Level Up! 

Grade 8 to 9 Transition

 Show Transcript

Welcome to Beyond the Bell podcast where you'll get an inside look into school life. We cover school-related topics that support your child's education and well-being. As you listen along, we hope you'll gain insights for navigating school with your child and leave with a deeper sense of connection between school and home. Here's your host, Chantelle Quesnelle.

Chantelle: OK. So today we're here with two elementary guidance teachers, Nicole Nicoletta and Sara Vause. Um Hello. 


Sara: Hi!

Chantelle: Thanks for being here. 

Sara: Thanks for having us. 

Chantelle: I wonder if we can maybe just get started with our families for a little explanation of what is an elementary guidance teacher? What do they do? 

Sara: So, our role is a little bit different than um high school guidance counselors. So we are called elementary guidance teachers and we are, there's five of us and we're all assigned to um different high schools and the different feeder schools that go into those high schools. So, primarily our job is to assist um with grade seven and eight students and then specifically grade eight students on their transition to high school. So we work through with them with their individual pathway plan um, we talk about what they want to do after high school, we talk about, um, different interests of theirs, trying to look at what their strengths are and we also work with them managing some of those big feelings that adolescents can have.

And so we introduce strategies that are brought forward by our psych department at, uh, from our board office. And we integrate those into our lessons to try to give the students strategies um as they enter high school and as they move on to the next phases in their life. 

Chantelle: Yeah, so lots of attention to this very important transition from grade eight to grade nine or elementary to secondary. And so why is this such a, an important transition for us to think about? 

Nicole: I think um we've come to learn that the transition is important because um you know, we want to make sure kids have spent, in a lot of cases, you know, 7, 8, 9 years in an elementary school.

And so all of a sudden they're moving to a new school, a new family and there's no connection there. And so we want to make sure that we help the students make the connection so that they go in, and they feel welcome, and they know exactly where to access supports that they've been used to having at their elementary school. Um, the important part is making connections. And so that's really a big part of our job and making sure that we do that for our students. 

Chantelle: And thinking back to not only my time in high school, but in the spring, I was in, um, our secondary schools, uh, working on a project, and I was in there while students and teachers were there, and I was just thinking how busy the hallways were, how I had trouble figuring out how to get to the different classrooms I was going to, um, and, And so, um, yeah, I can see how that's such a big change from what it feels like in elementary. 

Nicole: Yes, definitely. There's lots of things that the kids have never experienced. Exactly, like using a locker and a lock for the first time. I mean, we chuckle when we see the kids because that's usually one of their biggest fears. I won't be able to get my lock open, and we know those locks are tough…

Sara: …and we've seen them not be able to get them open…

Chantelle: Especially if you're stressed, or running late or those things. Yeah.

Nicole: So we deal with all of that. We, um, we have, um, a transition website that we've created that has different pieces, um, for the kids to be able to access, like, uh, a link to a, an app that where they can go and practice their lock. Um, there's different information, like there are links to, where do I buy my uniform? There are links to, um, a list of back to school supplies because those things all change in high school, um, you know, no longer do they have access to one teacher that if you lose your pen or your pencil, it's right there on your desk or on their desk to borrow, they need to have all those items. And so we try to help them with that. There's, there's quite a bit more information in this transition website, but that's just one piece to the puzzle that we try to address.

Chantelle:  Sure. So, even as we're talking about the transition, I'm aware that even till now we're not even really getting to the academic pieces, but there is the larger building, the meeting of new people, the travelling between classes, the locker, the lock, the different, you know, timing, they start earlier than elementary. So all of those pieces and then there's also those academic pieces that looks different in secondary than it does in elementary. 

