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The Campus Lantern

The Campus Lantern

Are SCH middle-schoolers ready for upper school?

Outside Thornley Middle School

Next year— in the 2024-25 school year— the current eighth-graders will join us in the upper school as freshmen. Middle school students have ranging opinions on some newly added rules in the middle school handbook over the last couple of years. Students feel as though many of these rules are too restricting and unnecessary to their development, or should just apply to the younger half of middle school. Upper school students have rules that only apply to underclassmen– should this also be the case for middle school students?

Cafeteria Sign-Out Rule

First, only two people are allowed out of the cafeteria during lunch at a time: both middle school girls and boys are required to sign out of the cafeteria, at most two at a time to use the restroom. This rule bothers many students because of the long wait times to use the bathroom. In previous years, students had to simply ask permission to leave, but current middle schoolers feel that signing out is overly regulated.

Student council co-president, Finley Paul, said, “I guess people were running around, but it’s annoying because it was mostly fifth graders and now everyone has to wait.”

Lunch freedom is a huge benefit that juniors and seniors get in upper school. Why shouldn’t there be something similar in middle school? Eighth-grade students argue they too should be granted more independence benefits because of their maturity levels. At SCH, fifth-grade students are considered middle schoolers, but at many other schools across the country, they would still be in elementary school. This highlights the gap in maturity levels between first and last year middle schoolers.

Ms. Giovinazzo, the seventh-grade dean, said, “Fifth/sixth and seventh/eigth grade lunch is actually a really good idea. It would be nice to do a fifth and sixth lunch so that we could have different rules for the underclassmen of the middle school, but because we are single-sex, we divide by boys and girls.”

Ms. G however, has taken this idea into consideration, meaning it could be implemented in future years.

Are Middle Schoolers Prepared for High School?

Transitioning from middle school to high school can be very difficult, especially for freshmen who take many honors-level classes. Time management is a skill students of every grade struggle with. Middle school students have an “extra help” block built into their schedule where they learn to meet with teachers and work on projects outside of class time. This is very similar to SAS, but it is in the middle of the school day. Middle schoolers are given the tools they need to effectively utilize their time, but when they come to high school, it is up to them to choose if they will use SAS or not.

Ms. G said, “I think that sending middle schoolers into upper school with those skills like self-advocacy and time management is going to help them have the confidence to meet with their teachers.”

In closing, framing the middle school like the upper school is more complicated than it seems. Middle school rules are meant to prepare students for upper school independence without being overwhelmed by the amount of free time they have. However, seventh and eighth grade rules being loosened in the future does not seem like an unrealistic possibility. Will there be grade-level lunches where seventh and eighth grade students don’t feel so heavily monitored? Time will tell.

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About the Contributor
Sofia Lima
Sofia Lima, Staff Writer
Sofia is currently a junior at SCH. She loves going to Dunkin', sleeping, and writing creatively.
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