Top Ten Ways Sixth Grade is Different from Lower School
1. Although sixth graders are assigned a class number (i.e. 6-1), they do not have a home base classroom and they travel from classroom to classroom depending on their subject. They have no desk or cubby to keep their belongings, rather 3 lockers – two for books and supplies (a long locker and a small locker above it) and one to keep their coat in. Their lockers don't have shelves so you should make sure that you purchase a "locker ladder" and let your kids know they can bring some mementos to personalize their lockers.
2. Middle School students are tracked in certain subjects based on evaluations by their teachers. Unlike 5th grade where they are tracked only in Math, in sixth grade they are tracked in Math and in Safah, as well. There is some tracking in Chumash, but it is not done across the board in all the classes. In 7th and 8th grade, there is tracking in Math and Safah and in the Jewish Studies subjects.
3. Middle School starts at 8:00 am with davening. The 6th grade boys and girls are divided for their own morning tefilah and then have breakfast provided by Moriah. At Mincha the entire middle school davens together in the shul. On Monday – Thursday their first class begins promptly at 9:00am and each period lasts for 40 minutes. Fridays there is an alternate schedule.
4. The dress code is different in middle school. Please review the dress code in the parent handbook before making any clothing purchases for school.
5. This year starts the Bat and Bar Mitzvah two-year season. If you have not already reserved your dates with the Moriah office (you must do this in addition to your shul), call the front office at extension 348 immediately. Moriah helps prevent any conflicts among celebrations. Also – instead of buying presents for every kid in your child's class, MAP coordinates a group gift. Each family contributes $300 per child for the 2 year season and each child gets to choose from a list of Judaica gifts. A portion of this money will go toward a tzedakah fund and the children will be able to choose where the money will go. In addition, this money is used for two grade wide celebrations, one for boys and one for girls.
6. In Middle School you may try out for an athletic team. Moriah offers teams for basketball and hockey for boys and girls. Tryouts for these teams will be announced at the beginning of school, so don't fill your kids' afterschool calendars just yet. There are other extracurricular activities that take place during the school day, generally during lunch, (Student Council, Moriah Ink, poetry club, etc.) so encourage your sixth grader to watch the middle school bulletin board, listen for announcements, and take advantage of these varied opportunities.
7. The Moriah Middle School Maximum Academic Support Program provides additional help for students with diagnosed learning disabilities. The program is not referred to as “Gesher.” Instead of Navi, students in this program receive small group general studies support four times a week with a case manager who is a trained special needs teacher. The case manager assists with organizational and study skills as well as time management techniques. In addition, an inclusion teacher is placed in at least two of the identified students’ general studies classes.
Every classified student in the Middle School is assigned a case manager who coordinates all information regarding the student and serves as the point person for his or her parents.
Moriah also offers an after-school homework club coordinated by the case managers.
8. Gym is different in Middle School – for gym, all students must bring an extra set of clothing that they will change into. Students will not be able to play in their regular school clothing.
9. Carpools are different in Middle School. The kids get picked up by Englewood carpool, as well as by school bus. Because your children are in middle school there is more of an expectation of independence at dismissal time and there are only a few staff members outside to help with traffic. So don't forget to count your kids to make sure you have everyone.
10. Your children will eat lunch during a normal lunchtime hour. No more 11 am brunches. Make sure you send them with healthy snacks to take them through the day – they will have assigned snack time to make sure they don't starve before lunch.