How do I apply?

To apply, a student applicant first creates a profile in MyRC on the Robinson Center website. From there, the application requirements can be fulfilled and edited in multiple sessions before submitting the final application for consideration prior to the deadline.

How many students apply and are accepted to Transition School?

Transition School receives approximately 80 completed applications each year from students who attend public school, private school, and homeschool. After careful review of all completed applications, TS notifies those qualified to schedule an interview, accompanied by family, and a campus visit. If qualified to interview, TS provides an additional writing prompt for the student applicant to complete and may conduct conversations by phone with one or more of the teachers who completed recommendations as a part of the application process. Ultimately, TS invites 20 students to participate each year, and on average, 16-18 students accept and enroll. 

What makes Transition School different from a traditional school experience?

Transition School is designed to serve young students who are able to learn at an accelerated and advanced level. Accepted students enter the year-long Transition School program after completion of 8th grade to prepare for entrance into the University the following academic year. Throughout TS, students are expected to possess and demonstrate increasing capacity to be self-motivated, independent, and engaged scholars who are prepared to make the most of the University experience. The TS curriculum is not intended to replace the standard high school curriculum, nor does it bear much resemblance to AP or IB coursework. The focus is to prepare TS students to be strong scholars at the University.

How does Transition School lead to Early Entrance at UW?

Based on progress made during Transition School and in a University class during spring quarter, TS leadership and instructors make recommendations for admission into the University as full-time undergraduates. No additional entrance exams are required. Following admission to the UW, Transition School students (TSers) become Early Entrance Program students (EEPers). Selection of majors and other university programs are subject to the individual guidelines of each major. It is important to note that neither Transition School students or EEPers earn a high school diploma. Students who advance after one year of Transition School and successfully complete undergraduate studies in four subsequent years are typically 19 years old at the time of graduation from UW.

For current 10th grade students interested in early admission to UW without first attending Transition School, please visit the Robinson Center website for more information about the UW Academy program.

How are students supported during Transition School?

A variety of supports have been thoughtfully designed to guide students throughout their Transition School experience. In addition to coursework in math, science, English, and history, students participate in health and wellness class, attend instructional office hours, weekly whole group community meeting, and individual and small group tutorials. . Each of these supports provide opportunities to identify and discuss social, emotional, and physical needs that contribute to a positive academic experience in the unique learning atmosphere afforded by TS. In addition, TS assists with mentor/mentee pairings which match individual TS students with older EEP student mentors of similar interests and goals. Mentors help new students build relationships not only with the Robinson Center community but with the wider University of Washington community. TSers can seek help from their mentor for any number of questions from social to academic. There are many mentor/mentee activities planned throughout the year to foster these important connections.

What does a typical day at Transition School look like?

On a typical day, a student may attend class for three or four different subjects per day, as well as a combination of scheduled Office Hours, Tutorial, and/or Community meetings that occur throughout the week. The curriculum is fast-paced and in-depth, and classroom teaching emphasizes discussion over lecture. TS faculty members are experts in their fields, with advanced degrees and years of teaching experience. Teachers emphasize collaborative learning; it is vital to the success of the students that they develop a community among themselves and work together throughout the year. Social activities are also organized throughout the year to assist the students in developing and maintaining a close learning community.

What type of learner thrives at Transition School and in Early Entrance?

Students who benefit from Transition School and Early Entrance must be self-motivated, responsible, active learners, and collaborative peers. Although there are strong systems of support in TS, students must be able to make difficult decisions about their coursework and their academic career at a very early age. Other notable skills and dispositions include: intellectual curiosity of multiple subjects, consistently high achievement, strong organization and time management, demonstrated need for academic challenge, social maturity and aptitude, and ability to successfully navigate competing needs and deadlines.

What happens if a student does not advance from Transition School to the Early Entrance Program?

In the unusual circumstance that a student does not advance to EEP from Transition School, TS guides the student and family in following the Academic Success Plan created during the application process and the student returns to the public, private, or homeschool program of choice.

Can I live in the dorms if I am admitted to Transition School?

No. Transition School is a commuter or non-resident program offered to young scholars and located on the University of Washington Seattle campus. During Transition School, students are not considered University of Washington students and therefore are not permitted to participate in UW student activities, clubs, residential living, undergraduate research, or other extracurricular programs. Upon successful completion of Transition School and admission to UW via the Early Entrance Program, a student is considered a traditional UW freshman and encouraged to explore the many sponsored campus activities and clubs available, with some exception pertaining to on-campus housing due to the young age of the student.

How much does Transition School cost?