Nicole: Absolutely. Yeah. The academic piece that we definitely try to address with the kids is knowing that when you get to high school, you no longer have just one teacher that you're dealing with. You, in most cases have four different teachers with four different subjects and four different sets of expectations. And we outline the importance with the kids of making sure that they advocate for themselves. Um, that's probably one of the biggest concerns we hear from parents is, well, I've, I've called, or I've emailed, and I haven't heard back, and I always explain that, you know, it's not that they won't answer you back. It's not that they won't deal with it, but they really want to encourage your young adult now to come and advocate for themselves. So we talk to the kids about how to go and, and address that with the teacher and ask for extra help because all of our high schools offer that, you know, that teachers will agree to meet at a lunchtime or after school. Um, there's all kinds of tutoring opportunities. So the academic piece is certainly more difficult because they're dealing with more teachers. But it's definitely a really important piece to, uh, all of our high schools, and they all address it really, really well.

Sara: And that's the important part of communication on the part of the student, on the part of the parents so that we know and have a good idea of what the concerns could be and so that we can put those steps into place so that they have a successful transition. So there's, there's never too much communication with the school or with us or, you know, but um there can be too little communication and when, and when um teachers are in the dark or the schools in the dark about potential um situations, then we have um less ability to, to help that student be successful when they're in the new building and, and trying to cope and all of those things.

Chantelle: Yeah, it sounds like there's a lot of um resources supports conversations, apps in place to support the transition into secondary and to start thinking about that early in your role as elementary guidance teachers, you talk about supporting grade 7 and grade 8 and then kind of as they transition in into secondary. And so I wonder what makes a good transition? How do you know it's gone well? Some parents might get little feedback from their kids when they come home from, from their day at school. And so how do you know if it's going well?

Sara: I don't think it, I think it looks different for different students. So there's a student that is comfortable socially, maybe is not very anxious, maybe has an older sibling at the high school. And so that transition is a little bit easier. Um but then you can have a student who has some social anxiety. And so or you have a student that has um an IEP, and they don't feel as comfortable um going to high school, they're worried that they're going to fail. They're worried that they're not gonna go well. And so those transitions, they, they take a lot of communication and we, and we work with that through transition meetings for students that have, have needs that may not be anything to do with academic. Just there's some anxiety there, there's some fear about going to high school. There, there's um different concerns, and then we have transition meetings for our students with IEPs. So I think if you want to look at that, at the end of that, when you walk into the high school, and you see those students, and they're thriving, and they've made a friend and, and they've, there's an adult that's found them, or they've found an adult, or we've helped um manage that relationship then, and they have a connection because each student just needs one adult.

If you can connect with one adult in a school, a teacher, a coach, a guidance counsellor, then, then we know that you can be successful. Absolutely. Right. So, I think that's what it looks, it looks like that student is doing their best to their ability in a comfortable environment and they're, they're happy.

Nicole: I think too, as a parent, I know for me with my own kids who are now past um the secondary level, uh I think it's important to just have conversations too, you know, like I, I know what you're saying, Chantelle, when you say the kids don't always communicate when they get home. We know that. But it, it does, it does involve some teeth pulling, but sitting down at dinner and having a conversation. How's your day? What's your favourite class? Uh Why, what's your least favourite class? Why is it a challenge? What have you done to help yourself? Uh, Have you met any new friends? Have you signed up for any clubs? Are you joining any teams? Um, is there anything I can help you with? Like, I think when those conversations are being had at home in the family situation, you can't help but know what's going on with your child. And I think if your child, um, maybe is really quiet and you notice things like they're withdrawing, or they say they don't have homework. That's one of my personal favourites. They're going to have homework. It's high school. I think that's when you need to be a little bit concerned and then maybe just arrange to have a meeting, contact the guidance office at your high school and, and just say, oh, no, I'm, I'm a little bit concerned about this. I seem to not be getting any information. What can you tell me? And hopefully, it's all good news, but if it's not, then that starts the process of how can we help this student? 

