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Our Middle School Transition

March 14, 2017
By Ron Snyder
Dear future middle school parent,
 
Anytime the topic of my transition over to the Middle School was brought up with family, friends and fellow teachers, there has been one recurring question amongst all of them: “How are you going to adjust to the younger kids?” To be honest, it was not something that I seriously considered when deciding to take on the task of educating 6th and 7th graders, because I thought that during my 5 years at the high school level, the students couldn’t possibly be that much different...could they? I remember the moment I realized HOW different these younger students are going to be, and the ways in which my approach is going to differ on a day to day basis.
 
For the first time in my professional career, I was invited to get involved in admissions process and meet the families for the first time they walked through the doors. With every family that sat down to talk about what they wanted for their children, it became abundantly clear that these young men, these 6th and 7th graders, were much different from the experiences I had while teaching 11th and 12th grade. Those upper classes are more focused with a quiet energy that has been harnessed and focused through several years of The Neighborhood Academy’s classroom experience.
 
The realization that the teachers at the Middle School, that I, would be tasked with setting the tone for the next 5 to 6 years for these students was one of excitement and anticipation! These young men who now possess that same energy and focus in its most raw form, will be guided by the principles and expectations that I have come to embrace during my time with the high school. With this in mind, we are currently developing a unique approach to our academic day, making sure to incorporate not only the educational growth through our core curriculum, but the physical and spiritual realms as well through outdoor excursions and community outreach.
 
On top of curriculum development in our own classrooms, we have been planning trips to local middle schools on both ends of the success spectrum. By learning about what works and what does not in these real life middle school environments, we are setting up our students for a successful college prep experience as they move forward in our program. Your child will be asked to do things that most traditional schools will not ask them to do, because both you and I know that your child is not the traditional student. They seek to have their energies focused, horizons broadened, and experiences memorable. We look forward to that opportunity with your student, and even more so you and your child becoming a part of our family.
 
Sincerely,
 
Ron Snyder Jr.