The North Judson-San Pierre School Corporation is trying something new in an effort to help elementary school students acclimate to the changes as they prepare to enter middle school. NJSP held a class this summer for students to help them “cross the bridge” from elementary to middle school.
According to Venita Cunningham, Title I director for the corporation, said “The Bridge” involved reviewing academic expectations and learning new skills to help students prepare for middle school. She said once a week students visited the middle school, where they would meet with school faculty, tour the building, practice locker skills and hear tips from middle-school students to gain an insider’s perspective. Yesterday, students finished the course with a scavenger hunt in the middle school building.
“We are hoping it will have a two-fold benefit,” said Cunningham. “One, give them a few more weeks of practicing academic skills that they’re going to need when they move to the middle school, but tied in with that, giving them a head start on knowing the middle school building, knowing how to open their lockers, and they can go in almost as the experts. They’re not the newbies that first week of school; they’ve already spent some time there.”
Cunningham said she’s very pleased with how the program turned out, and she said many students said they had a great time and were very enthusiastic about being chosen to take the course. Many students volunteered to come back next year and be the “expert students” to help explain to incoming middle school students how to prepare for the changes.
“We’ve been very pleased with the program. We do plan to have it again next year, polish on it a little bit; first year always gives you some things, but overall, we’ve been pleased,” said Cunningham.