Sara: Well, it's such a huge transition. For parents as well. So we don't, nobody, not nobody, but it's not always recognized that way. So in elementary school and as elementary teachers, we know this, it's very comfortable for parents. They know who they're gonna talk to. They've known these teachers and in high school, it is more about that independence and trying to make sure that the students are advocating for themselves. They are, it's their credit, they're working towards it. Their parents are not the ones you know, at school. So, I think for some parents that is a huge transition and so trying to, to manage that and the feelings around that about not having the same level of communication, possibly that you had at elementary school, pro- possibly not knowing your students, teachers, high school teachers when they meet the teacher night or interviews or whatever, they have, one teacher has so many students. So it's not the same. So to meet all the parents is almost impossible. So um that level of communication um does shock a lot of parents that they don't have as much contact, or they're not as in the know with the high school as they were with the elementary school, I think. So those conversations that Nicole was talking about are, are imperative. 

Nicole: I think to uh one of the big things that I've learned as well is um as much as we um counsel our Children to stay off social media, this is maybe one of those times where social media can be a real benefit. All of our high schools have Twitter accounts and Instagram accounts, they um post things daily on, you know, what teams are up and running; when are practices; what's going on at the school level. Uh If there are, you know, uh certain days coming up like uh uh you know, a Spirit Day or um you know, if there's any sort of try-outs coming on, this is the time when I would say both parents and students, you know, make sure that you're following those accounts because like Sara said, there's not always the communication, the way they're used to in the elementary school level, high schools tend to use their social media accounts. And I think that's just the time that we're in and people need to get used to that. And I think if we get used to it and embrace that, it will help us a lot during those transition times… 

Sara: … and we walk them through that. So all of the social media that's offered through Simcoe Muskoka, we, we have them downloaded onto their phones when we're in the classrooms. We, we make sure that they get into the Google classrooms for that graduating year. So we facilitate that. So there, there really shouldn't be a reason for any of our existing elementary schools. Um It would be different for people new to our board, but for them, they should have that information. So it's just a matter of asking and, and if they don't have it, then just remind them and say, you know, ask you around what you guys as teacher for the information if you don't have it. 

Chantelle: Yeah. And maybe parents that maybe aren't as comfortable with social media, maybe that's an option for their uh uh young adults to share that with them and kind of look at that page to together and be curious that way. I wanna make it… so it sounds like there's a nice big theme of, of communication, and Sarah, I also appreciate the recognition that this is a big transition for parents and caregivers. And sometimes we don't always acknowledge that and, and that is really important. It's a milestone in, in parenting and in child development as well. Right? 

Sara: My daughter, you know, she has gone to high school the last couple of years, my son's on his way and, and I'm in education, so I should feel more comfortable, and I'm a guidance teacher, but it's still, I, you know, it's still stressful for everybody, right? Everybody has that, you know, it's different. So it's just trying to manage that and manage feelings and situations and all that. 

Chantelle: Yeah, and, and to normalize that to have experience stress, whether that's as the, the parent and caregiver or as the student, is normal around this transition, that stress kind of brings our adrenaline helps us, you know, through some of the, you know, nerves and anxiety and kind of rise to the occasion of the challenge and, and that can be very, you know, helpful, and it's also helpful to know um where to, to go, to get support if it becomes kind of more overwhelming. And so…

Sara: I think all of us tell the students, well, all of us do just communicate with us and parents might feel like, oh, I'm the only one feeling this way. I don't want everyone to think my, my kid is the only one who's nervous, or my kid has anxiety. Everything's confidential. Nothing would ever be, you know, something that we would point out in class or something. So, so absolutely. If you have any concerns about your child's transition to high school, they don't have to have an IEP. It doesn't have to be something serious, but just something you know, you want to look out for. I just wanna make sure you know that he, he's usually a bit of a loner and he, he may not have friends um at lunchtime. Well, we can tell the high school we can mention to them, and they can just have a check-in with him and just make sure that that your child's ok. So nothing has to be so formalized. But those concerns can be mitigated through communication with us. And we're always, we're always available through, through the board email and all those things by phone, so…

Chantelle: … and just for the listeners who might not be aware. Can you tell us what an IEP is?

