Welcome back to a new school year! We eagerly await the arrival of more than 1,600 students at both middle schools. Of course, we know that there is plenty of excitement and probably a good measure of nervous anticipation for our new 6th graders as well as for a number of our returning 7th and 8th graders. Transitions very typically are challenging, and re-starting school is no exception. A change in schedule, routines, daily demands, and for some of our students, a big change in the place and people they are going to spend significant time with – any or all of these can present a challenge to our adolescents.
The middle schools embrace these challenges because we know that they are key components of our students’ growth. We can and certainly do provide targeted support for our students (indeed, that is a big part of what the “middle school philosophy” is all about). For our new families/students, for example, we host a New to Glenview Orientation (Aug. 20 at 4pm at each school); we have an Open House for our 6th graders (Aug. 20 at 5pm at each school); and during the first week or so of school the teachers and administration devote significant time to “re-orienting” students back to school.
At the same time, however, we know that students need to face challenges in order to develop the kind of resiliency, coping capacity, and problem-solving skills that will serve them in life. At the middle school level the demands to mix and mingle with new people will increase, the expectations for independence will rise, the choices they’ll have to make for pursuing interests will get more complex; the degree of accountability for their decision making will expand. As they all should. Growth is attained by developing new capacities to address a need or overcome problems. And the middle school philosophy focuses on the growth of the whole child, which means that our students need opportunities to be fulfilled through successes as well as to wrestle with intellectual, social, and emotional challenges.
A complex and important process to be sure… We aspire to provide all of our students with what they need to fulfill the District’s mission: to be self-directed learners and responsible decision makers.
We look forward to partnering with you this year as we help our students increase their levels of independence.
Wishing you a happy and successful school year.
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