Each year, LMS welcomes a new group of 6th grade students into our doors. For the past few years, we have built transition time into our first day for these new students. Only the 6th grade students come in the morning of the first day. One of the many reasons we started this was to help ease the transition to a new school without older students around. The 6th graders can come in and find out where to sit, eat breakfast, and get organized. Another reason, we started the transition morning focused on the first time students keep their belongings in a locker rather than a desk. Finally, many of the students are still learning how to move from teacher to teacher throughout the day. That morning, after a short assembly with our office staff, the students can go through a shortened schedule to meet with each of their grade level teachers as well as other staff.
After lunch for the 6th grade students, our other grade levels arrive at noon. Since our new schedule that allows for sharing of teachers between the high school and middle school, we adapted to Tribe Activities in the afternoon. Each student starts each day with a Tribe teacher and a small group of peers for the first twenty minutes. Each student gets to know an adult or two that he/she can go to when needed. This year, we had those small Tribe groups go through various activities for about 15 minutes before rotating to the next one. Some of the challenges included a Tug of War game, handbook quiz, blindfold walk, popsicles, and more that provided some competition and teamwork in small pairs up to larger groups. Staff and students raved about the “new” first day at Larned Middle School as we plan to utilize it again and improve as needed. Welcome (or welcome back) for all of our LMS students!