Registration Day

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-1999
Registration Day
5
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 12:54pm
We just got back from "Registration Day" at the middle school. It's from 8:00-6:00 and you go whenever you can. Basically, you hand in all the necessary emergency and health paperwork, pay fees, sign up for PTSA and booster club, buy t-shirts, etc., get the child's yearbook photo taken, get your schedule and tour the school. It is a new facility (It is an elementary that was retrofitted into a middle school. The old middle school was retrofitted into a new high school.), so everything isn't ready yet, and school starts in 13 days. They were supposed to get locker assignments, and we had all of his supplies with us so I could help him get organized, but they weren't ready for that yet. So he'll have to lug it all on the bus, I guess.

Overall, I think it was a good experience because it gave them a chance to wander around and figure out where things are. Stephen has a difficult time at the beginning of every new school year, so I was willing to stay there as long as it took to make him feel comfortable. The set-up of the school is great, though, with all the 6th grade classrooms in the same area of one hallway. They only have to leave that area for band, gym, lunch, etc. It's nothing like when I was in Jr. High and they had a separate hallway for each academic area, so we had to go from one end of the building to another for each class.

We saw a few boys that Stephen knows. One was in his art class, and 2 in gym, I think. All 4 of them were in different homerooms, and he hasn't found anyone in an academic class the same yet. Then he got a call from a friend, and they are in the same homeroom, so at least that's one guy he'll see first thing when he gets there.

Does your school do something like this before school starts? If not, when/how do you get your schedules?

Also, they use "block" scheduling here. So he has language arts on M & W, but Social Studies on T & Th. Then on Friday, they go to every class, but for half the time. Social Studies and Language Arts are 4 periods. Math and Science are 2. Band, PE/Health, and Art are one each (They go on alternate days.). Lunch wasn't on his schedule so I don't know if the whole 6th grade eats at the same time or what. There's only about 200 in the class. Very confusing to me, but I'm sure he'll get the hang of it. Do any of your schools do this kind of scheduling?

Janet

P.S. I'm having company tonight for the weekend, so I may not be able to check back a lot right away, but I'll be here soon.

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Thu, 07-31-2003 - 1:36pm
No clue on the scheduling yet; we don't start back til the day after Labor Day, so I guess we'll find out closer to then. They really didn't get to choose anything class-wise, other than what 'fine arts' (music) class they want (meaning what instrument they were already in, or if they wanted chorus over the instrument, or general music over either). They have their team that they rotate within, so their 4 core classes are all next to each other or across the hall from each other. All core classes are in the morning; the afternoon has the fine arts, PE, etc. (meaning language, industrial arts, CAD, sewing/cooking). I can't wait to see what's in store!

They all eat together (7th and 8th have their own lunch time) and there's a potential for about 265 kids if they all go (some will switch to private; others switch to private in 7th since there's a certain school that starts in 7th).

They have an orientation the last Thursday in August for 2 hours where they find out what team they're on, what home room they're in, and apparently get locker assignments. They already did the health paperwork via mail, tshirts/hoodies/shorts were sold last spring (but I'm sure more will be available in the fall), they just have us send in emergency and other contact info on the first day (at least they did in elementary), etc. Not sure when they have ID photos taken (that also have their lunchroom balance on them via card reader).

That's about all I know so far!

Sue

Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 08-01-2003 - 11:28am
Sam and Rachel started middle school last year, in 5th grade. We received a mailing a couple of weeks before school started. It included their schedule, locker information, a map of the school, all the forms that needed to be filled out and handed in the 1st day of school, bus information, etc. The week preceding the opening of school, the students were welcome to visit any day, practise opening their locker, follow their schedule to see where their rooms were, and meet their teachers if they happened to catch them in their classroom. We visited at least 3 days. Sam would probably have been satisfied with one visit, but Rachel is my worrier and was more concerned about finding her way around the new school. (They had also had an orientation and tour the previous spring.) The 5th graders, as well as any other students new to the school, start with a 1/2 day on Tues., while everyone else starts on Wed. So, all the new students get a 1/2 day orientation. This will be the 1st year that S&R don't have to start school until Wed., since all elem. students attend the Tues. 1/2 day.

