Partners in Education: Middle School Matters
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GREEN BAY - For many students, making the jump from elementary school to middle school is a big deal. That's why Green Bay Schools are working to help prepare students before the school year even begins.
Emily Lofdahl is getting ready to begin her sixth grade year at Red Smith School in Green Bay.
"I guess I'm ready to have more freedom.. and more classes and more teachers," she said.
She decided to take part in Middle School Matters, a summer program taught by her mother, who happens to be a teacher at the school.
"It gives them a chance to get their schedule, it gives them an opportunity to meet the teachers they're going to have and to learn about all the extracurricular activities," said Patty Lofdahl.
The program is held at each middle school in the Green Bay Area Public School District. It focuses on organizational skills, study strategies, and social skills that will come in handy during the transition to middle school.
"Middle school is really unique. We are in the middle. The kids are changing physically, emotionally, socially - their world is their friends. And then, the academics. The academic rigor is at a higher level," said Patty.
The Middle School Matters program also helps kids form new friendships before the first school bell ever rings.
"The biggest thing I have found is the friendships that they make. So when we get into the academic setting and we're getting into collaborative groups and we're starting to work with other kids, they can say 'I met you in Middle School Matters' and 'Hey, you're one of the students that I was friends with in Middle School Matters'. That's one of the aspects that I really appreciate as a teacher," said Patty.
When it comes to the first day of school, Emily says she feels she's ready to take the next step.
"All the new teachers and classes. I'm really excited for that," she said.