Tips From Our Social Workers
This is a really interesting time of year for our 8th graders. Many have mixed emotions…..excited for high school and the next challenge ahead but sad about leaving Central. Our students spend more time in Central than they will in any other school building. They get very attached and comfortable here and leaving their comfort zone is never easy. We talk with 8th graders every year about the transition to high school and most are both excited and nervous about the transition. We remind them that those are very normal emotions given the transition ahead. Some are more excited than nervous and others are more nervous than excited. New Trier (as well as some of the private schools in the area) does an amazing job getting students acclimated to the high school experience. The feedback we get from former students is that our students end up being extremely well prepared for high school, and in many cases more prepared than their counterparts from neighboring districts. We wish our soon to be graduates a wonderful final month in District 35 and the best of luck in high school. Our only request is that they come back and visit us in the future!
We are knee deep in PARCC testing this week and most of the students are enjoying limited homework along the way. For our students that may be a little behind on their work due to recent absences or other factors, it can be a great opportunity to get caught up. It is also a great opportunity for students to get some work done on long term projects and perhaps get ahead a bit in some other areas if they so choose. When PARCC finishes up next week, there will be less than 2 weeks left in the quarter which can mean tests and quizzes. The end of a quarter can be a stressful time as kids make the push to get their grades over that hump, from a D to a C, C to a B, or a B to an A. As a social work staff we try to remind all kids that their mental health is more important than their grades! Seeing a B may look nicer than a C, but in reality the difference between a 79% and an 80% isn’t much. Do you best and don’t get get too worked up about the letter grade. The reward at the end of 3rd quarter is Spring Break! Since the quarter ends at Spring Break, there tends to be fewer assignments that hang in the balance as compared to Winter Break. We come back from Spring Break to the start of a brand new quarter. When we return from Winter Break, it is the final 2 week push of the end of 2nd quarter. Even though it’s shorter, Spring Break tends to bring with it a more relaxing feel. It also helps that the weather is starting to improve…..little by little! After this weekend we’ll have some more daylight which will help all of us mentally and emotionally. We are all missing that big yellow ball quite a bit these days. Good luck with PARCC and give the end of the quarter your best effort before what we hope is a glorious Spring Break for everyone!
In the coming days, our 8th grade students will get their registration materials from New Trier along with their class recommendations. This can be an overwhelming process but doesn’t have to be. Feel free to stop by Mr. Glassman’s office if you have any questions. Parents are welcome to call with questions as well. It is a lot simpler than it looks. Some kids get caught up in the level recommendations and the test scores. Those aren’t as important as they seem. This is only a recommendation of where to get started. Once you get to New Trier you, your adviser, and your teachers will figure out where you stand and what type of classes you need to be taking after freshman year. Check out the incoming freshman website in the “Useful Links” section to the right for more information on all things New Trier.
We are in a tricky time of the school year. Everyone is getting back into the swing of things following Thanksgiving and many of our students and even the staff (yes we like vacations too) start to look toward winter break. With these built in breaks, it is easy to get distracted from the responsibilities we have on a daily basis and simply cross off days on the calendar as we inch closer to time off. We encourage everyone to stay in the moment. Stay on top of your work and enjoy other activities you are involved with including free time with friends. Too often we spend our moments looking ahead and forgetting about what we have now. Enjoy now. Work hard for now. Tomorrow is a whole lot easier and more successful if we take care of today!