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Sixth-graders get "Strong Start" to middle school

Sixth-graders get "Strong Start" to middle school
Allison McGowan

The leap from elementary to middle school can be a daunting one for incoming sixth-grade students as they leave behind the familiar faces and buildings of just a few months before. 

Students can be overwhelmed and anxious about all of the unfamiliar things and people they’ll encounter on the first day of middle school. 

That’s why Springfield Public Schools offers the “Strong Start” program to give students a chance to meet some staff and students and become familiar with the school building.

Several hundred incoming sixth-grade students across the district attended Strong Start in August 2023. 

“Kids get to come meet some of the staff, experience what middle school is like, learn the systems around the cafeteria and things like that that they tend to be nervous about, so that they feel more comfortable coming onto campus in September,” said Brandi Starck, Hamlin Middle School principal.

Over the course of two days, students took part in a number of activities like crafts, cookie-baking, and team-building exercises, and were served breakfast and lunch by Nutrition Services staff.  Eighth-grade leadership students were on hand to get to know the incoming students and help lead activities.