Anthony P. DeMarco
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We are coming to the close of another trimester at the middle school which brings with it a variety of programming changes and begins our preparation for the upcoming school year. Students at all grade levels are beginning to get anxious for the change in weather, the summer and anticipation of their upcoming grade change. By this point sixth grade students are very comfortable with the transition to the middle school and are comfortable with the academic demands and social interactions that the independence of this grade level gives to them. Students have begun to show us their independence and are more accountable to themselves for work and social interactions.
Our seventh and eighth grade students are preparing for the next step in their school careers. Seventh grade students continue to work on developing their social interactions and begin to rely more heavily on peers for support much to the chagrin of their parents. Meanwhile eighth grade students have begun the process of choosing their classes for the trip across the field to the high school. We had a very successful visit from the high school guidance counselors, who discussed the choices available to the students to help them prepare for the transition.
Students are continuing to develop their independence as they move through the middle school to help prepare them for the high school. Each grade level increases the independent nature of the work and of the student’s responsibility to help them transition successfully to the next phase in their education. Some students may take a little longer to develop their independence and that is okay too. Our goal is to assist students and to carefully guide them in becoming more independent and responsible for their education.
Beginning at the middle school, students are given access to their grades and attendance through PowerSchool to help them develop ownership and responsibility for their education. Students are told by their teachers and by administration that they should be checking their grades weekly to make sure grades are current. Grading and grade input is explained to students at the beginning of the year. Teachers are asked to use the following guidelines for entering grades; One (1) week for entering most grades including assignments turned in late and two (2) weeks for tests, projects, or reports. However some assignments may require more time to correct and enter.
The teaming process is another manner that we use to provide transition for students from the traditional self-contained classroom to a multiple teacher model. Teams are specifically designed with fewer teachers in the sixth grade to assist in this transition allowing for a team of adults to know the students and carefully guide them as they begin the journey to becoming more independent and take more responsibility for their work. Teachers are provided with common planning time to coordinate assignments and to monitor workload as students move through the building in preparation for their high school experience.
Working collaboratively with parents is an important step to reinforce with students that home and school are jointly engaged in helping to guide them to continually develop their independence. This helps them prepare for what lies ahead of them educationally and in their careers. We appreciate the support that we receive from the school community to help the students make good choices and be successful and achieve to their greatest potential.
Tony DeMarco, Principal