Nicole: So an IEP is an Individual Education Plan and so a student may have um, may have academic exceptionalities, or they may just need some accommodations made to make, to help them learn better. So some students need a quiet space. Some people need, you know, different ways of taking notes or different ways of presenting information. Um They may be working at a couple grades below. So, um so there's different kinds of IEPs and there's different um information in them, and different ways to help that student be as successful as they can.

Chantelle: Awesome. And so then thinking about, you know, we've, we've talked about some of the ways that make uh that support a successful transition. We've talked about the practice and getting all of the information and lots of communication both with your child at home uh as well as with the, the school. But what are some of the sings or clues that a student might be having a more difficult time with the transition? What are some things that parents and caregivers might wanna look for? 

Sara: Definitely missing school, right from the beginning. So that's a pretty big coping strategy that students have when they're feeling anxious. Um or maybe they haven't really felt found a person at school or people so it can be intimidating. And so if your child is saying, oh, I need, I'm sick. I need to stay home. Um That could be a big signal. If you're an adolescent, then that's absolutely possible that they're feeling that way. 

Chantelle: Right. 

Nicole: Yeah, I think too, um, uh, you know, the high school teachers are great at making sure that if they notice anything both socially and academically, they will reach out to parents and let them know. Um, they're, the good thing is because we're in a semester system. So semester one goes from September to the end of January at midterm around, um, October, uh, teachers will start to reach out with a midterm report saying I have a concern or, uh, I don't have a concern and so you want to pay attention to that and you want to make sure you ask about that, check your mail for that. Um, they are mailed to you so that, you know what's going on. They're very good about letting parents know that there are concerns. So paying attention to that. And I think, um, like Sara said, just paying attention to your child, you know if they're starting to say they don't feel well, and they don't want to go to school. Well, then I think that's a pretty telltale sign that there's something going on and then that's when you just start to reach out and ask for help from the high school level. 

Sara: Definitely. 

Chantelle: Yeah. So maybe some, some school avoidance or maybe there are some physical symptoms that come up.

Sara: Or maybe just leaving at part way through the day and calling you and saying, oh, I need to get picked up or not calling you, and they're just skipping school. 

Nicole: Yeah, for sure. And then again, um you know, just like in elementary school, there is a safe school's arrival. It comes in the form of an automated phone call. But I think if you're receiving those phone calls um and there are legitimate concerns there, then absolutely, I would contact the school and talk to them. 

Chantelle: Yeah. And then we also talked a little bit earlier about um uh building advocacy and independence. And so I'm thinking about when we're, when as parents, caregivers, when we're problem-solving or addressing some of these concerns, the importance of doing that collaboratively with the student because in that moment, we're helping with the problem-solving, but also building that sense of agency that they're part of kind of those next steps, part of the solution, they have ideas that they could share and how important it is to include them really at any age in the process, but importantly, in secondary.

Sara: Well, and teenagers are really quick to not want to be the one who has to talk to the teacher or the guidance counsellor…

Chantelle: Well it’s uncomfortable!

Sara:  Yeah. And I think the, the best thing you can do as a parent is you aren't the one going in there first. So say it's the first week of school, your child doesn't get the course that they want or, or it doesn't work with their schedule or something like that. You're not the one that's going in there. They are making the appointment with their guidance counsellor. They're the one that's explaining why they need the change and if you need to step in later, that's fine. But you have to give them the opportunity to do that or else, or else they'll never be able to do that. That's a whole skill set, being able to just even approach an adult who's in charge and say, I need you to do something for me. 

Chantelle: All the social skills we learned in secondary that aren't academic, that absolutely life skills and parents and caregivers can support by kind of coaching that conversation, role-playing that conversation, you know, supporting the student in, in going forward with that conversation and debriefing how it went, what those next steps are. 

