Both positive supports and prevention services should be implemented throughout middle and high school. Strategies to promote positive supports and services during the middle school years are likely to positively impact students in their high school years. If there haven’t been effective prevention programs in middle school, then prevention or cessation programs must be available in high school.
Students ages 12–18 may be less interested in schoolwork, especially when under stress and or when family or work obligations reduce available time to focus on schoolwork. Although some students may compete vigorously for attention from teachers, they also may withdraw; resist authority; become disruptive or aggressive at home or in the classroom, which may manifest as bullying-type behavior; or begin to experiment with high-risk behaviors, such as alcohol or drug use.
A fundamental function of the initial middle level education movement was to facilitate young adolescents’ transition into high school. Research shows that students have an easier time disengaging during these transitions. In recent years, more and more middle schools are developing transition programs to address the particular needs of their students, whether it is related to the transition from middle to high school, or in-person to virtual learning.
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