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The First Week of Middle School Brings Excitement, Challenges

locker testing“Middle school is way better than elementary because we’re more independent,” said sixth-grader Charlotte as she ate lunch outside with friends.

“But it’s hard to open the lockers!” added sixth-grader Marta.

This week, North Salem Middle School’s newest students are attending Sixth Grade University, a quick course in their new surroundings and responsibilities, including learning to open their lockers.

ClassromIn a nearby classroom, seventh-grader Drew is excited about this year, partly because “opening lockers is so much easier for me this year.”

His classmate Keller agreed with his optimism. “I better understand what’s expected of me so I’m going to do better in my classes this year.”

Another classroomAfter examining cells under a microscope, the seventh-graders in life science class diagrammed the nucleus, cell membrane and cytoplasm. In social studies class, students learned more about each other by studying personal artifacts brought in by their classmates. A shell found on a vacation, a ticket to ComicCon, and a dance competition trophy reflected their interests and achievements. They also shared their thoughts and family members’ experiences in preparation for tomorrow’s 9/11 ceremony. 

Upstairs, the eighth-graders immersed themselves in lessons. They identified and described number patterns in math, discussed biased sources of information in social studies, and practiced conversations in Spanish.

“Being the oldest in middle school is a weird feeling,” said eighth-grader Serafina when considering the differences the new year brings.

teacher writing on board in class“It’s going to be more work,” said eighth-grader Kseniya as several friends interrupted her with shouts of “Regents!”

Eighth-grader Olivia laughed about her struggle to remember that most of her classes are upstairs this year. “Sometimes I go to walk upstairs and realize that I’m already on the top floor.”

Classroom