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Preparing Your Child for Middle School in Missouri


The transition from elementary school to middle school is one of the most significant transitions of his or her years in Missouri’s public school classrooms. We know that you want to see your child succeed at every level of public school education. That’s why Missouri Parent is here today with a few tips on helping your son or daughter successfully make the middle school transition.

Talk About It
Most kids will feel a combination of excitement and nervousness when it’s time to start middle school. Take a little extra time to bond with your son or daughter during his or her last year of elementary school and into that first year of junior high.

By building in a little extra time, you’re there to offer insights and encouragement — or just a listening ear — when your child has questions or needs to talk about his or her fears.

Do you have a preschool child? Click here to learn more about preparing your child for kindergarten in Missouri.

Go To Open House
Nearly every middle school and junior high school in Missouri offers some sort of open house event for students and parents. The open house usually occurs before the school year begins. The open house is a great way not only to meet your child’s new teachers but to familiarize yourself and your child with the lay of the land in his or her new school.

Take the time to walk from one classroom to the next with your child, in the order that his or her classes will take place. Find your son or daughter’s locker, figure out where the closest restrooms are, and make sure he or she knows where you (or the school bus) will do school drop-offs and pick-ups before and after school.

Get Organized
For many students, middle school is the first time they’ll move between classes each hour of the day. Make sure your child has more than one copy of his or her schedule handy. That way, your child has a little reinforcement until the new schedule is fully memorized.

Work together with your son or daughter to organize notebooks, folders, or binders for the new school year. If your child has a place for his or her homework assignments and other classroom materials to go, it’ll minimize the risk of lost of forgotten assignments.

Scholastic offers some helpful tips on organization for middle schoolers here.

Cool Clothes & Dress Codes
Tweens may be excited to express themselves in new ways at the start of middle school. The transition from elementary school to junior high can even present an opportunity for your child to reinvent himself or herself between school years.

Before heading out to find your child’s new back to school look, however, be sure you’re familiar with the school’s dress code. You don’t want to spend money on clothes your child can’t wear, and sending your son or daughter to school in clothes the school doesn’t allow could cause embarrassment — or even expulsion!

Depending on how old your child is the year that middle school begins, you might need to make an appointment for a few new immunizations. At between 11 and 12 years old, the State of Missouri recommends that children receive vaccinations for Meningococcal Conjugate (MCV), Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and Influenza.

Read more about Missouri’s immunization recommendations for children from birth to 18 years old.

Do you have tips for other Missouri parents whose students will start middle school this year? Leave a comment here, or chat with us on the Missouri Parent Facebook Page.

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