The transition from Jefferson Elementary to Iola Middle School may be scary or nerve-wracking for some students, but not Ella Taylor.
Ella, 11, entered the hallowed halls of IMS this morning along with her classmates to start their first day of middle school. Sixth-grade students started today, a day ahead of seventh- and eighth-graders, to adjust to the new environment.
Stacy Crusinbery, IMS guidance counselor, said the extra day makes it easier for the kids to handle the new environment because the hallways aren’t as crowded.
A big change for students is they have to switch classes and teachers instead of having one teacher for the entire day. Ella said she will miss having one teacher, but likes her schedule.
“I’m taking social studies, language arts, life science, P.E., band and math,” she said.
Crusinbery said some students struggle with certain things the first few days of school.
“At the middle school students have lockers and they only have four minutes to get from each class and that always scares them,” Cruisnbery said.
Other concerns students have are making it up the stairs in time and showering in P.E. class.
“In the spring I take a couple of sixth grade students to talk to fifth-graders and let them know what it’s like,” Crusinberry said. “They let them know that they were in the same position last year.”
This talk helps ease students’ minds. Crusinbery said for the last couple of years students have transitioned into the new environment very well. For some it takes a little longer to adjust than others.
ELLA’S favorite subject is either physical eduction or math. She is also looking forward to being in band and playing trombone.
“I took lessons over the summer and I think I’m good at it,” she said.
Ella’s mom, Jennifer Taylor, said Ella took trombone lessons from IMS band teacher Matt Kleopfer.
“I think the band program is wonderful,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer and her husband, Ben, have already had two children attend the middle school and are pleased with its faculty.
“Mr. Stanley does a ‘pay day’ every two weeks for things like perfect attendance and then they get to go on a trip at the end of the semester,” Jennifer said. “He does a lot of great things to keep them motivated.”
Friday, seventh- and eighth-grade students will join the sixth-graders for a regular day of classes.