They are also organized in "teams" in middle school. Their 5 academic subjects took place in 4 adjacent classrooms during the 1st 5 periods in the morning, one of which is a science classroom. So, finding those was very easy, and their locker was in that hall. (I also remember growing up that rooms were grouped by subject. They may do that in the high school; I don't know.)They had recess after 2nd period, where they were welcome to eat a snack since their lunch wasn't until 6th period. Each grade, 5-8, eats lunch at a different time. There were approx. 225 5th graders last year. Their special classes (gym, art, etc.) were after lunch. (Meanwhile, the 7th and 8th graders have their specials in the morning, so they are not in the same part of the building while the 5th and 6th graders are there.)

The 5th and 6th graders use a 3-day schedule. They have their academic classes in the morning every day. The 3-day rotation is used in the afternoon for music, art, gym, health, Spanish, and for a third of a year each: applied tech (keyboarding), tech ed (shop) and consumer science (home etc).

I can't believe we're talking about school already! We don't start school until Sept. here, so don't rush me ;-) While many of you are getting ready for school, I'm getting Sam ready for his first sleep-over camp experience. He leaves Mon. for 2 weeks! More on that later.

Janet

Janet


Jewish Family Life

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-1999
Mon, 08-04-2003 - 10:27am
Well you already know quite a bit considering you don't start until Labor Day! Information is a good thing! You sound ready for the new experience. I think it's great that they will have a 2 hour orientation. I think it helps the kids feel more comfortable. The only class our 6th graders choose is their music as well (band, chorus, or music appreciation). They also have the possibility of pre-algebra or general math, but that isn't chosen. It goes by testing and teacher recommendation. Other than that, they have the same classes. I asked a parent with an older child about lunch, and she said the whole grade eats together as well.

Enjoy your summer! I can't believe ours is almost over.

Janet

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-1999
Mon, 08-04-2003 - 10:37am
Your kids' school sounds very well organized. I'm sure that helped in sending them off to middle school. It's nice that you could visit as much as you wanted. Since our lockers weren't ready, I asked if I could bring him back another day to bring his supplies in, and it didn't seem like they would be ready to give out the locker assignments before the beginning of school. I'm sure I could visit again, though, if Stephen wanted to. I may call the school again to see if they would give out the locker info before the first day. Otherwise he'll have to take all his supplies once school starts. I guess I could drive him in the first day instead of going on the bus, but will he want his mother with him on the first day of middle school?? (Actually, he probably would, but I don't want the other kids to give him a hard time about it.)

With the teams that the kids are on, does that mean that they are with the exact same group of kids all day, they just switch to different teachers for different classes, or do the kids mix up as well? From what I can tell, there will be a different group of kids in each of Stephen's classes.

So how was Sam's send off to camp today? I'm sure he'll have a great time. Good for him for going! I'm sure it's a big step, even if he's excited to go.

By the way, how's the job hunt been for you? I haven't heard anything about that, but I may have missed something. I hope you're finding or have found the ideal position for you.

Janet

Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 08-04-2003 - 5:41pm
Sam and Rachel's team had 4 classes (some have 3), so there were about 95 kids on their "team". So, each time slot, they were with a group from that 95 for that particular class, and just for their 5 morning academic classes. Sam and Rachel each had only 1 or 2 kids that were on the exact same schedule for the morning. (Is that clear as mud?) For lunch, the whole grade is together, and for afternoon "specials", they don't use the teams. I did confirm they are on the same team again this year (don't know if I already said that in my other post).

Sam's drop-off at camp was uneventful. Whew! He was of course a bit nervous, not knowing anyone, but he's ready for this adventure. We're very proud of him. His counselors are SO nice and SO caring, and will be sending us e-mail updates on what the bunk is doing. Thanks for asking!

And, thanks for remembering my job situation. I actually decided to take time off for a variety of reasons. I will be job-hunting in Sept. It's been a nice, mostly paid, sabbatical for me, and I've done a lot of projects around the house that would not have gotten done otherwise. There are 3 1/2 weeks between the end of camp and the beginning of school, and rather than scramble for coverage, we decided I'd spend time with the kids while they still want to spend time with me! And, dh will take some time off during that period as well. Things are starting to improve around here for hiring in the tech sector, so I hope to be able to find something in the fall.

Janet

Janet


Jewish Family Life