By Leila Dycus staff writer

The rising sixth-graders had their first chance to navigate the middle school hallways last week as they prepared for the transition from elementary school to middle school at the annual Bullpup Training Camp. “Parents- remember this is a transition time,” said Morgan County Middle School Principal Dr. Darrell Stephens.

“You are going to see that there are small snippets of transitioning in your child.” Before school began on August 4, the sixth-grade students and their parents had the chance to learn about life at the middle school. They took part in a training camp designed to help students make the transition to the school.

The afternoon began at 3 p.m. and lasted until 6 p.m., allowing the students ample time to explore. The transition to middle school is known as a hard one for children, but the Bullpup Training Camp works to make this transition smoother. The students got the chance to not only meet with their teacher but also with their classmates.

A parent free-time forced the students to see what it would be like when they entered the school on Monday. “Teachers have been working hard to prepare their rooms for the new students. After visiting the classrooms, students were about to take a crack at their lockers.

Lockers are always one of the things the sixth-graders look forward to the most and this aspect of Bullpup Camp didn’t disappoint,” said Stephens. After time at their lockers, teachers led the students through the school on a tour. However, this tour was different tha just a walk around the school. The children were encouraged to ask questions about what things were and the subjects taught in various rooms.

The teachers answered the questions openly, making sure to point out all the places they had to know. Once out of the sixth-grade classroom wing, the leaders would ask the students to raise their hands if different courses were on their schedules.Classes like agriculture and chorus caught the students’ attention.

After the tour students went back to their classrooms completing the cycle around the school. Towards the end of the camp students were ushered into the cafeteria where they met with their parents. The students were encouraged to sit at the front of the cafeteria, at the tables they will sit at come school on Monday.

During this time the parents were spoken to about some important things that will make their children’s transition easier. Stephens addressed the parents. After the principal’s talk, Stephens introduced the assistant principals, Patti Baldwin and Lottie Aziamadi.

These two staff members will be pivotal in the sixth-graders experience at MCMS. Baldwin talked about how the students’ days would be broken up. The sixth-graders will have eight periods a day. Connections are classes such as art, music and physical education. These classes will change every nine weeks except music classes, which are year-long courses.

Physical education is an 18-week class. “Just like you, I am shaking in my boots because my daughter is going into high school, but I try to remember that they have good teachers and they are in good hands,” said Baldwin. Azaiamadi then addressed the parents’ concerns about buses, stating that the buses were the same as they have been all through the children’s school experience.

The school leaders encouraged the parents to build strong relationships with their child’s teachers. These relationships are sure to make their students’ transitions to middle school easier.

After the talk the parents, teachers and students made their way back to the class. Students and their parents left Bullpup Training confident and prepared for the school year. The staff at MCMS wants to thank the parents for their continued support and welcome the students to their new school.