Nicole: Absolutely. And I think, um like I said earlier, when you're having conversations with your own child, and they do say something like, even if it's, you know, I'm, I'm having a hard time in this class. I, I don't like this teacher, um, just trying to teach them and practice and role play some skills on how to handle those types of situations because that is something that we see a lot of where, again, they're used to one teacher. And so now they're coming up with four teachers, and it's that four different sets of expectations. And, and so some students struggle with that because, well, that's not what Mr or Mrs. So-and-So does in their class. Well, it doesn't matter, you know, it's, it's no different than in the workplace when we have different bosses who have different sets of expectations. These are life skills that we need to teach our students and how to handle that and how to go in and address it like a young adult.

Sara: …and even the lunchtime. So lunchtime, it's completely different than elementary school. They have all this freedom that they haven't had before, So if you have a child that you're worried about leaving school property or, or you're just concerned, and you still want them to be able to go with their friends out for lunch, maybe you need to walk them through what that looks like. Um, and talk to them about different ways. Like, how do you pay? Like, some students don't even know how to use a bank card. Maybe they don't even have a bank card. Or, or how many days a week are we gonna give you money to buy lunch, or we're not interested in you buying lunch?

Chantelle: Right. 

Sara: So those conversations are really necessary too. 

Chantelle: Yeah, it kind of reminds me of this, the locker and the lock situations, but there are lots of little things that um, that in your role as elementary guidance teachers can support with and then things that parents can support with in navigating some of those social skills, the routine before the, you know, the lunch examples that you just gave Sara, all of those things can help prepare for a successful transition 

Sara: Ya, and we talk about the first day of school, so we try to walk them through. So you should, so all that - there's nine high schools - everyone's first day will look a little bit different, but we know our high schools that we're assigned to, and so we can talk quite a bit and the high school definitely comes into grade eight to talk to them about that, and they do a great job. Um, but we can say, oh, you show up at the school, where do you go? Where do you walk in? How do you find out where you're gonna go? Like, how do you know what lunch you're going to have? What do you do if you walk into a classroom and you don't know anybody? Where do you sit? What do you bring to school? Do you have time between classes to get your binder or your notebook or your pen for that other class? You have to balance your time, and we talk a lot about time management as well in our lessons. 

Nicole: Yeah, definitely. 

Chantelle: Well, in going through a lot of those things around what to expect and what a routine might look like. Those are also all strategies to decrease, you know, stress and anxiety, right? And not everything is predictable and not everything will go that way. But the more we can have students visualize what that process might look like, the more confident they're gonna feel in going about their day, right?

Nicole:  I think too, um recognizing that um the high school staff um and the senior students are awesome at making sure they take care of these kids. Kids go in, and they feel like there's not gonna be anybody uh to help them, but we always talk to them about how, you know, like the teachers tend to stand in the hallways the first little bit and if you need help, make sure you ask, you know, everybody is really awesome and welcoming to our students, and so they won't feel alone. I know they go in feeling like they might, but they really won't. And I hope that parents understand that as well. Everybody is looking out for their child to make sure that they have the best possible start to high school that they can possibly have. 

Sara: And most of the high schools or all of them have an orientation in the summer at the end of August or the beginning of September depending on dates. And so they have their senior leaders, their older students, everyone, every high school calls them something different, but they're the ones that are there pumping them up. There's music playing when they come in. Um, they do fun activities, team building with them, and every time I've ever gone, students are so nervous at the beginning and at the end they are so happy, and they feel comfortable. They've walked around the school, sometimes they've gone to their locker, it's already been assigned, they practice by unlocking their lock all of those things, and they get to know these senior students and a lot of time the senior students will share their cell phone numbers even with the students.

So they can say, ok, just text me if you can't find your way to class, text me if you can't unlock your locker, right? So it's just that leadership that comes down from the high schools to their students and then to our incoming grade nines. 

Chantelle: Yeah. So the importance of creating that connection and having new students feel connected to the school community, whether that's through knowing what the building looks like, having a positive experience on an orientation or an open house and then maybe, you know, hopefully feeling connected with some of the students and staff there. Yeah.

Nicole: Yeah, it all helps. 

