Riley's 6th grade year couldn't have been more successful. While I don't have her final report card yet, we're pretty sure it will contain straight A's. But more important than that, Riley is still a happy girl, has gained more self-confidence, and we are as close as ever. I credit Riley's school with this success almost as much as I credit Riley.
This school creates an atmosphere where academic success is applauded by their peers as much as the teachers and staff. As crazy as it sounds, it's actually cool to be good at school.
For Riley's 6th grade, she wasn't overwhelmed with too many classes or teachers. She had two main teachers that split up the core classes, a PE teacher (whom she loved; a vastly different experience than her elementary PE teaher), and her Advisory teacher.
Advisory was like an active Study Hall. Instead of just sitting there for that period, they would talk about their assignments, break down their schedule for projects, and also talk about goals outside their academics. Every week, she would have a Family goal, a Personal goal, and an Academic goal. Even though it's not their job to teach students how to be a well-rounded person, this school sees parents as true partners and supports us as well as asking for our support.
Riley had a blast in her after-school program. She was also on the Yearbook staff. She took advantage of every opportunity this school gave her.
While she's as happy as any kid that it's summer, it was never a problem to get her to school every day, even if we had to leave an hour earlier to get her there. She was enthusiastic about the day ahead of her, and almost every day when I picked her up, she'd say that her day had been "awesome."
My heart skipped a beat when I got an email from her Principal that some boys had been picking on her, but the Principal was writing to tell me how well Riley handled the situation. She reported it immediately, and the school was quick to deal with the situation so that by the time I heard about it, all was well.
I loved that the Parent Coordinator was always responsive to every one of my emails. At the beginning of the year, I was sure his head would explode at hearing from me yet again with yet another question, but he was always very pleasant and helpful. The Principal was also always willing to take the time to respond to any concern I had, and her answers were always satisfactory.
I love that even as a middle schooler, Riley still values her individuality. She appreciates what she has in common with her friends, but she also loves what's different about herself, and our family. She couldn't wait to tell her friends that she was going to be in a musical, even if most of them haven't even seen a musical. Her teachers have told me that she's happy to help any of her friends that are having trouble in class, and she was chosen to guide a new student that came to the school later in the year. Her leadership qualities are encouraged, and she steps up every time.
I am so, so proud of Riley for the young lady she is becoming, and so grateful for this school that nurtures her as well as provides an excellent education.
I couldn't have asked for a better first year of middle school.