Reply To: Middle School next year – what questions do I need to ask

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Parents Middle School next year – what questions do I need to ask Reply To: Middle School next year – what questions do I need to ask


The school district we’re in has an amazing concept called the 6th grade center – all 6th graders from 10 schools {approx 1000 kids} come together for 1 year before going off to 2 different Middle Schools for 7th & 8th. It is wonderful because these 6th graders are too old for elementary but too young and immature for “true” middle school. I also love it because this year I have worked out the kinks so I know what questions to ask and what to do differently for next year. First – identify your son’s subject struggles and request that he has them first thing in the morning {for example… I will request that he has math first next year} Secondly – find out if your school will have a “home base.” My son’s home base this year is with his science teacher – he goes to her room every morning to check in, he goes to her every other day for “life ed” and then of course he has her for science. The problem with having a science teacher as a home base teacher is her room is rigid and cold- only tables and chairs. I feel that my son would benefit from being in a more relaxed and warm environment as his most frequented classroom so next year I’m requesting his home base be with a reading teacher who has beanbags, couches, pillows, etc…

His 504 plan is set up so provide: 1) a fidget {typically bending and unbending a paper clip or pulling the cap on & off a marker work for him}, 2) directions given 3 times {one in a group setting with the rest of the class, then he gets pulled aside and given them privately and discreetly, then they’re written on a sticky note for him to refer to often} 3) he is a task-oriented child and loves being sent on teacher errands around the school. he gets to do this ONLY if he is caught up on his work – the errand gets him moving around and gives him a short few-minute break. 4) he needs discrete and constant reminders to slow down during tests. before this was put in place, he was coming home with tests that took him 2 minutes that should’ve taken him 20. 5) timed tests give him anxiety – any timed test in the future he is exempt from taking within a time period {now notice that I said he rushes through his work… when TOLD he has a time limit… he becomes hyper-focused on the time and doesn’t pay attention to the material. We’ve found that in quizzes that have a 5 minute limit and he’s been told to “take his time” – he still can finish in the same 5-minute timeframe as his peers.} This time limit was intended to help for state-testing. 6) he has strategic seating and is seated away from the door or a heavy traffic flow area. 7) his workload is modified to decrease quantity of assignments in order to ensure quality of work completed 8) my son doesn’t like attention brought to him whatsoever and he will shut down with positive or negative attention … so the teachers discreetly praise him or remind him to stay on task.

I wish you the best… I don’t have anyone I can ask questions to, however I have about 3 families whose sons are in a grade or 2 behind my son so I feel that we’re blazing the trail for them. I just joined this website/forum this morning in an attempt to research medications in time for our next appointment with the child psychologist. I feel that the Vyvanse he has been on for 3 years is only tackling his hyperactivity and letting him play the part of “calm student” but not helping with the attention, focus and retention of curriculum. Please feel free to ask me any follow-ups before your appointment on Friday. Best wishes.