International Transition Center
The International Transition Center (ITC) opened in August 2016 to serve students in grades 8–11 who are learning English but have limited or interrupted formal education. The ITC opened with sites at Berkmar High School, Central Gwinnett High School, Meadowcreek High School, and Norcross High School. In 2018–19, a site opened at Discovery High School and, in 2019–20, Duluth High School joined the ITC family.
The middle school program of study for 8th grade students is designed to accelerate the development of English proficiency and math skills to enable students to graduate within four years of entering high school.
The high school program of study for students in grades 9–12 is designed to accelerate the development of English proficiency, math skills, and the necessary career skills to enable students to make the transition to the workforce and/ or adult educational opportunities.
Students with limited or interrupted formal education come to the ITC with a broad and varied range of challenges. This is especially evident at the high school level.
The challenges facing English Learners (ELs) in high school are much greater than those facing native English speakers. EL students must meet the same requirements as their peers in order to earn a high school diploma, all within the relatively short time frame of secondary school (grades 9–12). During their time in the high school program, EL students must master grade-level content knowledge in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, and must become proficient in the academic language needed to support their learning.
In some cases, young people who have had little formal schooling before coming to the ITC must develop basic literacy and numeracy skills and acquire basic academic knowledge before they can find success at grade level. These students need additional help if they are to remain in school and achieve academic success.
The ITC recognizes that native languages and cultures of our EL students are a resource for the school community. The varied backgrounds and experiences influence students’ language and academic development. Many EL students need to improve their academic skills in their native language to facilitate their academic language development in English. The ITC offers Spanish for Native Speakers classes for speakers of Spanish to increase their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills in their first language. As EL students develop a higher proficiency in their first language, they can use these same language skills in acquiring the English language.
International Transition Center students will attain proficiency in English and other Academic Knowledge and Skills (AKS) to enter high school or begin their careers.
The mission of the International Transition Center is to recognize and build upon the strengths of each unique English Language Learner and provide explicit instruction to leverage each student’s strengths.