The fifth graders filed silently into the auditorium at John Jay Middle School.
“Welcome, Class of 2025,” said Principal Rich Leprine. “This is my last year at John Jay Middle School, but you will be in great hands. The teachers here are eager to get to know you. I know you will be a little nervous for September, but you will get a lot of help. There’s no reason to worry about lockers. We will invite you back in late August and you will find your locker and have time to practice using the combination lock.”
He introduced the new middle school principal, Mr. Jeffrey Swiatowicz.
“I look forward to getting to know you!” said Mr.Swiatowicz. “You can call me Mr. S.”
“The next time you will be sitting here together you will be sixth graders,” said Assistant Principal Monica Bermiss. “I’m very excited for that moment. “
She dismissed the students in groups that mixed students from all three elementary schools. They visited world languages, physical education, science, English language arts, social studies, and math classrooms and met many sixth-grade teachers. A highlight was meeting with the guidance counselors who gave each student a letter written by a current sixth grader.
An unofficial survey of the 237 letters written by rising seventh graders to incoming sixth-graders reveals a friendly bunch who are confident and happy after their first year of middle school. Their number one piece of advice: Don’t worry! You’ll love it!
Top tips for success in sixth grade:
- Do your homework and study for tests
- Keep your locker clean and tidy
- Make new friends and have fun!