Transition School tuition for the 2021-2022 academic year is $20,000. Tuition directly supports the learning needs of Transition School students. Families are also responsible to purchase any textbook materials associated with Transition School classes. The staff and faculty at TS recognize this additional financial burden on families and use open source, free, and widely available course resources whenever possible to keep textbook costs to a minimum each quarter.

Is there financial assistance available?

Yes. The Robinson Center is committed to ensuring that financial need is not a barrier to participation in Transition School. The RC has a robust and growing tuition and fee waiver fund and offers some financial assistance to students and families with a demonstrated need. Families who wish to apply for financial assistance must do so at the time of acceptance into the program. This requires a FAFSA be completed and submitted to the University of Washington’s Office of Financial Aid, with a copy sent to the Robinson Center. If a family is eligible for the Federal Free/Reduced Lunch Program, they do not need to submit a FAFSA and can submit their most recent tax return instead. A financial assistance committee, including the Director and selected Robinson Center staff, in consultation with the UW Financial Aid Office, will determine financial need and award amounts for each student. We encourage students for whom the costs entailed by application to Transition School (including the ACT and application fee) might represent a major impediment to contact the Robinson Center to inquire about exemption or financial assistance for these costs.

What are scholarly skills?

The curriculum of Transition School has been developed with several related goals in mind. First and foremost, the Robinson Center prepares TS students to be successful undergraduate students at the University of Washington. This requires not only providing a curriculum rich in content, but one that addresses the scholarly skills students will need to make the most of their University experience. The workload for TS classes is significant; students have substantial ground to cover, both in content and skill acquisition, before they can be successful at the University. Scholarly skills include consistently conducting oneself respectfully as a member of the learning community, demonstrating responsibility and preparation for one’s own learning, communicating effectively with peers and adults in multiple contexts across TS, and maintaining a growth mindset and willingness to receive feedback for improvement.

Is the ACT required?

Yes. All Transition School applicants must submit ACT scores. The ACT contains multiple-choice tests in four areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science. The writing portion of the ACT is not required for the Transition School application. Given the age of Transition School applicants and the absence of a complete high school transcript, the ACT is used to assist in building a picture of an applicant’s academic readiness for college-level work. It is not expected that applicants prepare extensively for the ACT exam. At most, a student may wish to read through the practice test and become familiar with the test format. If Transition School is the right educational fit, most students are able to take the exam with little preparation. Scores in the 85th percentile or higher show potential readiness for college-level work. However, the Transition School Admissions Committee reviews applications with a holistic lens, so students applying with ACT scores below the 85th percentile are still encouraged to submit all materials for consideration.

Code: When asked for a school code for the Transition School, enter either 481174 (if asked for a 6-digit code) or 9899 (if asked for a 4-digit code).

When should I take the ACT?

Students considering applying to Transition School should schedule their ACT over the summer after 7th grade or Fall of 8th grade. More 2021-22 test dates and registration information can be found here.

What if I haven’t taken Algebra 2 or need to demonstrate readiness in another subject?

Occasionally, students are provisionally accepted to TS having not yet completed Algebra 2, and/or demonstrated the readiness to advance in literacy or writing, and/or present other academic concern(s). In such situations, the student may be required to take a course in the Robinson Center’s Summer Stretch program prior to the start of TS to develop those skills and acquire the knowledge that support student success in TS. Summer Stretch courses are advanced level, intensive, five-week classes that serve as excellent preparation for TS. The final admission decision will be made after the successful completion of the Summer Stretch course. 

Provisionally accepted students must take the required Summer Stretch class. Some students fully admitted to TS may also be strongly encouraged to take a Summer Stretch course in order to strengthen their preparation for Transition School. If, due to unforeseen or extenuating circumstances beyond control, a student is unable to attend the required Summer Stretch class, the TS Principal may, at his/her discretion, approve an alternative provider of equivalent learning to assist the student in completion of their TS preparation.

What if I have already taken Precalculus?

Occasionally students enter Transition School who are advanced beyond the TS Precalculus class. If an incoming student has already passed Precalculus with a B or higher, can demonstrate continued readiness for advanced math in Fall Quarter TS Precalculus, and is progressing well in all of their other TS courses, a case-by-case evaluation will be made to determine whether the student should be enrolled in a more advanced UW math course instead of the TS Precalculus course in subsequent quarters. In such cases, the family is responsible for the additional cost of tuition beyond Transition School.

How can I request a transcript?

A written request with a signature must be received from the parent allowing release of a transcript. The request may be faxed or emailed to our office; we are unable to accept telephone requests. Each transcript request is $9.00, to be paid by either a check or credit card.  Please allow up to 5 working days for processing your request.

