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Middle School Transition

Waukee Middle School
by

Trudy Vande Kamp

on 30 January 2014

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Transcript of Middle School Transition

Transition to Middle School
Extra Curricular Opportunities
Activities are announced throughout the school year.
Check the Daily Announcements
Contact teacher sponsors/coaches for additional information
Encourage your student to participate
Transition Activities
Course description night for parents (February)
Middle school counselor visits the elementary school to present to students (February)
5th Grade Students visit Waukee Middle School (April)
Parent Transition to Middle School Meeting (May)
Supply drop off/walk schedule (August)
District-Wide Open House (August)
Transition Activities (first 2 days of school)
Changes, changes, changes
Interest in the opposite sex
Pressures to fit in
Desire for some to be “popular”
Noticing differences of ability levels
Competition
More freedom!
Worries for 6th Graders
How to know the school’s expectations
How to find classes/get there on time
Bringing materials to class
Where to sit at lunch
Opening the locker
Choosing classes
Making friends
Encouraging You to Stay Involved
Keep lines of communication open with your student – truly listen
Stay aware of what students are texting/posting on Facebook and other sites
Supervise activities
Get to know the parents of your student’s friends
Encourage your student to use positive self talk
Hold them accountable for things that are their responsibility: chores, school work, behavior
What is the role of parents at school?
Maintain positive communication with teachers and school staff
Make certain your student comes to school daily and arrives on time
Know the expectations/school policies
Attend all meetings that pertain to your student
Attend activities your student is involved in
Volunteer to help out when asked
Empower your student by teaching them how to advocate for themselves
Keeping Healthy Routines…
Encourage your student to eat regular, healthy meals
Getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night
Encourage healthy behaviors: hand washing, showering, not sharing personal items such as brushes/makeup/drinks
Academic Tips Continued…
Read with them – modeling the importance of reading
Set reasonable, yet high expectations
Review daily assignments to be certain homework is completed (at least in the beginning of the year)
Contact teachers for specific questions about a class
Help your student break down long term assignments into manageable chunks
Logistics
Drop off/Pick Up – Front of the building
Appointments/Absences – call attendance line at 515-987-2785 or send a note with your student. Parents must come into the school to sign students out for appointments.
Lunch Accounts – RevTrak on District’s website to add funds: http://www.waukeeschools.org
Nurse Visits – Ill students must work through the nurse’s office to contact parents.
Handbook : copy located on the Waukee Middle School web page
Technology
Get to know PowerSchool – check your student's progress: http://ps.waukeeschools.org/public/
District Website: http://www.waukeeschools.org/
School Website: http://www.waukeeschools.org/school/waukee-middle-school/
Staff Blogs: http://www.waukeeschools.org/school/waukee-middle-school/staff/
Cell phones, Facebook, Ipods, Ipads, other electronics – get to know and understand how students are communicating
Emails/phone calls to staff: (allow for adequate response time)
Counseling Services

Individual and Group counseling
Advocate for students, staff, and parents
Large Group Guidance
Conflict management
Attend team meetings
Assist with testing
Process and plan after discipline
Help get to the function of behavior
Community Counseling

We are very fortunate to be able to partner with outside resources for additional counseling support for families of the Waukee School District.  Integrative Counseling Solutions provides on-site counseling support for students.  You are welcome to contact them directly at (515) 993-4767 or work through me to submit a referral.  There is a fee for these services; however, services are billed through insurance (their office will help you determine acceptable coverage).  A second option is the EFR Student Assistance Program.  There is no cost for this program, and parents can call 515-244-6090 to set up an appointment. The Waukee School District has paid for 6 free sessions for every student.
PBIS Expectations
The vision of Waukee Middle School upholds student achievement and good character. We are a Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) school and strongly believe in creating an environment that promotes and models the Five Keys to Success:
Trustworthiness, Fairness, Caring, Respect, and Responsibility.

Advisory time is a vehicle to teach, promote, and reinforce good character and positive behaviors. All students are expected to participate and be a positive force in these sessions. Additionally, PBIS is infused in the individual classes, hallways, cafeteria, on the bus, at assemblies and field trips, extra-curricular activities and in general throughout the day to further promote good character and positive behavior. The intent of the PBIS program is to focus on appropriate behaviors so that WMS continues to be positive, safe environments where optimal learning takes place.
Contact Information
Waukee Middle School: (515) 987-5177

Principal Amy Bidwell:
ajohnson@waukeeschools.org

Assistant Principal Adam Shockey: aschockey@waukeeschools.org

Nurse Jo Hromatka: mhromatka@waukeeschools.org

Counselors:Lindsay Bebout & Trudy Vande Kamp
7th and 8th Gold: lbebout@waukeeschools.org
6th and 8th Purple: tvandekamp@waukeeschools.org

SRO Officer Mackenzie Sposeto: msposeto@waukeeschools.org


Written by Trudy Vande Kamp
Waukee Middle School Counselor

What’s Normal?
Physical changes – Puberty, rapid growth, hygiene
Friendship changes – making new friends, conflict
Mood swings, worry, sensitive, easily angered
Anxiety about the change of schools (for both parents and students)
Shift from parents to friends for support
EVERYTHING is a big deal to a middle school student
How to address worries:
Buy/borrow a combination lock and have your student practice opening it.
Using a copy of the school map, have your student highlight their route to their classes.
Make certain to get the school supplies your student needs to be successful. If you need assistance with supplies, please contact your student’s school counselor.
Visit the school if needed to walk the schedule with your student.
Review the handbook with your student.
Become knowledgeable about courses offered in middle school.
Academic Tips
Ask your student about their school day
Help them in balancing commitments beyond the school day
Help students keep their binders organized – showing them strategies
Clean binders at least twice per month
Encourage the use of a daily planner to track assignments
Set a homework routine – with adequate work space identified
Encourage students to seek help from teachers if needed
Daily Routine
Arrival – 1st Bell 7:35 AM (6th and 7th in gym; 8th in commons)
Class Schedule – Released in August
Passing Time – 4 minutes between each class
Lunch – Separated by grade level
Lockers – Assigned to own locker with combination lock
Supplies – List online prior to the start of school
Teams – students share common core teachers (Purple and Gold)
Independent practice (Homework) – Assigned at teacher discretion
Sample Schedule
1st 8:24-9:05: Math
2nd 9:09-9:50: Science
3rd 9:54-10:35: Social Studies
4th 10:39-11:20: Language Arts
5th 11:24-12:05: Language Arts
12:05-12:31: LUNCH
6th 12:35-1:16: PE/Health (one semester) PE/Leadership Development (one semester)
7th 1:20-2:01: Band/Choir or Band/Study Hall or Choir/Study Hall or Study Hall/Study Hall
8th 2:05-2:55: Art/Communication (one semester) World Languages/Speech & Drama (one semester)
When to Contact the Counselor
Sudden lack of motivation or decline in academic performance
Sadness/crying
Suspected bullying or teasing
Concerning comments
Concern about lack of friends
Observed conflict/Peer issues
Not sure where else to turn
Standards Based Reporting
A Standards-Based Progress Report gives you information about how your student is progressing toward meeting the Waukee Community School District’s Standards during the course of the school year in each class.
What do Standards Specify?
Standards specify what all students should know and be able to do:
Your student’s performance is measured against the standard, rather than simply being compared to other students in his or her class. It gives every student the opportunity to meet or exceed our district’s standards. It gives you, parents or guardians, a more detailed and honest assessment of how your student is progressing academically. Behavior is reported out separately and is as important as the academic report, as they are the habits that students will need to be successful in high school and beyond.
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