Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Major

Educational Administration

Date of Defense

12-14-2006

Graduate Advisor

Kathleen Sullivan Brown, Ph.D.

Committee

Carole Murphy, Ed.D.

Ken Owen, Ed.D.

Kathleen Haywood, Ph.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness that transitional activities have on student achievement and attendance when students moved from elementary school to middle school. The data were gathered from two school districts that are demographically similar. Data included average daily attendance rates, Terra Nova Achievement Scores from social studies in grades five, six, and seven, as well as math in grades five, six, and seven. There were 187 students in the Treatment Group and 147 in the Control Group for a total of 334 students. Comparison of means for demographic equivalency of the groups (t-test) and a MANCOVA with repeated measures analysis of seventh grade Math and Social Studies test scores were run. The results indicated no significant differences in rates of attendance from students transitioning from elementary to middle school whether they have experienced transitional activities or not. In addition, there were no significant differences in Terra Nova Social Studies or Math Achievement Test scores between students transitioning from elementary to middle school whether they have experienced a comprehensive transition program or not (F= .003, p= .960 for seventh grade Math, F= .947, p= .331 for seventh grade Social Studies). There was a drop in both attendance and achievement test scores for both the control and treatment groups. While this study determined there is no reason to believe the interventions made any difference in the overall attendance and achievement test scores, the literature and other studies have shown positive results. Programs of this sort need further study and analysis to gather additional data on transitional activities and their effectiveness on students entering middle school.

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