Mastery of a locker combination is the essence of middle school. Think about it. Turn right, turn left, turn right – new routes, new classmates, new teachers. Get that combo down and all of the other tumblers start falling into place. It’s only natural that rite of passage is one of the highlights of the annual DMPS Success 4 Sixth Grade day camps for students preparing to enter the district’s ten middle schools.
But there’s a lot more to it than spinning that dial.
SUCCESS is located in a majority of district elementary schools and all of the secondary schools. SUCCESS Case Managers in each building develop relationships with students and families to facilitate coordination of resources in the areas of education, health, and human services.
Carrie Crist is the SUCCESS Case Manager at Hoyt Middle School, which held its version of S4SG on Wednesday, including a layer for parents who are making a leap they haven’t attempted since they were students themselves.
“It makes sense to invite parents, too,” Crist said. “They’re just as anxious and curious as their students, right?”
While the kids were outside engaged in teambuilding/icebreaking games or touring the seemingly labyrinthine corridors, parents huddled up in the Family & Consumer Science classroom to get the lowdown on building rules and regulations. And to share their own hopes and expectations about what’s in store for their children.
But most of the earlybirds were 6th graders.
Elizebeth Reben and Rielyn Honeick aren’t moving to an entirely new location since their elementary school was Brubaker, joined at the hip with Hoyt. The two schools actually share a library. But that doesn’t mean their transition is easier than the ones facing kids from Hoyt’s other feeders; Pleasant Hill, Stowe and Willard.
While going toe-to-toe in a variation of Rock/Paper/Scissors, they took turns confiding what’s keeping them up nights as they count down summer’s now numbered days. Both have mixed feelings.
Rielyn’s antsy about the usual stuff. “Besides figuring out my locker,” she said, “I just want to learn my way around. Passing periods are short.”
Elizebeth meant no disrespect to present company when she said, “I’m excited to make new friends.”
They both are. And they’ll have plenty of prospects.
“We’re expecting about 250 6th graders at Hoyt,” said Crist. “At last count, 137 of them had signed up for today in advance, and we also had some walk-ins this morning.”
No one who showed will regret coming. According to Crist, the survey that’s annually administered to S4SG campers at the end of their sneak peeks indicates that 99% of them feel they benefit.
Everything you need to know about 6th grade, in advance!