Current grade 5 families were treated to an informative on location preview of middle school life at Harker during two separately held events last month – one for parents; the other for students.
The transition from elementary to middle school is a major academic milestone for students and their families, filled with change, even for those who continue on at Harker. The tours helped take the mystery out of the matriculation process, yet still left plenty of room for excitement over the road ahead.
In early November the annual “What’s Brewing?” event at the Blackford campus provided parents of soon-to-be middle school students a chance to explore the school and learn about all the exciting opportunities available for incoming sixth graders.
Billed as an opportunity to gather for “coffee, muffins and middle school,” the preview started immediately after school drop-off in the multipurpose room, giving parents a chance to meet and socialize before the official program began.
During the event participants had the opportunity to tour the campus, meet with administrators and familiarize themselves with the middle school from a parent point of view – in short, to see “what’s brewing” in the middle school.
The program covered how the sixth grade day is broken up, what kinds of classes the students will be taking, global opportunities (such as the grade 6 trip to Japan), community life, clubs, middle school field trips and more. At the end of the presentation, parents were given the opportunity to ask the administrators any other questions they might have about the campus, school life and academics.
Then, in mid-November, it was time for the students to have a chance to get a firsthand look at the middle school. Grade 5 students were given a fun preview tailored just for them, highlighting various aspects of their potential future lives as middle school students during Step-Up Day.
The entire grade 5 class traveled by bus to the Blackford campus where they enjoyed a free dress day and spent their time meeting with grade 6 teachers and other staff, touring the campus, eating lunch, visiting classes, and watching a presentation by the performing arts department. They also learned more about the various aspects of middle school life, such as the BEST program, athletics, laptop options, foreign language classes and electives.
According to Kristin Giammona, elementary division head, it was a great day for the students, leaving them excited about the experience. She further called both What’s Brewing in the Middle School and Step-Up Day wonderful opportunities for both students and parents to learn more about Harker’s middle school, and familiarize themselves with the Blackford campus.