The present article displays the results of a two-year research experience carried out by an interdisciplinary research team from the five academic departments (units) at CIDE. The study is part of a larger research project named Profiles, Dynamics and Challenges of Costa Rican education at CIDE, which is directed by the Deanery. The study was conducted during 2006 and part of 2007 in secondary schools which were identified as successful institutions regarding academic achievements. The research focused on exploring the factors which influence students’ academic performance positively as they move from primary to secondary school and as they remain within successful academic indicators during those transition years. This research, besides involving an important literature review, required field work which took place in ten secondary schools from diverse settings all over the country. Observations were made and the seventh and eighth graders’ beliefs, as well as, their parents’ and teachers’ assumptions were explored. In addition, paralleled to the aspects mentioned, an important population of sixth grade students, their parents, and teachers were studied, since those primary institutions were related to the secondary schools involved in the study.