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Helping Kids Make The Transition to Middle School

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As students head back to school later this month, parents of may want to do a bit of homework if they have kids making the transition to middle school. KPCW’s Leslie Thatcher reports that a community forum titled Middle School 101: What Every Parent Should Know has been scheduled for August 15th. 

Park City School  District Wellness Director Ben Belnap will be leading the panel discussion on Thursday, the 15th  at 6 pm at the Jim Santy Auditorium.

“We have Julia Kaufman who has expertise in this kind of sports world, the physical sports exercise to support mental and emotional physical well-being,” Belnap said. “We have Pamela Bello who works with mental health in the community. We have some of our school counselors and school administrators. You know, just recognizing that it's kind of a tough transition to go from elementary to middle school you know.” 

The transition to middle school he says can be challenging. Part of that has to do with the age of the children.

“You're a little kid kind of moving into now transitioning from classes to classes,” he said. “You gotta give up your recess which, come on, we all we all miss that a little bit. You know going from this one or 2 teacher system, where you have a really intimate relationship with your teacher - a bigger school and you know I'm sending a 5th grader to 6th grade this year and it is a little nerve wracking. You worry a little bit about your child slipping through the cracks a little bit just become a kind of a number in a bigger pool.”

There are things parents should look for as they watch their child make the transition.

“One of the biggest concerns parents have and this is one thing we want to address on this evening,” said Belnap, “is as kids transition the age difference from a 6th to a 7th grader it seems a lot bigger than a than a year and so not only is your body going through big changes but your emotions are too. A lot of parents are concerned about the introduction of  substance abuse and that kind of stuff. Screen time - more kids have phones - do we allow them on social media  how do we regulate that? Those seem to be the biggest concerns.”

While the forum has been designed for parents, Belnap say students are welcome to attend as well.

For more information: 

https://connectsummitcounty.org/event/middle-school-101-what-every-parent-should-know/

Tough but fair, Leslie is the woman most of Park City wakes up with every weekday morning. Leslie has been at KPCW since 1990 and her years at KPCW have given her depth and insight, guiding her as she asks local leaders and citizens the questions on everyone’s minds during the live interviews of the Local News Hour.