Transition School Transcript Request Form (PDF)

What if I participate in home-based instruction (home school)? Can I still apply to TS? ?

Absolutely. Several home school students have successfully participated in Transition School and the Early Entrance Program. Numbers vary from year to year, with 1 or 2 in some cohorts and none in others. 

Most all sections of the TS application remain applicable to a student who is currently participating in home school during 8th grade (the year they apply to TS). There is some adaption necessary when it comes to providing academic records and teacher recommendations; however, applications are welcome from all current 8th grade students. 

Students participating in home-based instruction (home school) should include the following document uploads in your TS application:

  1. A copy of your signed declaration of intent to homeschool for the current school year
  2. Annual academic progress assessments for 6th, 7th, and 8th grades and any test scores (if applicable)
  3. Three teacher recommendations

RCW 28A.225.010(4) defines instruction as home-based if it consists of planned and supervised instructional and related educational activities, including curriculum and instruction in the basic skills of occupational education, science, mathematics, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, and the development of an appreciation of art and music provided for a number of hours per grade level established for approved private schools and if such activities are provided by a qualified parent.

Chapter 28A.200 RCW states that each parent who is providing home-based instruction must:

  1. File annually a signed declaration of intent that he or she is planning to cause his or her child to receive home-based instruction.
  2. Ensure that test scores or annual academic progress assessment and immunization records, together with any other records that are kept relating to the instructional and educational activities provided, are forwarded to any other public or private school to which the child transfers.
  3. Ensure that a standardized achievement test, approved by the State Board of Education, is administered annually to the child by a qualified individual or that an annual assessment of the student’s academic progress is written by a certificated person who is currently working in the field of education. The results of the standardized test or the annual academic progress assessment shall be made a part of the child’s permanent records. If, as a result of the annual test or assessment, it is determined that the child is not making reasonable progress consistent with his or her age or stage of development, the parent shall make a good faith effort to remedy any deficiency.

What about submitting Academic Records or Progress Reports?

  1. If home-based instruction is provided by a parent per letter 'a' below 28A.225.010(4), please include letter grade or narrative documentation from the certificated person that details the learning objectives basic skills of occupational education, science, mathematics, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, and the development of an appreciation of art and music and how the student progressed in relation to the objectives and expected outcomes in these subjects in 6th and 7th grades, as well as progress to date in 8th grade.
  2. If home-based instruction is provided by a parent per letter 'b' below 28A.225.010(4), please include letter grade report or narrative documentation from the parent (acting as teacher) that details the learning objectives basic skills of occupational education, science, mathematics, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, and the development of an appreciation of art and music and how the student progressed in relation to the objectives and expected outcomes in these subjects in 6th and 7th grades, as well as progress to date in 8th grade and documentation the parent as teacher meets the criteria of having either earned 45 college-level credit hours or the equivalent in semester hours or has completed a course in home-based instruction at postsecondary institution or a vocational-technical institute.
  3. If home-based instruction is provided by a parent per letter 'c' below 28A.225.010(4), please include letter grade report or narrative documentation from the parent (acting as teacher) that details the learning objectives basic skills of occupational education, science, mathematics, language, social studies, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, and the development of an appreciation of art and music and how the student progressed in relation to the objectives and expected outcomes in these subjects in 6th and 7th grades, as well as progress to date in 8th grade and documentation the parent has been deemed sufficiently qualified to provide home-based instruction by the superintendent of the local school district in which the child resides.

RCW 28A.225.010(4) requires that the instructional and educational activities be:

  1. Provided by a parent who is instructing his or her child only and is supervised by a person certificated under Chapter 28A.410 RCW. The supervision consists of and includes planning of objectives by the certificated person and the parent, a minimum each month of an average of one contact hour per week with the child being supervised by the certificated person, and evaluation of such child’s progress by the certificated person. The number of children supervised by the certificated person shall not exceed 30.
  2. Provided by a parent who is instructing his or her child only and who has either earned 45 college-level credit hours or the equivalent in semester hours or has completed a course in home-based instruction at postsecondary institution or a vocational-technical institute.
  3. Provided by a parent who is deemed sufficiently qualified to provide home-based instruction by the superintendent of the local school district in which the child resides

What about Teacher Recommendations?

A parent may complete a teacher recommendation while acting as the applicant's teacher. Many students who participate in home-based instruction also participate in cooperative learning groups, some in affiliation with a local public district. It is advisable that the second teacher recommendation be submitted by a non-parent who serves in a teacher role. The third recommendation already provides flexibility to be submitted by a non-family adult who supervises the students in an on-going capacity which may exceed the scope of traditional school subjects.

 

Source: OSPI Washington State's Laws Governing Home-Based Instruction (2017)