PGCPS LogoPrince George's County Public Schools
  • Middle School Transition


      Middle School



    • Elementary school is a time for students to explore areas of interest. Parents can help students connect their class work to their interests by discussing what happened during their day; asking, “what did you like about your classes today”; visiting local sites to foster interests such as libraries, parks, zoos, etc. 
    • Attendance plays a vital role in academic achievement. Attendance habits established in elementary school have a direct impact on student success in middle and high school. “The National Center for Children in Poverty," found in 2008 that on average, pupils who missed 10 percent or more of school in kindergarten scored significantly lower in reading, math and general knowledge tests at the end of 1st grade than those who missed 3 percent or fewer days.” (Education Week, Volume 30, No. 8)  
    •  Elementary school is also a time to begin establishing organizational and time management skills. Students in grades 3, 4, and 5 can start by using an agenda to keep track of assignments and due dates. 


    •  Middle school is a time when students can begin to formally enroll in specific math and language arts courses noted as “advanced”. Enrollment in these courses is based largely on past performance (grades and standardized test scores), potential for success, and teacher recommendation. Taking advanced coursework at the middle level is a key to accessing more rigorous courses in high school. Parent input is also an important part of the course selection process. 
    • Each student in middle school will take math, language arts, science, social studies, a fine art, and physical education/health course each year during middle school. There is also an array of courses students can elect based upon their interest level. These include, but are not limited to, art, music (including performing choral and instrumental music), technology education, and family and consumer science. 
    •  Attendance, study skills, the ability to remain organized and a positive attitude are huge keys for success in middle school. Having ongoing conversations with your child about overall school performance and interests is critical to helping them maintain their motivation and focus. Remaining positive, developing constructive working relationships with peers and teachers, and learning to persevere are life skills necessary for success at the middle level. 


    •  Help your child set goals for the year. Working toward specific goals will help your child stay motivated and focused. 
    •  Review the school calendar together. Note important dates and put them in a shared online calendar or in an easy-to-view place, such as a bulletin board in your kitchen. 
    •  Make a plan to check in regularly about schoolwork. If you keep up with your child's tests, papers and homework assignments, you can celebrate successes and head off problems as a team. Get homework tips for your child. 
    • Talk about extracurricular activities. Getting involved in clubs and other groups is a great way for your child to identify interests and feel more engaged in school. Read more about the benefits of extracurriculars. 
    • Discuss ways to take on challenges. Encourage your child to take the most-challenging courses that he or she can handle. Tackling tough courses can give your child confidence and prepare him or her for higher-level high school classes. 
    • Come up with fun reading ideas. Look for magazines or newspapers your child may like and talk about the books you loved reading when you were your child’s age. If your family makes reading enjoyable, it can become a daily habit. 
    • Visit a nearby college together. If you live near a college, look for upcoming events on campus that are open to the community or see if the college offers classes to local children and families. Just being on a campus may get your child interested in college. 
    •  Get the big picture on paying for college. It’s not too early to learn the basics of financial aid. 


    Related Links