How to Choose a Middle School That Helps Your Child Thrive

The right environment can make all the difference in sculpting an educational journey.  The social scene and the academics are both more complicated in middle school than they were in elementary.  You want your child to succeed and to be as comfortable as possible in the classroom so that they can focus on learning and will set the foundation for them to succeed at the next-level.  As a parent, it is important to choose a supportive school that helps children not only academically, but more importantly socially, and emotionally.   

Find middle school programs focused on social and emotional development.

Ask if the system provides counselors or social and anti-bullying initiatives. Middle schools vary with this kind of availability. Some middle schools have children meet with their counselors for three years. Others do not have adequate supports and just focus on academics. Think about your child’s needs and inquire about programs that would help enhance your child’s experience.

Ask key questions to find out more about the school.

Visit the school during their open house days to see their classroom environments and to meet the school faculty.  We always encourage families to pop in unexpectedly so they can get a true sense of the school.   Beacon Network Schools offer shadow visits to give families the opportunity to see what each school is all about.  Make sure to ask the principal and other school leaders key questions. Many parents discuss common topics such as homework and test scores. If you truly want to learn more about the school, ask more thoughtful questions and get to know the school’s leadership on a higher level.  We always remind parents that whichever middle school they choose, it’s important for them to visualize their child in the hallways.

Some more questions from Greatschools.org include

What are the electives and how many can the kids choose?

How do you deal with teachers who do not meet your standards?

What is your writing curriculum?

What is unique about your school?

Look at the school for the right reasons.

Beyond the fresh paint and modern classroom technology, scrutinize the curriculum, teachers, and principal. You want to see that teachers are enthusiastic and willing to teach. The school should include the core subjects in their curriculum while also giving pupils a meaningful middle school experience. It is critical that the school prepares your student for the demands of high school academics. These factors are crucial to choosing a middle school where your child can thrive and succeed.

Trust Your Instinct

Once you have gathered information from a few different schools and education systems, you can make an informed decision about the middle school that will be the best fit for your child.  No one knows your child as well as you do, so trust yourself. Your chosen school can change your student’s life, so research and select one that fits your standards as well as your child’s personality needs. Good luck on picking the perfect middle school!