Establish successful habits now

by MIKE RAMM, Principal
East Rockford Middle School

Amazingly, the 2010-2011 school year is nearing an end. While there is more work to be done and students are anticipating summer vacation, now is a valuable time to begin preparing for next school year. This advice is especially true if your son or daughter will be transitioning to middle school. Success in middle school can set the stage for a student’s success in high school, in college and in life.

Students attending middle school in Rockford are surrounded by supportive influences to ensure a smooth transition and overall positive experience. Staff members, parents and peers all help middle school students achieve. When a student enters middle school in Rockford, he or she is afforded many opportunities. Students have the chance to meet new people, develop skills and interests, gain a sense of identity and independence, and begin thinking about future goals. Additionally, students are faced with challenges including more responsibilities, new class schedules, tougher academic work and new surroundings. Each opportunity and challenge provides a valuable learning experience that will prepare students for their future.

Parents can play a major part in assisting students during a school year. Below are some steps parents can take to ensure students start middle school with every advantage:

•            Share a positive attitude. Encourage a love of learning by talking about new things your child will learn in middle school. Discuss exciting changes middle school will bring, such as new friends, activities and clubs.

•            Get to know the school together. Attend the summer orientation program and view the middle school websites for helpful information.

•            Teach your child to be more organized. Encourage your child to keep all school material neatly in one place. Show your son or daughter how to write down class assignments in a planner.

•            Help your child learn good social skills. Talk about the importance of cooperating, listening, respecting differences, being supportive and apologizing when wrong.

•            Encourage your child to get involved. Suggest that your child try several activities that may interest him or her. Middle school offers clubs, intramurals, band, choir, athletics, student council and other after-school activities.

•            Stay connected with your child’s schoolwork. Attend parent teacher conferences, use Family Access to view grades and homework online, and set a daily routine for your child to do homework.

In the weeks to come, encourage your child to continue to be successful. Additionally, this is the time to evaluate areas for improvement. Making a plan and establishing successful habits now will greatly benefit your son or daughter next fall.

As part of the middle school staff in Rockford, I wish you and your family a successful remainder of the school year. We greatly anticipate meeting our new students in the fall of 2011, but for now, we encourage all of them to finish strong.

If you have any questions or feel I can be helpful to you in any way, please feel free to contact me at (616) 863-6140.


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