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Annual Wells Middle School Event Eases the Transition to 6th Grade

August 24, 2012

One of the great traditions within the Dublin Unified School District occurred at Wells Middle School on Wednesday. Wells Middle School, also known as the ‘School With a Heart’, hosted an annual pre-enrollment 6th Grade Welcome Party event for all incoming students. For many parents, the promotion of their child from elementary to middle school can cause some angst and uncertainty. The change can be dramatic for many students after spending six years of elementary school centered around a single classroom. In middle school, students need to organize multiple subjects and binders, change classrooms and have the added burden of remembering a locker combination. Additionally, the students are placed in an environment with older students. What is a parent to do?

Fortunately, leadership and staff at both Fallon and Wells Middle School understand the importance of this transition. We took this recent opportunity to witness one part of this process at Wells Middle School.

On Wednesday, an invitation was granted to all new incoming students and their families. The event took place at the Lunch Pavilion that was completed two years ago thanks to funds authorized by Bond Measure C. Under a skylit roof, scores of incoming Roadrunners anxiously awaited a message from the Wells administration. Principal Dr. Kevin Grier, Assistant Principal, Steve Martin and Dean of Students, Mark Woy, led a presentation and welcomed all of those in attendance. It was an enthusiastic crowd and Dr. Grier noted that the 240 students represented the largest incoming class into Wells since Fallon was established as the second middle school in Dublin.

The welcoming event would not have been possible without generous donations from local businesses. They included: Safeway, Jamba Juice, Lucky’s Market, Mountain Mike’s Pizza, Target, Tilly’s, Rock ‘n Jump, Dryer’s Grand Ice Cream and the Livermore Transit Authority.

To help us gain perspective on this event, OneDublin.Org reached out the Assistant Principal at Wells Middle School, Mr. Steve Martin, who is beginning his 20th year as a staff member.

OneDublin.Org: What was the genesis of the 6th Grade Welcome Party?

Steve Martin: “The party began in 2004 as a way to ease the transition from elementary to middle school and to give the new students a chance to see what a great place Wells Middle School is – it’s a great opportunity for students from Dublin Elementary, Murray and Frederiksen to greet each other and to make new friends.”

OneDublin.org: How has this event become important to the staff / students / parents of incoming 6th graders?

Martin: “Parents enjoy the event because they get a chance to walk the campus and to meet some of their children’s teachers, counselors, administrators and leadership students. In tandem with the event, counselors hold an annual informational parent session on how to help their students be successful in middle school.”

OneDublin.org: The incoming class of 6th graders is large. Wells is also an active construction site. What will all of this mean to the incoming and continuing students?

Martin: “All students and staff will have to patient as the campus undergoes the new construction project. We are slated to move into the amazing new library and classrooms in Dec 2013. Fences are up which will keep the children safe and separated from all construction areas and workers. Parents will be kindly asked to not use the front parking lot and instead drop them off along Penn Drive or any of the other streets, including Lancaster. The back parking lot (behind the H building) is for construction workers only.”

OneDublin.org: For the incoming 6th grade class, what are your aspirations for their three years at Wells?

Martin: “As a staff, we hope to maximize learning for each and every student that steps on campus. Our goal is to prepare students for high school and beyond – college and career readiness. I also believe that kids don’t care how much you know – until they know how much you care. It’s important to always let students know that we care about them and that we believe they can learn and be successful.”

The physical changes are underway at Wells Middle School and will be for the next calendar year. The academic challenges for its students will occur at the same time. A slice of pizza at your new school is a great way to start.

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