Rising fourth-graders gain confidence through Middle School Summer Academy


Rising fourth-graders gain confidence through Middle School Summer Academy

July 30, 2021

Ms Mistler's Summer Academy class

More than 20 of the Warwick Valley Central School District’s rising fourth-graders have been learning what Middle School is like by attending the District’s Summer Academy program. They may have started out a little nervous, but they are rocking their new school now. After just three weeks, they are confident and looking forward to entering fifth-grade in the Middle School starting in September.

“I have to tell all of you that I am very impressed with how you’ve acclimated to the Middle School from Sanfordville and Park Avenue,” Principal Georgianna Diopoulos told the students on a recent tour of the rising fourth-grader classes. “You’re very comfortable in the building, you know your way around, and you are doing such great work. So, how do feel about Middle School now versus how you felt when you came here when you first started?”

Wyatt Colin-Green, a student in Hayley Mistler’s English Language Arts class, said he was a little scared when he first came.

“I feel a lot better,” Wyatt said. “When I first came here I was scared that it would actually be like summer school in the movies and be terrorizing. It isn’t that way at all. This is the exact opposite of that.” 

The students agreed that once they knew where the gym, cafeteria and media center were, they were able to calm down and gain confidence that they could take on Middle School.

The Summer Academy is mainly focused on developing reading, writing and math skills, with other time spent developing skills in French, Spanish, social-emotional learning, and research. Fridays include schoolwide events, such as kickball and capture the flag.

In Brett Algera’s math class, Ella McDermott admitted she was nervous on the first day. “I didn’t know my way around the school,” she said. “Now, I feel fine.”

Ms. Diopoulos asked the students if they had any advice they would tell the new fifth-grade students coming into the school in September for the first day.

“It’s a nice school,” Rylee McDonnell said.

“It’s not that scary,” Brian Sansone said.

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions,” Ella added.

“(Associate Principal) Mr. (Christopher) Radon and I are going to be looking to you guys to help us out in September with some of your friends who may be a little nervous,” Ms. Diopoulos said. “Maybe help them take a deep breath and find their classroom and just not be so nervous, OK?”

With their nervousness washed away, the students have gained confidence in navigating the Middle School and are prepared for a positive learning experience.

Mr Algera's Summer Academy class


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