How to Enable Your School to Better Support Transient Students

Parchment Staff  •  Jan 28, 2022  •  Blog

Student mobility is becoming more common than ever. According to the Pew Research Center, 22% of U.S. adults relocated during the pandemic or know of someone else who moved to a new place. But this isn’t a new occurrence — military children move almost 10 times before finishing high school.

With students relocating more frequently, a better understanding of your ever-changing student population is essential. In our recent Panel Discussion on Supporting Transient Students in K12 Education, hosted by Matt Sterenbeg, director of K12 at Parchment, walked through some of the challenges of student mobility and how to help students navigate a new learning environment. 

Common risks and challenges associated with student mobility 

When students move from one district to another, it impacts all parties involved. 

  • Students: The impact of falling behind in both an educational and social perspective is heavy in the minds of students. Students may be worried about making new friends, but moving can also decrease graduation rates and impact general academic achievement.
  • Teachers: Educators are naturally worried about new students — it’s a priority to make them feel as comfortable within the new school community as possible. Quick access to devices and schedules is essential to establishing a strong foundation for a new beginning.
  • Administrators: Technology administrators are focused on the data. Identifying students who are mobile can be difficult without proper tracking techniques in place to ensure their success. Without a look into this information, it can be challenging to identify which mobile students are thriving in their new learning environment. 

“I need to make sure we’re putting interventions in place that are going to track whether or not those students are successful and intervene if they’re not academically succeeding in our schools,” said Chantell Manahan, director of technology at MSD of Steuben County. “Keeping track of who’s mobile is part of the problem. We don’t always have good metrics on that data. In my district, we’ve implemented automated reports that go out to building administrators that show who’s coming in and out every week. If we have the knowledge, we can start asking questions and get more support in place.”  

How has technology enabled schools to better support transient students? 

Investing in an intuitive system for identifying transient students offers a more effective and organized opportunity to support students. Technology comes in handy for:

  • Properly identifying transient students so administrators and staff can intervene and make connections when necessary.
  • Streamlined rostering and curriculum integration to provide students with necessary navigation tools.  
  • Record collection to pass along throughout the educational journey. 
  • Translating opportunities for non-English speaking students.

“We use a lot of great tech resources for our English learners,” shared Priscilla Grijalva, school counselor of the Corona Norco Unified School District. “We use software that can translate words into [the student’s] language in real-time while we’re teaching the lesson. Google Translate and YouTube are also helpful in this capacity.”

Strategies for supporting transient students

To ensure transient students feel properly supported as they enter your school district, consider the following tips:

  • Encourage students to meet with counselors who can show them around the school.
  • Start a club for new students to meet with tenured students to get immediate social interaction.
  • Give students opportunities to get involved in their school community and feel welcomed with ease. 

Interested in learning more about how to support students who are moving in and out of your district? Check out the full webinar here.

There’s always more to learn.

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