Calgary Board of Education

New students

Information

Transition to junior high

Welcome to a new world of parenting experiences!  There are many differences between elementary and junior high.  Grade 6 students look forward to lockers, dances, options and Tuck Shop.  Some students also worry about getting lost, homework, and staying organized.  Overall, it is a time of change – and it’s very normal to be excited and nervous about change.  Here are some changes to expect, and some tips on how to help your son or daughter “weather” those changes without too much difficulty.

Organization

Even adults struggle with having the right pieces of paper in the right place at the right time.  With a jump from one or two teachers to six or eight, and a change from desks to lockers, most students find organization very difficult in grade 7.  We will spend time in September teaching students how to use their agendas, and we will try to allow opportunities throughout the year for binder and locker organization.

You can help by:

  • Asking to see your daughter/son’s agenda on a daily basis to be aware of homework and to reinforce the importance of keeping track of assignments and tests
  • Doing a binder ‘walk-through’ every week or two so that your daughter/son can tell you about what they are doing, and can also move that stray math sheet back into the math section.
  • Calling us if you notice that your son/daughter is having a terrible time with binders or organization in general.

Homework

Some students experience a real increase in homework when they come to junior high.  Most students can expect to do 30-60 minutes per day.  We will try to help grade 7 students to develop responsibility and positive work habits related to homework during the first few months.  Your monitoring at home helps a lot!

You can help by:

  • Providing a regular time and place for homework to be completed.
  • Checking the student agenda daily and showing interest in your child’s work.
  • Letting us know if there are consistent problems with homework.

Feeling safe

Some grade 7 students worry that they will be intimidated by older students in the first few days of school.  We have a no-tolerance policy on harassment and it is our goal to take the most appropriate action when incidents of intimidation of harassment arise.

You can help by:

  • Letting us know if there is a problem before it becomes unmanageable.
  • Reinforcing with your son/daughter the rights of all students to a safe and comfortable school environment.

Other issues

There are other transition issues for grade 7 students.  Some students find it difficult to form relationships with so many new teachers.  Some students find that their friendships are changing, that old friends are suddenly not as close, and their new friends are more interesting.  Some parents who have been very active volunteers in elementary school feel disconnected at junior high – either because their son-daughter asks them to become less involved, or because the structure does not seem as inviting.

You can help by:

  • Listening to your daughter/son as they relate their concerns.  Sometimes a sympathetic ear will help relieve the anxiety as they grow accustomed to their new surroundings and friends.
  • If you would like to volunteer at the school, please call the office and we will put you in contact with the parent volunteer co-ordinator.

PLEASE!

  • Join the School Council.  You will become involved in important school decisions and be informed of new developments in school life.  School Council is a good place for you to voice your opinions and make a positive contribution to the school life of your child.
  • Call or visit.  If you have concerns (or celebrations) regarding life at Harold Panabaker, just give us a phone call.  The stronger our link between home and school, the more success your child will have.
  • Have fun!  This is an exciting time, a time of moving out of childhood, a time of taking on new responsibilities, of performing with the band, of trying out for teams, of trying to make the honour roll, of meeting new people.  It’s a time of ups and downs, highs and lows, seeming like an adult one minute and a child the next.  We will try – with you – to cushion the blows and help your child to have a great year.

 

Staff of Panabaker