Family Time: ‘There’s no homework, just fun activities’

May 3, 2019

Make the transition to sixth grade a smooth one — attend Middle School Prep.

Open to current fifth grade students planning to attend a Rochester Public Schools middle school, the four-day event is designed to give incoming sixth-graders an intro to and overview of the middle school experience.

“Middle School Prep is a great way for students to get a taste of what middle school is like — classes, teachers, lockers,” said Kerry Novotny, Rochester Community Education youth enrichment coordinator. “It’s great for all students. Especially great if you’re a little nervous about what middle school will be like.”

Offered at RPS’s four middle schools (Friedell, John Adams, Kellogg, Willow Creek), Middle School Prep is held 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday through Friday, the week after school gets out for the summer. At prep, students attend four for-fun classes every day — Sixth Grade Survival Skills, CLASSics 101, Fine Arts, The EXTRAS.

“In Survival Skills, you’ll figure out the lay of the land, learn the layout of the school — where the nurse’s office is, how to work your locker,” said Novotny. “Students will learn more about the building’s fine arts programs — music and art. They’ll find out about the extras — after-school activities like chess, soccer, anime club. Yes, there will be math and reading in ClASSics 101, but there’s no homework, just fun activities.”

Taught by RPS staff, Middle School Prep also offers the opportunity to meet school staff — teachers, support staff and administration.

“Students might get to meet their phys ed teacher, the school nurse, the librarian,” said Novotny “It’s a terrific opportunity to get to know school staff. You’ll also get to meet a lot of other incoming sixth-graders.”

Open to all current RPS fifth-graders, attendance is capped at approximately 150 students per school. The cost is $75. Scholarships are available.

“We cap our numbers around 150. We can usually get all the kids in that want to attend, but I wouldn’t wait until the last minute. If you know you are going to do it, get signed up soon,” said Novotny. “The feedback we get from parents is that it quiets pre-middle school anxieties. Kids realize they’ll be able to open their locker. That middle school is doable. It helps calm the What If’s and gives kids the reassurance they need.”