By Paradise Valley Unified School District

The leap from elementary school to middle school is a big one. Students entering middle school are no longer the big fish in the pond. The world of change, independence and opportunity are opening up.

For some students, they may have an older sibling or friend attending the school who can provide insider tips for middle school success. Here are a few tips to ensure that the transition from elementary school to middle school is successful for all students.

Schedule a tour
If you and your child haven’t already visited the school, this is a good opportunity to schedule a tour of the new school. School tours allow you to get an inside look at the day-to-day activities that happen in middle school. Make sure you bring a list of questions that you want to address by the end of the tour and jot down any follow-up questions you may have.

Attend your child’s meet the teacher or back to school event. This is a good time for your child to meet his or her teachers and get acquainted with the layout of the school.

Get organized
Organization is the key to success in middle school and will prepare your child for high school and beyond. With several classes to prepare for each day, your child may want to have a separate folder and/or notebook for each subject. Also, a student planner may come in handy to jot down important information such as deadlines for assignments and testing dates.

Ask for help
Your child may need some time to adjust to the new routines of middle school. After a few weeks, if your child still needs help, ask for it. It’s important that students speak up and ask questions in class to clarify any content that they don’t understand. Remember that teachers, counselors and administrators are there to help your child succeed.

PVSchools also offers Free Resources for Online Student Tutoring (FROST) to all students in the district, which will be available in September. FROST is a student-driven, tutoring program that creates a casual, easy to use learning environment for students who need extra assistance with their academic subjects. Qualified high school students are available to provide tutoring in any subject matter for any student, kindergarten through 12th grade.

Get involved
Being involved in school activities is one way to ensure that your child’s middle school experience is fun and memorable. Encourage your child to join clubs, school committees and run for student government. Throughout the school year, there maybe dance or athletic events that your middle schooler may want to attend. Show your support by offering to drive.

Parents are also encouraged to be involved in their child’s school by being a PTO member, volunteering at the school or chaperoning a school dance or field trips.