Page 24 - FIS World October 2018
P. 24

 Moving on Up
A springtime transition day sets students up for success
Grade 5 students “There was so much to learn about the Upper
and the numerous sports teams and clubs available in Upper School. Grade 6 volunteers also give upcoming students tours of the Upper School and perform scripted-skits on important subjects like dress-code, tardiness, technology rules, and friendships.
Moving Up Day packs in a lot of information, and demonstrates the numerous and expansive differences between the Elementary and Upper Schools. The transition program also acknowledges there are many concurrent changes happening in the lives of students aged 10 to 11. According to Ms. Aspinwall, life and academic changes often occur simultaneously at this time in life and need to be considered. “When students transition from Elementary to the Upper School, many are undergoing physical, intellectual, social and emotional changes,” she says.
“Much thought and effort go into a well planned transition program,” states Mr. Kalas. “It prepares students for Upper School and helps parents and students have a greater peace of mind by taking some of the stress out of the summer before Upper School starts.”
Lulu, who made the transition to Grade 6 this past August is doing great in the Upper School. “I was really glad that I kind of already knew what to expect in Grade 6,” she said. “I really like all of my teachers and am learning French. But most of all, I love being on the soccer team!”
Emmett Kelly FIS Parent
(in the round) on a guided tour during Moving Up day last spring (above); With new classes comes more responsibility
and a need for organization (below)
School because it’s so different,” says current Grade 6 student, Catie. “But luckily we had a chance to visit and get familiar with it when we were in the fifth grade.”
While just next door to the Elementary School, the FIS Upper School, with its rotating schedules and increased number of classes, is definitely different
– and can be a big change for many new Grade 6 students. The administration and counselors at FIS are well aware of the differences and have developed a comprehensive transition program to help students and families as they make the move to the new division. “A well-planned transition program provides the groundwork for a successful beginning in the Upper School,” says Jeff Kalas, Upper School Counselor, who adds, “Our program is designed to enhance success, motivation and learning,” for new Grade 6 students.
FIS counselors lay the groundwork for this early, meeting with Grade 5 parents and students each spring to educate them about life and academics in the Upper School. The transition effort takes center stage in mid-June when all current Grade 5 students attend “Moving Up Day”.
Moving Up Day is designed to bring together and build upon all previous efforts to prepare students for the jump to Upper School. Upper School Counselors Charlene Aspinwall and Jeff Kalas, and Grade 6 Year Head, Corinna Pundt, give formal presentations and have question and answer sessions with students covering topics such as time management and use of their Daily Planner; rotating schedules and 8-day cycle; grades, which are awarded in numbers (1-7) rather than symbols;
  22 FIS World October 2018

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