Sixth graders are receiving additional help transitioning to middle school during their first year. Much of the help comes in restructuring classes so that the entering sixth graders are taught in areas secluded from the older students.
Students entering middle school in the Waco Independent School District will follow restructured sixth grade schedules which will not release at the same time as seventh and eighth graders, and they will have assigned seating during lunch.
The principals of Cesar Chavez and Tennyson Middle School said that usually students grades and testing scores fall and incidents of misbehavior escalate once they move from fifth grade to sixth grade.
A sixth grade student council and competitions between sixth graders are also being considered by the staff at both schools.
“This is a way to start having some school spirit within themselves. They are a team, because they are all coming from different elementary schools,” said Tennyson Principal Lisa Hall.
Teachers expect to loosen some of the restrictions midyear, after students have earned the right to walk freely to class or sit where they want at lunch and are acclimated to the change in schools.