Dear 5th Grade Parents,
Believe it or not, next year your 5th grader goes to middle school! The transition process for students and parents begins in the spring. In anticipation of how quickly spring will be upon us, we want to ask you to please note important events for transition activities. We have clearly indicated which events are for families, for parents and for students.
Gator for a Night . . . Incoming 6th Grade Family Night (for parents and incoming 6th graders):
This event is held typically in March at IMS. The purpose of this night is to give families an opportunity to get familiar with the layout of Islander Middle School. This informal event will give you and your child a chance to participate in a scavenger hunt as you tour around the school and experience fun opportunities that IMS has to offer. This event will be open from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm and is a drop-in situation. We anticipate the experience to last about 30 to 40 minutes. There will be no formal presentation on this night.
5th Grade Classroom Visits from WEB Leaders (for incoming 6th grade students only):
These visits generally take place in March. IMS 8th grade WEB Leaders along with our Academic Counselors, will visit each of the four elementary schools and share information about IMS, answer student questions, and hand-out registration materials. Those registration materials will be due back to 5th grade teachers.
Incoming 6th Grade Parent Information Night (for parents only):
This event is generally in May at IMS. The purpose of this night is to give parents a sense of the middle school experience. Throughout the evening, parents will move through a rotation of four presentations.
Presentation 1 – Focus on 6th Grade WEB (Where Everybody Belongs) program which connects 6th grade students to the Islander Community.
Presentation 2 – Panel discussion comprised of current 6th grade students who will reflect on their first year at IMS. They will share their perceptions around transition, fitting in, lunches, homework, and extra curricular activities. (This is often the most valuable session for parents)
Presentation 3 – Facilitated discussion by IMS Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Counselor and IMS Technology Specialist. Our MIYFS Counselor will share information about what to expect from your child as he/she enters the middle school years. Our Technology Specialist will discuss Schoology – our main communication platform for students and parents.
Presentation 4 – Presentation from IMS Administration. IMS Administrators will share information about the rules and expectations at Islander, as well as impacts of construction on the facility and overall student program. If time allows, this session will be interactive. Bring questions that you have regarding 6th grade and/or Islander Middle School as a whole.
IMS “Back2School” Day (for incoming 6th grade students and parents):
IMS Back2School is the day all students and parents come to IMS in order to take their school photos, pay fees, sign-up for PTSA volunteer opportunities, pick up the student class schedule and receive the locker assignment. Students will be able to try their lockers on this day and check on their class locations during this event.
IMS Open for locker practice and informal tours (for incoming 6th grade students and parents):
The week before school starts, IMS will be open to kids and families. Students can come through the school, practice opening their lockers, walk their schedule and get comfortable with the school.
6th Grade WEB Experience (incoming 6th grade students only):
On the first day of school, IMS runs on a special schedule that day where only 6th grade students and their 8th grade WEB Leaders attend school in the morning. The new 6th graders will have a large welcome assembly and then will break into small groups where they will be team building experiences for students, followed by tours and lunch. All 6th, 7th and 8th graders will then run through a shortened schedule of their 6 classes beginning at 11:20 am.
There will be lots of reminders as we get closer to the date for each event, but we wanted to be sure families are aware of the myriad of transition activities and that the dates get a priority spot on your busy calendars.
Tara Stone, Aaron Miller and Mary Jo Budzius