners are housed within the school to help students with anxiety, coping skills, mindfulness and stress that creates barriers for learning and so much more. They also help families connect with community mental health resources for out-of-school support, among other things.