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Thurston Smooths the Sixth-Grade Path

Teacher Sarah Schaeffer holds up a poster devised to help integrate sixth-graders into middle school.

This year, the Thurston Middle School staff has developed a new program, Six for Sixth, to help ensure a better transition by incoming sixth-grade students.

The goal is for all sixth-grade students to feel and be more successful.

“As a sixth grade team we agreed to six consistent support structures in order to help sixth-graders have a successful transition to middle school, said sixth-grade language arts teacher Sarah Schaeffer.

“A common stressor of middle school students is having different teachers with different expectations. We hope that Six for Sixth alleviates some of this stress for sixth graders,” she said.

Six for Sixth introduces students to expectations underlying the school’s social behavior policies that go by the acronyms PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support) and SMART (Solve Problems, Make Great Decisions, Achieve, Respect and There and Ready).

Bright green “6” campus posters and icons on Thurston’s  web page reiterate preparation, organizing and using a planner, binders, classroom web pages and online assignments.

To coax students into trying out organizational tools, sixth-grade teachers recently conducted a scavenger hunt that required use of planners to discover answers.

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