13 Middle School Differences
My oldest child starts middle school in less than a week. I’m not a big fan of new situations or unfamiliar ones, but luckily DD is much more like her father in this respect. She spent yesterday morning at orientation camp, where they “played dumb, boring games” and took a tour of the campus which was “useless because the tour guide was being lazy.” She’s growing up so fast and luckily for her has no problem meeting new people. Most of the kids she went to elementary school with will be going to a different middle school because of the boundary lines and the fact that we’d been bumped from our home school when we moved here almost five years ago.
I never went to middle school. My elementary school was K-6, and for 5th and 6th grades, we had those classes from the other feeder elementary sharing out school because of renovations to theirs. Then we were all dumped straight into one of the smallest public high schools in the state even with grades 7-12 in it. They built the middle school the year I graduated from high school. We also had real hallways and the cafeteria was inside too. What a difference 30 years and the other coast makes.
1. Registration: hour and a half longer. We had to turn in the same paperwork as for DS and then also buy gym clothes, get her ID and school picture taken, check out her textbooks in the library.
2. Campus: The middle school is way bigger, but close enough to walk to in half an hour instead of 5 miles away.
3. Parking lot: It was also designed by a man who hates children and never had any of his own — BUT, shares the space with the high school, making it twice the fun! At least they stagger start and end times.
4. Office Staff: Lots more of them and if possible, the waiting area is even smaller.
5. Attendance: They have a completely separate window for signing in/out of when you’re late. And I don’t just call the health tech to report absences.
6. Health Tech: She’s very nice too, much more easy going about everything. “You can keep your meter with you and test your blood sugar wherever you want. Just not in the bathroom. They’re DIRTY…”
7. PE: They have a real PE class now. Including lockers and showers and everything that made HS PE a nightmare.
8. Cafeteria: There’s even fewer walls it looks like and I didn’t see a roof at all. Lots of scattered tables with umbrellas and an ampitheatre-like set of steps and a grassy quad. Think Veronica Mars or really any SoCal lunch area on tv or in the movies. This will suck come February when it actually does rain.
9. Lunch: menu changes each month, but every meals rotate on a day of the week basis. Cost: $2.50 for most of the stuff she’ll want to eat compared to $2. Choices to be made are potentially even worse. Pizza 5 days a week: M/W/F cheese, T/TH Pepperoni. I really dread this next year with the boy.
10. Books: You get to pick them up early. They’re heavy, but at least you don’t have to carry all of them every day because of the block schedule for classes.
11. Block Class schedule: Classes you have rotate based on odd or even days. Or maybe it’s a minimum day where you have all every class. Then there’s also a late start on even Fridays called Collaborative Days just to make things even more confusing. DS gets out early on Fridays.
12. Dress Code: The dress code is much stricter and more strictly enforced. The biggest change for us will be that pants need to be hemmed so they don’t drag on the ground and get walked into tatters.
13. Independence: DD wants to walk to school. She is reveling in the fact that this means she gets a cell phone. DS is pestering to get one. This is one of those times I really feel the difference the 14 months between them makes.
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