Chantelle: I know when we think about the transition, you know, I think in, in most of our heads right now we're thinking about September, but, um, I think when we zoom out and think about the entire grade nine year, there's other transitions that could come up that are important for parents and students to think about as well. 

Nicole: So, as I said earlier, our year runs in two semesters. So semester one ends at the end of January. Semester two starts at the beginning of February. Um, and so everything that we've talked about, um, happens one more time again in February where, especially with our grade nine students, they're getting lost again because these are all new classes. They have four new classes, four new teachers. Um…

Sara: …maybe a new lunch. 

Nicole: Yeah, possibly. 

Chantelle: But the same locker.

Nicole: But the same locker.

Sara: The same locker all the way to grade 12, ya.

Nicole: They call them lockers for life. So, once you know, your locker and your lock, you're good. Um, but that, those transition pieces happen again in February, and it's important to be aware that at that time your child might feel a little bit nervous, um, because it, it's all over again. They were feeling comfortable, they were feeling sure and, now it's a little bit nerve-wracking. But the good news is, it- that the transition process I would say is a little quicker in February because they're a little more familiar with the school, and hopefully they're feeling more comfortable in being able to ask people things.

So, um, it definitely does, I would say happen twice a year, a little bit easier the second time around. 

Sara: And it depends on what courses they have as well, right? So, the first semester they could have had things that- they're subjects that they're stronger in or more interested in. And then second semester, suddenly they get those subjects that they struggle in. So that's something to watch out for as a parent - is my child, you know, struggling with the subject matter is, is, um, are these subjects a lot for them? Do I need to make sure that they're putting the time into the, and the effort that they need to do to be successful in second semester? Yeah. 

Chantelle: Well, is there anything that you are hoping that we might cover today that we haven't got to yet? About that transition from grade 8 to 9?

Nicole:  I, I think I would mention the transition website,

which is accessible through our board website under the high school tab. And in that website, we have tried really, really hard to make sure that anything you could possibly want to know about your child starting high school is there, there are links to every single high school uh website which I think is a great way to learn about your high school. So if you're feeling a little bit like, well, I didn't get a chance to go into the school. I didn't get a chance to meet anybody; go on our website, the transition website and go to the link to your high school and you're able to meet the staff. Usually um there are virtual tours on the website, so if you're not sure um where you know, your child is going within the school, you can watch the virtual tours. Um The elementary guidance teachers all have their contact information on there. So if you have any questions, by all means, you could reach out to any one of us. Um, there are mental health supports which we've worked with you, Chantelle to develop, um to support the kids different links uh to kids' mental health um initiatives all over across Ontario and Canada um and all kinds of information.

So hopefully, that would be one thing for me, that I think would be awesome for parents to take a look at with your child, but also on your own because there's information there um, that I think is really important. 

Sara: And I think that I would recommend having those conversations sooner rather than later. So, we're going to be in schools, we start going to schools end of September, beginning of October having those conversations with your child about their transition to high school. So, and the high schools are gonna go in there probably as early as December to hand out course selection forms or talk about course selection forms and what, what's available. And then in January, it comes really fast because then we start doing course selections with the students. And if those conversations haven't happened, that's when the anxiety, um that's when the anxiety amps up for some students because they don't know what they want to choose. They feel like they're in a rush, and they feel like they're unprepared. So in, in connection with our conversations with them and the high school's conversations with them, it's good to ask them around that time. You, this is the timeline November, December, January to have those conversations with your child about what high school they wanna go to. What do they want to do after high school? Um What subjects do they do? You think you wanna focus on those kinds of things? They don't have a lot of options in grade nine because they try to get a lot of their core subjects out of the way, but they'll have one elective that they need to choose and, and it can be an important choice for a lot of students. So…

Nicole: I think too, one of the other things that I was thinking about that, maybe a lot of parents aren't aware of is in each of our high schools, we obviously we have guidance departments and the guidance counsellors are awesome at making sure they check in with kids. But another, uh big role we have as Catholic high schools is that they each have a chaplain. And so the chaplain is there to um fulfill any of the needs in regards to maybe mental or spiritual um struggles that the, the student might be having. They are easily accessible, just like the guidance people, you can make an appointment to see them. And um I think that they are an excellent part of our whole team that supports these kids that maybe parents may not have been aware of.

