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Transition to Middle School

transitioning to Middle School


Moving to sixth grade can be an anxious experience for fifth-grade students. In order to facilitate a smooth transition into Middle School, C/A begins to implement a transition plan in the third quarter. Fifth graders engage in weekly and quarterly activities so that they can begin building bridges with Middle School students and faculty and become familiar with Middle School age-appropriate expectations.

While research does not support the use of homework for skill retention at the Elementary level, Lower School starts using homework in the third quarter to introduce 5th-grade students to Middle School expectations.


  • Students are taught how to use C/A’s official student planner, how to better structure their Academic Support period, and how to prioritize and plan the completion of the assignments.


  • Throughout the third quarter, 5th-grade students receive homework four times a week. On Mondays and Tuesdays, students are assigned 10 minutes of homework for Language Arts only. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, they complete assignments for Math.


  • As C/A progresses into the fourth quarter, 5th-grade students start to receive a homework assignment for both Language Arts and Math, Monday through Thursday.

With parent permission, 5th-grade students are provided with an opportunity to shadow a Middle School student to introduce them to a typical day of Middle School.

Shadows pairs are decided by the Lower and Middle Schools Directors. During their assigned day, fifth-grade students

  • attend Middle School classes 
  • participate in the break and lunch period
  • have the opportunity to ask specific questions

From early March until the end of April, Middle School teachers pull 5th-grade students out of the Lower School Morning Meeting on a weekly basis to conduct their own Morning Meeting.

During these times, MS teachers share how they run their classes, review Middle School expectations, and answer any questions that students may have about Middle School.

Subjects that are covered during these Morning Meetings are Reading, Writing, Math, Social Studies, Science, P.E., and Electives.

After students have the opportunity to shadow and meet with the Middle School teachers, C/A hosts a gathering for 6th-grade and 7th-grade students to chat with the 5th-graders and share their experiences transitioning from Lower to Middle School.

This time provides 5th-graders with another great opportunity to build social bridges and to ask any remaining questions.