As each new year begins, students transition from grade to grade and in some cases from school to school. We are keenly aware that the transition from middle school to high school could be a slightly stressful experience. The purpose of this post is to let you know that making this transition smooth is extremely important to us.
The first two days for 8th graders will be different... with a focus on getting comfortable with the building as well as the procedures, expectations, and technology here at the high school. There will also be plenty of time to visit the lockers and practice learning a new lock combination. This work will continue throughout the year as we work in our advisory groups and help our students develop a growth mindset.
On day one, the periods are shortened (Figure 1) and students will spend the first block of time touring the building.
Then, they will hear about the "Road to Graduation" and complete an activity in which they browse the high school course catalog in order to see the big picture! Mr. Azzara, our 8th grade counselor will be pushing into all classes and discussing the following:
Finally, Actively Learn is a reading and writing platform that helps our students read for depth. It provides an environment where teachers can embed questions into reading assignments and monitor the progress of the students. When students attain deep understanding of text, they are able to establish meaning, analyze the text, and apply their knowledge in meaningful ways (e.g. writing an essay or completing a project).
Although your children will be tired after the first two days, please be sure to talk to them each night when they get home. Make sure they know what each of the images above are and that you know too. Parent involvement is an important part of student success. Finally, keep the lines of communication open and make sure your children internalize the importance of their decisions and how everything that they do makes a difference.
This is going to be a great 5 years!
Whittney Smith, Ed.D.
Dr. Smith is the Principal of Mineola High School in Garden City Park, NY. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Ruth Ammon School of Education at Adelphi University.