Source: Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB)
Focus: Teachers and Resource staff
Summary: Thames Valley DSB identified seven most common transition points that FNMI students may face at different phases of their educational experience and has provided best practices and additional resources to support students in these transitions.
1. Home to Elementary School
The first entry point into formal education is when a child is starting school for the first time. Therefore, effective transitioning at this stage helps children and their families feel comfortable, valued and more successful in school.
2. Federal (First Nations school) to Provincial (TVDSB school)
Many First Nations communities across Canada govern their own education through federal funding provided by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). As a result, many First Nations set local education policy and manage their own operations by running their own elementary schools (and some secondary schools) on the First Nation. Should a First Nation community not be in a position to provide a level of education (e.g., secondary), they will arrange to send their students to provincially funded and publicly operated elementary and secondary schools at different points of entry.
3. Provincial (public school) to Provincial (TVDSB school)
According to Ontario’s Ministry of Education, “seventy-eight percent of the Aboriginal population live off-reserve, with 61% living in urban centres” (FNMI Policy Framework, 2007).
4. Grade 8 to Grade 9
The transition from elementary to secondary school is widely recognized as a challenge for most students. However, in addition to these demands, FNMI students may face dramatic cultural shifts and changes in jurisdictions.
5. Early Departure
Many students complete high school by the age of 18. However, for many different reasons some students leave school early to return later. For many students, Alternative Education can be considered a second chance as well as a change from the mainstream system’s larger classes.
6. Secondary to Workplace
Many secondary students choose direct pathways into the workforce upon completion of their diploma.
7. Secondary to Post-Secondary
The transition from secondary to post secondary is one of the most exciting times in a young person’s life. Research indicates that many FNMI students face delayed transitions between secondary and post-secondary when compared to non-FNMI students