Middle School Leaders & Teachers can Help Families Transition their Children to Middle School

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The information below is from our partner, The Ohio Department of Education.

How can I support families and students during the transition to middle school?

Before the school year begins:

  • Invite families to visit the middle school in the spring of their child’s last year in elementary school.
  • Schedule meetings between families, students and teachers to discuss family, student and teacher expectations.
  • Invite families to planning meetings to give input on their child’s class schedule.
  • Send out an orientation packet to families and students in the spring before students begin at the middle school which includes information about rules, policies, sample curriculum and materials needed in the middle school.
  • Collaborate with elementary teachers to prepare and disseminate a summer reading list for students and families. Provide alternative options for families who cannot read with their child, such as audio books or library programs. Encourage families to read in their home language, and provide options in the families’ home languages whenever possible, to show how much you value other language development!
  • Identify feeder schools and develop close relationships with the teachers and administrators who have had the students in prior grades or classes.
  • Provide families with a list of community resources, such as summer programs which may help their children be better prepared for middle school in the spring before the transition.

Early in the school year:

  • Host a family orientation night where current family members, teachers, administrators meet with families to discuss how to be involved in education at the middle school. Provide other methods of getting the information, for families who are unable to attend.
  • Utilize willing current middle school families to mentor families during the transition.
  • Refer families of struggling students to community resources such as counseling, if needed.

This article by a school principal contains examples of how school leaders can design their school system to support the transition to middle school for families and students. Help families make the transition “smooth sailing”!

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