Sixth-grade students throughout the district are embracing their new role as middle schoolers with the help of Jonas E. Salk Middle School and Wisdom Lane Middle School's seven-week classroom push-in program, Middle School 101. Facilitated each year by school counselors, the program helps sixth-graders adjust to the new building, while giving them the proper resources and information about how to succeed in middle school.
The 2018-2019 program began towards the end of September as school counselors visited sixth-grade classes to discuss their role in the building, the guidance services offered and what Middle School 101 is all about. Students were encouraged to get involved and learned about different clubs and volunteer organizations offered at the middle school level. School counselors also stressed the importance of taking on new experiences.
"You don't have to be the best," said Wisdom Lane school counselor Christine Elder. "But it's fun to be involved and if you enjoy doing it, you should 100 percent go out there and try it."
In addition, students learned the importance of breaking out of their comfort zone through an ice-breaker activity. School counselors challenged students to walk around the room and interact with their peers while filling out a sheet about their different interests and lives.
After the activity, the students labeled who they would go to in the school building for a variety of situations. The school counselor went over the list with the class and also provided a list of the people in the building that students could always reach out to during the year.
The students will continue with the Middle School 101 program during the year to make the new students feel comfortable with the middle school transition. Each week, the students will tackle new important topics such as study skills and stress management, that will help them grow into better middle school students.