Um, and so you can look that up on each of the high school's website; who are the guidance people? Who's the chaplain? And we talk to the kids about who these people are and letting them know that they can certainly go and speak to the chaplain as well. If they have anything going on that they just need some adult support. 

Sara: And they also have, every high school has student success teachers. So we have there - are connections, there are people that can help with these situations. This is making sure that everybody is aware of, of who needs help and who needs a little bit of extra attention and, and there's lots of ways that we can support.

So, um if parents have a concern, there shouldn't be any hesitation in communicating that to the schools during the transition, meeting, students with IEPs always have transition meetings at the end of the school year. Um you can request a transition meeting if you would like. Um if you have some concerns, um if you want, if you have financial concerns, those should be brought up because we can always, all of our schools have uniforms and so that can be a struggle for some families and, and we are in a position where we can help you uh get a uniform so that you're not stressed or anxious about that as well. 

Chantelle: Absolutely. And for all of our listeners to also know there are mental health supports in all of our secondary schools. So we've talked about a lot of the different supports today, and if a student is having more difficulty or maybe needs to talk to a mental health clinician, that we have board, staff, school counsellors in all of our secondary schools as well as community partners. So partners like New Path and Canadian Mental Health Association and, and Nurses, um for example, it's different at every school, but there are supports and those are accessed through the guidance department. So lots of different resources accessed through guidance through student success, that students, you know, if they need them, they're there. But, but they need to know that they're there to, to reach out and access them. And so really important to explore what those resources are so that students know where to go for help. 

Nicole:  Absolutely.

Sara: I think also too, we need to mention that we're in the schools, we go to our schools once every two weeks, pretty much on kind of a that's typically a schedule that elementary guidance teachers follow, but we're there, so if it's not necessarily um a mental health issue that needs to go to a counsellor, maybe it's a bit more minor, not as serious, we are in the school. So students are having um extra anxiety or if they're worried, if they're having trouble managing friendships in grade eight or grade seven, which happens a lot. Um if they're even just needing a break from their classroom just to talk about, maybe parents are going through a divorce or separation or there's something, you know, something's happened in their life that's not very nice, um they can always request to meet with us and it, so they don't have to talk to us in front of the whole class. We can pull them aside, and we can meet with them. So that's, and just have a little chat about what's going on. So it's not, it's not quite the issue that would, would be serious enough for a referral to a counsellor, um but we're there just as an adult to support and listen. Yeah.

Nicole:  Absolutely. 

Chantelle: Great. Well, thank you so much for your time, Nicole and Sara. I think we've given our parents and caregivers and families who are listening lots of really great information to support that transition from grade eight to grade nine. I think we've also captured all the reasons why it is a very important and significant transition. Uh and also highlighted all of the supports that are in place for that transition, as well as some things to think about and talk about and practice, um not only in grade seven and eight, but also throughout grade nine and potentially throughout the whole high school career. So, thank you so much for that. 

Nicole: Thank you. Thanks for having us.

Sara: Thank you, Chantelle.

Thanks for listening to Beyond The Bell podcast. We hope you found today's episode helpful. Beyond The Bell is brought to you by the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board and our Catholic Parent Involvement Committee. It's hosted by Chantelle Quesnelle. Pauline Stevenson is our Executive Producer. Episodes are produced and edited by Portage Creative. You can find our show notes in previous episodes on our podcast website beyondthebell.ca.

If you like today's episode, leave us a review. If you have any suggestions for future episodes or any questions or comments about Beyond the Bell podcast, you can send an email to info@smcdsb.on.ca. Thanks again for joining us. We'll see you next time.