Transition as defined by Merriam- Webster, includes, “a: a change or shift from one state, subject, place, etc. to another; b: a period or phase in which such a change or shift is happening.” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transition)
At Boulder Country Day, we recognize that the transition from Elementary School to Middle School is a big one, deserving of thoughtful care and attention. This shift comes with simultaneous developmental, procedural, social, and academic changes—which are both the exciting aspects of going into middle school, and the ones that can cause stress. This is where transitional support comes in as a very important component of our programming in middle school.
As the definition above states, transition is a phase, and as such, BCD offers support before, during, and after the shift from elementary to middle school. On the front end, we have open houses, shadow days, meet and greets, and other opportunities for both students and parents to make connections and get the “lay of the land” to diffuse initial stress and anxiety that can accompany the unknown. Once a student arrives in our middle school, they participate in Middle School 101 which aids in the adjustment to the increase in moving parts and executive function demands. This class gives intentional time and space to get used to technology skills, independence skills, and all things middle school. In addition, we introduce our Teen Power classes, where we spend concentrated time on the social-emotional skills and developing resilience for the new experiences that come with this new stage of life.
Our counseling office also encourages strong communication with parents and guardians along this journey, understanding that the adolescent phase (as all phases) can be a challenging one. It truly does take a village, particularly in this day and age where there are so many new and evolving aspects to navigate. At the heart of it, the beauty of our small community, is how our faculty, staff, counselors, learning center, and families all work in close partnership to communicate and support the unique needs of each of our students, so they can feel confident moving away from the comforts of elementary school into the next exciting phase of their development.
In the spirit of personal growth and learning, we would highly recommend that parents and guardians attend our Parent Education Series event, Today’s Adolescent Experience with Deb Rubin on November 8th. Whether your student is currently in middle school or is still a few years away, Deb’s worshops are an excellent resource for how to most effectively support and guide our children during this critical time in their lives.
Author, Sterling Kranjcec, BCD School Counselor