Making the Move to Middle School
Your kiddos are starting their final semester of fifth grade! This is a fun time, enjoy it! Eat lunch with them while you are still considered "cool" enough to share thier space in the cafeteria! Just a reminder that all of our dates are listed in the document in the previouse post for middle school transitions. Have questions, give me a call 512-841-9209!!!
There is a lot to remember every day already, so I am sharing our district wide list of dates for our magnets and academies if you are interested in applying. Applications are supposed to go live November 1, 2016. You can click the file below to download all of the important dates. Please note one important change in the application process!! All students applying to magnet or academy programs must submit a Middle School Program Intent Form (Common Application Form) as part of the process. This form will be available by November 1st online for parents and students at https://myaustinisd.org and/or www.austinisd.org/academics/magnet-application or you can call 512-414-9187 for assistance.
As the parent of a 6th grader, I have started reading a new parenting book. I chose this one because I loved the title when Kelly Ripa mentioned it on her show. I have just begun reading, but I am really liking what I've read. One thing that really stuck with me was that the author compared the tween years to the chrysalis stage of a butterfly's life. Like the caterpillar that was once close to the ground our kiddos are developing the skills they need to spread their wings. What books have helped you through the tween years? Any great advice you'd give to other parents?
One of the areas I'd like all of our parents to know about are the Programs of Study offered at our very own, Bowie High School. Taken directly from Bowie's website, "Programs of Study (POS) reflect current occupations and are designed for students as a guide through high school. POS contain lots of helpful information, including the core courses and career-related electives in high school that will help prepare students for their career goals. The POS are based upon the Recommended High School Graduation Plan and can easily be adapted for the Distinguished Achievement High School Graduation Plan."
Currently, Bowie is the following Programs of Study
Gorzycki will be here on February 1, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. to provide our 5th grade students with Choice Sheets. This is a student only presentation. During this time students will get to select electives for their 6th grade school year. I encourage parents and students to participate in the Elective Showcase Night before selecting electives. Students will also be provided with the option to test at this time for Accelerated Math. What is Accelerated Math, you ask, well Gorzycki explains it as follows, "The Accelerated Math course is designed for students who will take Algebra in the 8th grade. Students move very quickly through the sixth grade Math TEKS and concentrate on 7th grade Math TEKS. For placement in Accelerated Math student need to sign up to take the Math readiness test." When parents ask me my thoughts on Accelerated Math, I go with my usual reply, "It depends...." Some students excel at math but want to take the PreAP Math Course on 6th grade level. It is accelerated but will keep them on course to take PreAP Algebra in 9th grade. I truly believe it depends on what your individual child wants and needs as to what course to take. Mrs. Silva and Mrs. Laird are excellent resources to utilize when making this decision! Stay tuned for more middle school news!!
Gorzycki has scheduled their Only One Gorzycki Night to showcase their programs. It will be held at Gorzycki on Monday, November 7th at 6:30pm. We have scheduled a presentation from Covington Middle School's Fine Arts Academy on Tuesday, November 29 and are hoping to piggyback a visit from Small's Green Tech program as well. Parents are welcome to attend our academy visit as well. Questions??? Comment below!
What is a magnet school you ask? A magnet school offers a special focus such as STEM, liberal arts, or fine arts for students who are interested in these areas. In Austin ISD we have three middle school magnet programs and if students are accepted bus transportation is provided. Students must apply to attend a magnet school in Austin. We are having a visit from the magnet schools on November 1, 2016 at 8:00 a.m. for our students. Parents are welcome to attend but the presentation is geared toward students. There will be a Parent Night provided by AISD later in the year. Please feel free to visit each school's website below to find out more about their programs and application deadlines.
Fulmore Middle School Magnet
Kealing Middle School
Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders
Austin ISD also offers some "academies" where students can also pursue study in a specific areas! Academies are a little different, as families must provide transportation to the program and request, and official request a school transfer after the student is accepted into the academy.
Small Green Tech Academy
Lamar Fine Arts Academy
Covington Fine Arts Academy
Parents often ask me if I think one school or another would be better for their child. My answer is usually pretty basic...talk with your child about what they want, consider the values and goals of your family, then decide what is best for your child and family. Though I wish there was a magic formula to predict success in a certain school, there really isn't. I also always remind parents that just because your child applies, doesn't mean they have to attend. And just because they attend, doesn't mean it is not a reversible decision if it is not working out for your family.
I am excited to begin this journey with you as we are off to a great start of fifth grade!
I know you're wondering, "Why must we already hear about middle school?!" The reason...I am the type of mom that once my brain wrapped around the fact that my daughter had one more year of elementary went into, "What's next?" mode. So to help my fellow parents avoid the panic, I wanted to share some general ifo that might be helpful. First, the timeline. Basically, the magnet schools will come out in October to get the excitement started with our fifth grade students! Admission applications will be available on their websites along with important dates. Gorzycki, our home school if you're zoned to Clayton, makes their visit about January, quickly followed by a Choice Sheet Night that showcases their electives. Students complete their Choice Sheet right after Choice Sheet Night. If you want to explore what are magnet schools and academies have to offer, I am going to try to post a document below that will give you a list of all that is available. Unfortunately, this is about my fourth try at doing this and it may not happen. It may actually be linked to the words, "a document below." Fingers crossed.