The West Rocks Middle School Success Summer Academy is a 5-week summer program that helps 58 transitioning students from Cranbury, Tracey and Wolfpit elementary schools prepare to enter the 6th grade in the fall.
Research shows that one of the most difficult transition points in education is from elementary to middle school. Navigating a larger environment, excelling with grades, having multiple teachers, and juggling competing priorities can be challenging. The Middle School Success Summer Academy is an effective bridge into middle school.
Students participate in English, math, social studies, science, technology and study skills. They begin developing an individual student success plan using Naviance. Students take field trips to enhance team building and the academic program. Transportation, breakfast and lunch are provided for free each day.
The students are reading Bridge to Terabithia, a work of children's literature about two lonely children who create a magical forest kingdom. It was written by Katherine Paterson and won the Newbery Medal. The novel tells the story of a fifth grader who becomes friends with his new neighbor after he loses a footrace to her at school. After meeting Leslie, his life is transformed. They create a kingdom for themselves, which Leslie names "Terabithia." When at the end something very tragic happens to Leslie, Jess learns to overcome it and stay strong.
The summer program helps practice the mathematical study skills necessary for success in middle school. Students participate in hands-on activities that include science literacy and numeracy. Using academic sources, discussion, and group work, students investigate exciting historical events. Students practice research and presentation skills in preparation for 6th grade research projects. Students learn how to prepare for class, develop textbook reading strategies, use effective note- taking techniques, strengthen their test-taking skills, and carry their skills forward. Using Naviance, students begin developing an individualized student success plan to address their specific needs and interests. Using Chromebooks, students start to utilize Google Apps for Education to be successful. The course focuses on Google Drive, Google Classroom and the keys to using technology for learning in Middle School.
Carver and West Rocks Middle School have successfully partnered for many years to conduct the after-school Youth Development Program. Carver is honored to be able to work with Dr. Lynn Moore and her staff this summer, led by teacher Michael Richards, to help their new 6th graders prepare for school in the fall.