Middle School News
Looking for a good book for your summer reading? Middle School sixth graders know a good book when they read it! They want all of their classmates to know their favorite reading picks.
The students compiled a review of their favorite book from this year. The reviews include the book title, author, copyright, category or genre, and the number of pages.
You can read the reviews in the document links below.
It’s Best to Wait: Middle School Daters More Likely to Dropout, Use Drugs
Written by Brian Krans | Published on March 19, 2013|
Middle school students who habitually date are twice as likely to use alcohol and drugs and often have worse study habits, prompting researchers to say that ‘dating should not be considered a rite of passage in middle school.’
Ah, young love.
Tweens are practically bursting with feelings of possibility and new-found joy when they discover that "special someone." Then again, when you're fresh out of puberty, love is awkward and can be heartbreaking.
New research from the University of Georgia (UG) paints a grim picture of middle school daters—they are four times more likely to drop out of school, twice as likely to drink and smoke marijuana, and tend to have worse teacher-reported study habits.
After all, Juliet was only 13 when she started dating Romeo, and we all know how that turned out.
Studying the Habits of Middle School Daters
Pamela Orpinas, lead study author and head of the Department of Health Promotion and Behavior at UG, says that while romantic relationships may seem like the hallmark of adolescence, they don’t always yield the best results.
Orpinas monitored 624 students as they moved from sixth grade to twelfth grade in six different school districts across Georgia. Every year, the students completed a questionnaire about their personal lives while their teachers evaluated each student’s academic performance.
Teachers rated the students' study skills based on a variety of factors, including doing extra credit work, coming to class organized, completing homework, and doing assigned reading.
About 38 percent of the students who dated in middle school reported dating someone at almost all times during the seven-year study period. Twenty-two percent of teens in the study began dating someone in the sixth grade.
“At all points in time, teachers rated the students who reported the lowest frequency of dating as having the best study skills and the students with the highest dating as having the worst study skills,” according to the article, published last week in the Journal of Research on Adolescence.
The Perils of Dating Young
Adolescence is when children first begin to push boundaries on the way to adulthood. While they may think they know what’s best for them, they sometimes lack the foresight to see the consequences of their actions.
Study participants who didn’t date had better overall academic performance, while those who dated earlier in middle school were twice as likely to begin using alcohol and drugs in high school, the researchers said.
“A likely explanation for the worse educational performance of early daters is that these adolescents start dating early as part of an overall pattern of high-risk behaviors,” Orpinas said in a press release.
Other amplifying factors include the emotional difficulties teens often face in middle and high school: bullying, depression, and anxiety. All of these have been linked to higher rates of smoking, drinking, and drug use.
Add these factors together—plus the fluctuating hormones that come with tweendom—and a relationship can be tough to handle without the right coping strategies. A nasty breakup could send a teen looking for ways to alleviate the stress.
A recent University of Toronto study showed that children of divorced parents are 13 times more likely to start smoking cigarettes, and researchers there suggested that the calming effect of cigarettes helped the teens cope.
“Dating a classmate may have the same emotional complications as dating a co-worker,” Orpinas said. “When the couple splits, they have to continue to see each other in class and perhaps witness the ex-partner dating someone else. It is reasonable to think this scenario could be linked to depression and divert attention from studying.”
Her findings were enough for Orpinas to warn that, “dating should not be considered a rite of passage in middle school.”
The Georgia researchers say more study is required to tease out the characteristics of healthy young dating verses problem behavior. And that’s where parents step in.
How Parents Can Help
Parents are a teen’s role primary model for how relationships work. Since many teens are ill-prepared to deal with the realities of dating, parents can model good behavior for them.
More importantly, parents should talk to their children about dating, along with the birds and the bees. This includes helping their children form realistic expectations for relationships and assuring them that not being in a relationship isn’t the end of the world.
After all, there's plenty of time (and opportunity) to date in college.
Congratulations to the Middle School science olympiad team which took first place in regional competition on Feb. 23. The team was so successful that every team member who participated in the event received a medal!
Congratulations to team members: Zoe Murray, Nick Taylor, Maeve Verity, Hugh Thorner, Ethan Valentine, Alex Zweirzynski, Liz Balzani, Cassondra Lyman, Terrance Sinclair, Ben Cutri, JB Bosch, Olivia Porcari, Ian Lis, Emily Lis, Brianna Rostad, Trey Shepardson, Ryan Mosses and Gracie Allen. Some team members were not available to compete at the event. They are Molly Olinski. McGinnis Miller, Jeff Snover and Ryan Hoskins.
Maine-Endwell will advance to the state science olympiad tournament in April in Syracuse.
When High School senior Abbey Rossman told Middle School eighth graders to stay on the right side of the hallway and everything will be fine, she was really giving some valuable advice to the younger students as they prepare to fit into high school life next year.
Abbey, along with seniors Mackenzie Gannon, Nick Sorrenti and Jordan Loretz, visited the Middle School on Feb. 21 to speak about what life is really like at the High School, and to offer the younger students some valuable suggestions for making their high school experience a success.
Steering clear of the things that can hurt your experience was part of the discussion as the seniors offered tips to getting good grades, making friends and navigating that twisty path to college.
The seniors offered advice on a variety topics including encouraging the eighth graders to develop good relationships with teachers and guidance counselors, to do their homework and get their work in on time, to spend their free time wisely and to explore their interests in elective classes, clubs, sports and other activities.
"You have four years to get the best education you can get," Nick told the younger students.
The seniors also spoke about the social aspects of high school.
"It’s important to interact with all types of people and to get involved in as much as possible," said Abbey.
The students stressed that as new freshmen the younger students should not worry about bullying or not fitting in with their High School peers.
Sense of community is strong at the High School and something students there take pride in, said the seniors.
Also, with high school comes new freedoms and responsibilities. How students handle those changes shapes their character and their high school experience as much as academics do, said the seniors.
"What you do out of school is as important as what you do in school," said Nick. "It’s important to be on your best behavior all the time. The person you are outside of class is what you are going to be known as."
16 Cell Phone Rules for Use That Every Parent Should Consider for Their Child
By Janell Hoffman, [slightly edited]
1. It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren't I the greatest?
2. I will always know the password.
3. If it rings, answer it. It is a phone. Say hello, use your manners. Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads "Mom" or "Dad". Not ever.
4. Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 8:00pm every school night & every weekend night at 10:00pm. It will be shut off for the night and turned on again after school.
5. If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs.
6. Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first and stay out of the crossfire.
7. Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.
8. No inappropriate content or websites.
9. Turn it off, silence it, and put it away in public. Especially, in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being. You are not a rude person; do not allow the phone to change that.
10. Do not send or receive pictures of you or anyone else that might be considered inappropriate. Don't laugh. Someday you will be tempted to do this despite your high intelligence. It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life. It is always a bad idea. Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you. And it’s hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear… including a bad reputation.
11. Don't take a zillion pictures and videos. There is no need to document everything. Live your experiences. They will be stored in your memory for eternity.
12. Your phone is not alive. It’s not an extension of you. Learn to live without it at times. Get over the fear of missing out.
13. Download music that is new or classic or different than your friends. Your generation has access to music like never before in history. Take advantage of that gift. Expand your horizons.
14. Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.
15. Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you. Stare out a window. Listen to the birds. Take a walk. Wonder…without having to Google.
16. You will mess up. I will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You & I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together.