California Department of Education
Taking Center Stage – Act II

Newsletters, newspapers, school Web sites, and plays to demystify the middle grade

Many elementary schools agree to send home newsletters from area middle schools to alert parents to Open House opportunities, school visitations, and middle school profiles. Inviting middle grades students to contribute to the newsletters can create another opportunity for real-world connections, writing practice, and service-learning. For example, a middle school newspaper, written entirely by students, provides fifth graders at the elementary school with an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the fun and enrichment activities ahead. Likewise, if the middle school has a Web site with photographs of student activities, teacher profiles, and elective offerings, incoming students can virtually tour the school from home with their peers and parents.

Another strategy that helps demystify middle school is for teams of middle grades leaders to prepare skits and present them at elementary school assemblies. The skits can calm fears, highlight fun activities, and give students a sense of middle school life.

In the Spotlight

Olive Peirce Middle School, Ramona City Unified School District
Students at Olive Peirce Middle School developed videos to provide incoming students with a virtual tour of the school and to show new students what to expect in middle school.

Mentor/buddies for incoming students

Bridge to the Middle

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