Students get acclimated to new middle school system
By SAMANTHA PAK
Redmond Reporter Reporter
August 30, 2012 · Updated 2:00 PM
With Lake Washington School District's (LWSD) grade reconfiguration to a K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 system, two-thirds of students in middle schools will be new to their school this year.
Staff and administrators have been working the last two years to ensure they have a smooth transition.
Anne Balicki, associate principal at the newly renamed Evergreen Middle School (EMS) in Redmond, said one thing they have done is adapted a national program called Where Everyone Belongs (WEB). This program is a positive approach to student transitions and includes WEB leaders — eighth graders — working and regularly meeting directly with younger students to hep them feel more connected to the school.
Balicki said they have also met with parents from EMS's feeder elementary schools to answer any questions they may have.
EMS principal Sean Cassidy added that with their teachers, they put the focus on students and their unique needs at the middle level, rather than the subjects teachers teach. Also, sixth graders will have the same teacher for their language arts and social studies so they will have fewer teachers.
On Thursday, the school had a special orientation day for new sixth and seventh graders so students and their families can tour the school, figure out their schedule and routes to classrooms and meet teachers. Students also received their lockers and were able to practice opening them.Contact Redmond Reporter Reporter Samantha Pak at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-867-0353, ext. 5052.