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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.
Making the Move to Middle School
It's your child's biggest transition since kindergarten: Leaving the cozy nest of elementary school for the wide-open spaces of middle school can be daunting for the whole family, so start your preparations now. These resources can help you smooth the way, both socially and academically.
Helping Children Transition from Elementary to Middle School
Families can do a great deal to help with the transition when kids enter a new environment. With some sense of what to expect, children are more likely to be successful and less likely to be overwhelmed. Help them manage by taking some steps before school starts.
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
Families 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
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
6–12 Family Tips: Media Balance & Well-Being
Here are a few tips from Common Sense Education to help parents keep media and tech use in check.
Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media (CSM) is a non-profit organization that "provides education and advocacy to families to promote safe technology and media for children."
Common Sense Media reviews books, movies, TV shows, video games, apps, music, and websites and rates them in terms of age-appropriate educational content, positive messages/role models, violence, and more. Common Sense provides parents, educators, health organizations, and policymakers with reliable, independent data on children's use of media and technology and the impact it has on their physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development.
Omaha Public Schools Tech Hub
Here you will find links to technology training and support for students, staff and families.
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).