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Minding Middle School: Ideas and Advice for Families

This guide is intended to assist families in understanding the challenges and opportunities their children will encounter when transitioning for elementary to middle school.

Preparing for Middle School

Middle school is an exciting, yet challenging, milestone for students and their families. As children transition from a self-contained classroom with one teacher to multiple teachers and a larger school environment, family guidance and support is more important than ever. This guide provides information and tips on how families can help with a successful transition middle school.


Family involvement in a child's education during the middle school years is just as important as it is in earlier grades.

Social Emotional Changes

undefinedFamilies play an important role in teaching and assisting middle schoolers to manage emotions, make responsible decisions and resolve conflicts in a positive manner. Here are some resources you can use to learn more about social emotional learning:

Be actively engaged in your child's new school
  •  Attend school meetings
  •  Join the school PTO
  •  Attend conferences
  •  Volunteer
Communicate with your child's teachers, counselors and administrators
  • Establish communications early in the year either in person, by email, or by phone
  • Get to know other families
Review expectations with your child
  • Go over the school handbook
  • Review classroom expectations by visiting the teachers' web page with your student

Media Use


The middle years are sometimes referred to as the "awkward stage" in human growth. Beyond the physical changes, there is a large amount of brain development that accompanies the onset of adolescence. Middle schoolers may be more prone to risk-taking, may have exaggerated emotional responses to events or friends, or may find new friendships or interests. To help them use these developmental changes to their advantage, families can

  • Encourage development of new friendships and pursuit of new activities or interests
  • Show them that failure as a natural part of the growing and changing
  • Be alert to signs of anxiety or depression and seek assistance if necessary
  • Support them in becoming increasingly independent

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).

Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).