Middle school is a much more complex environment than
elementary school. The campus is often larger, there may be more
students, and instead of one teacher and one classroom, your child will
have a separate instructor, and classroom, for each subject or block of
subjects (e.g., language arts/social studies or math/science).
Here are some strategies for helping your child make a smoother transition to middle school:
? Explore the school's Web site with your child. Search for announcements, schedules, and events.
= Accompany your
child on campus tours and orientations offered to parents and incoming
students. The better you understand the school layout and rules, the
more you can help your child.
= Get a map of
the campus and take your child to explore. Pick a time after school in
the spring or in the days just before school starts in the fall. Be sure
to check in with the school office to get an OK for your explorations.
= Include a
couple of your child's friends on campus treks. They can boost each
other's memory about where things are when school starts.
= Take advantage
of summer programs — academic or recreational — offered at the new
school for incoming students. Your child will get the feel for the
campus in a much more relaxed atmosphere.
= Get a copy of
your child's class schedule and mark the location of her locker and each
classroom and bathroom on the school map. Tape both of these inside her
binder. If your child has trouble reading maps, walk the route between
classes with her — more than once, if necessary — and note landmarks
that the student can use to navigate.
= Find out the length of the passing period between classes. Time it out for your child.
= Get a copy of
the student handbook. Review rules and requirements — especially the
school's code of conduct, which describes consequences for violations of
the most important rules. Ask the school staff questions about anything