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Make a smooth move to middle school

When leaving the comfort zone of elementary school for the uncharted waters of middle school, both students and their parents may feel the same nervous anticipation.

One key to a smooth transition is to make communication with your child and the new school a priority. Here are some suggestions for parents:

• Register as early as possible. Every day you wait can reduce the number of class choices.

• Visit the school before day one. Participate in any type of formal orientation offered by the school. If none, call the school on your own and arrange for a tour. Locate and let your child practice opening their combination locker.

• Organize basic materials needed for day one. Purchase required class-related materials, such as art supplies, graphing tools and a daily planner. Also remember a class schedule and school map.

• Be aware of social pressures. Middle school is a time when students can be exposed to drugs or alcohol. Students must learn to handle peer pressure and make smart choices.

Dr. Pastorok is an education specialist with Kumon Math and Reading Centers. For more information, call 1-800-ABC-MATH or logon to www.kumon.com.

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