The high school transition was examined in an ethnically diverse, urban sample of 1,979 adolescents, followed from 7th to 10th grade (M(age) = 14.6, SD = .37 in 7th grade). Twice annually, data were gathered on adolescents' perceptions of school climate, psychological functioning, and academic behaviors. Piecewise growth modeling results indicate that adolescents were doing well before the transition but experienced transition disruptions in psychological functioning and grades, and many continued to struggle across high school. The immediate experience of the transition appeared to be particularly challenging for African American and Latino students when the numerical representation of their ethnic groups declined significantly from middle to high school. Findings highlight the value of examining the transition in a larger developmental context and the importance of implementing transition support.