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New Programs Help Students Adjust to Middle & High School

New Programs Help Students Adjust to Middle & High School

Two programs will be initiated by the Washington County Public Schools this year to help the transition of elementary students to middle school, and middle school students to high school. Trained eighth grade students will lead the middle school program, W.E.B. (Where Everybody Belongs), for the incoming 6th grade students. A several hour assembly prior to the first day of school will provide the new students a chance to learn about their new school, its programs and activities, and its challenges from students who already have those experiences.
The Link Crew at the high schools will be a similar group of upperclassmen greeting incoming freshmen with information and insights into high school life, academics, activities, and issues. At both levels, the opening assembly and activities will be followed up during the school year with meetings and activities between groups of older and younger students.
More than 300 students at each level are being trained at most schools this week, according to Carol Costello, Supervisor of Alternative Programs and Student Services for WCPS. "Incoming students need to feel welcomed and included, and who better to understand and convey that than students who have been in the same position. The leadership these older students will display will inspire leadership in all segments of the student body."
WCPS Director for High School Education, Dr. Clyde Harrell, says the new programs will help new and returning students acquaint themselves with each other, and maintain positive relationships during the school year. "The transitions from elementary to middle and middle to high are critical in a school career. We're confident the younger students will greatly benefit from what older peers have to offer before the school year begins as well as throughout the school year."
The W.E.B. program and the Link Crew concept were introduced 12 years ago by a group of educators in Santa Cruz, California, who have since trained more than 4,200 educators across the country.

This article was provided by the Washington County Public Schools Board of Education.

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