1. Speak up! Your child will be receiving A LOT of information from their teachers. It can be overwhelming and they might not write everything down. Encourage him/her to speak up and ask their teacher for clarification if they don’t understand something.
2. New friends. Elementary school friendships make the transition smoother. But your child will also meet many new classmates. Encourage them to make new friends. All of these friendships will continue from JMS to Gabrielino. (And it’s a good idea for parents to get to know one another, too! Join the PTA, read the weekly emails, and volunteer at a few events. Becoming a part of the school community will be a very rewarding experience for you as well!)
3. Screen time. Your child will be doing most of their homework on the computer and will turn a lot of assignments via Google Drive. They’ll also be working collaboratively in groups and will need to communicate with their classmates online. Email and texting are part of their everyday lives now, so help your child learn to balance socializing and homework.
4. Stay engaged. Middle school teachers expect their students to be responsible and complete work on their own. As parents, we also want our children to learn how to be independent and take ownership of their studies. But it’s still important for us to look at the student planners every now and then and check the SGUSD Parent Portal once in a while to make sure our children are keeping up with their schoolwork. If you notice a problem, contact the teacher to see what’s going on and how you can help.
5. Middle school is fun! As much as we want them to succeed academically, it’s important that our children enjoy these years. There are many lunchtime clubs and after school activities at JMS that students can join. Remind your child to listen to the Monday morning announcements and look for posters with information about clubs and activities. Nothing there that interests your child? Encourage him/her to talk to the administrators and start something that does!
6. No pressure! Avoid putting too much pressure on your child. Some students will put pressure on themselves to get good grades. But most often, it comes from us. If their grades begin to slip, it’s ok! Just make sure they don’t become frustrated or less engaged. Help your child stay organized and develop good study habits. Continue to emphasize a “love of learning.” This will prepare them for high school and beyond.
Middle school is a big step. But don’t worry - you are not alone! Our administrators, teachers, and PTA are here to help make this a positive, successful, and fun year!
JMS PTA President