Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Middle School: Part One of Several

When I met with most of you this fall, in both September and November, I mentioned that I wanted to start discussing middle school options with you in January. Well, amazingly, it is January already, so I suppose it's time for a more formal discussion of this matter.

Of course, for me, talking about middle school is bittersweet. I am not eager to see the students go. They've been a wonderful group and I can't begin to tell you how much I've enjoyed working with all of them (and all of you) for the past year and a half.

However, I would like to lend a helping hand to the decision, if you'd like my input. I believe I can answer any questions that you have and I can find out the answers you need if I don't know them. I believe I know your children quite well when it comes to their learning styles and abilities. I believe I know the UPA system, including the middle and high schools, quite well.

Things aren't like they used to be. I went to Washington Junior High because it was the closest of my city's five middle schools. I didn't have a choice. If there was something my parents didn't like about WJHS, we'd have had to move or pay for a private school in order to switch. At the same time, my parents didn't have to research several different schools, choose one, and then worry about whether they'd made the right choice or not.

I guess having choices in the 21st century can be a good and a bad thing. I'd like to help make it easier, if I can.

My first piece of advice is this: whatever school you are considering for sixth grade, TAKE A TOUR. This is incredibly important. The only way to get a feel for the school is to get into it during the school day. Give them a call, set up a time, and get in to visit as soon as possible. You can learn quite a bit about a school in just 30-60 minutes.

I'll be sending more notes on this matter. And I'm always open to talking about it. Be sure to give me a call or send an email if you have ANY questions at all.

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