A smooth transition to high school for both parents and students was the topic of Monday night’s dialogue meeting held for parents.
Questions centered around topics such as orientation nights, scheduling and a student's ability to choose classes. Other concerns included how students can ease the pressure of choosing one subject over another by properly scheduling electives such as AP biology and music.
Many parents asked how they could help their kids maneuver the high school system with confidence. Middle school Principal Bob Dillon proposed allowing time for middle schoolers to shadow their high school peers.
“What I don’t think has happened in the past, and what we’re trying to build on, is … what we can do to get kids into the high school," Dillon said. Doing that would gradually make them more comfortable in an unknown setting, he said.
“It provides a nice roadmap for both parents and for kids to start saying, ‘This is a really important number.’ There aren’t many tests we take in our lives that dictate as much as something like that does,” Dillon said.
The test is meant to assess where a student stands in order to set goals for improvement in high school.
Teresa Lunte, a mother of two MRH students, has received similar test scores for her children. She said she found the data confusing.
“When I was reading the numbers, I kept thinking, 'Well, that gave me a bunch of information, but now I don’t know how to digest that information.'”
Issues like those are all part of making the jump from middle to high school, Dillon said.
“Sometimes you really have to show them the context of why it’s important,” he said.
Other dialogue highlights:
- Math teacher Lauren Fleischer received recognition during the meeting for her diligence this year. For the first time, eighth-grade algebra students had an additional incentive to pass the first semester exam in the 80th percentile: If they succeeded, they would receive high school credit. Every student in the class passed, Dillon said.
- The middle school’s Expedition Program may soon offer educational tree climbing, canoeing and kayaking.
- Summer school incentives in 2011 will include the use of laptops for “blended learning online," Dillon said, with opportunities to create online book e-club blogs to support kids who have a passion for reading and writing.
- Parent input is needed on ideas such as electronic learning portfolios, which would allow students to catalog and save important concepts they learn over time, Dillon said.