Making a Smooth Transition to High School

On Thursday, May 25th and Friday, May 26th, staff members from Southington Public Schools and the Southington STEPS Coalition hosted the eighth-grade classes from both DePaolo and Kennedy for the Middle School Transition Days.  This year these important days were held at Southington High School so that the eighth-grade students can get a feel for what school will be like next year as a freshman.   

The Middle School Transition Days were broken up into three workshops that the students rotated through:

o   Tour of the high school by current SHS students

o   Positive Decision Making facilitated by YMCA Camp Sloper staff

o   Dangers of Substance Abuse by guest speaker Charlie Grady, FBI Agent & Attorney Patrick Caruso from the CT District US Attorney’s Office

Since not all students plan to attend SHS, we were also able to structure the day to have meaningful activities that will help ALL students transition to high school.  We were thrilled to have students take advantage of this opportunity to participate in the valuable workshops that were created.

The transition to high school can be overwhelming for some students but it is also a very exciting time. During elementary school and middle school, students have been building up their positive developmental assets through the STEPS Asset Building Classroom initiative.  We feel it is important to help students make this transition and let them know that their support systems follow them into the high school.  We also used this as an opportunity to introduce the substance abuse prevention side of our coalition and encourage students to continue to make positive decisions and stay substance free.

A TREMENDOUS thank you to Chris Palmieri, Assistant Principal of DePaolo Middle School and to Christina Simms, the Southington Youth Services Director.  Without these two, these days would not have been possible.