Helping Your Child Make Successful Transitions:
Elementary to Middle School
Why is Middle School Transition Important?
School transition is not a “one size fits all” approach, but a framework that includes strategies as well as policies and procedures tailored to meet the needs of students, schools and communities.
Making the transition into middle school is the first and most significant step to insuring a successful middle school experience. A well-planned transition program helps families and students have a greater peace of mind by providing the groundwork for a successful beginning of the middle school adventure.
Tips for Helping Your Child Transition from Elementary to Middle School
- Find out about the differences between the two schools from other parents and school staff members in your community.
- Talk with your child about the differences between the schools: teachers, schedules and new classes.
- Tell your child about your confidence in him and his ability to do very well in school.
- Talk to your child about the physical and social changes that she may see at school, like cliques, puberty and other adolescent issues.
- Ask your child what he thinks middle school will be like. Listen and talk to your child about his fears, his confidence and his hopes.
- Find out about the school rules and talk to your child about the reason for the rules. Let your child know that you support the rules.
- Attend any orientation or open house events.
- Share childhood memories of times when you were worried about a new situation. Talk about the good things that happened or how you dealt with problems.
- Check in with your child regularly and ask how he feels about school. Ask about friends, what he does in his free time, what he is learning, and who are the teachers and staff he interacts with.
- Encourage your child to be organized. Talk about how being organized will help her be responsible and will help her do well in school.
- Expect your child’s transition to be successful. Remember the adjustment will take time. Your positive outlook can help your child; let him know you are confident in his ability to do well.