Thurston Middle School Debuts New Program for 6th Graders

The staff has developed a new program, 6 for 6th, to help ensure students a smoother progression into Thurston.

News release from the Laguna Beach Unified School District:

New teachers, new classes, new campus, new schedules, and new friends: the transition from elementary school to middle school may feel overwhelming to incoming sixth grade students. This year, the Thurston Middle School staff has developed a new program, 6 for 6th, to help ensure students a smoother progression into Thurston.

By sending a consistent message and making 6th grade information readily available, the goal is for all 6th grade students to feel and be more successful.

Thurston Middle School Principal Jennifer Salberg explains, “For many 6th graders, the transition to middle school can sometimes be a little daunting. Our incredible 6th grade team of teachers has created a 6 for 6th approach for our transitioning 6th grade students. These 6 strategies are the key to a successful year at Thurston! For more information, please visit our website and click on the green 6.”

Grade 6 Language Arts teacher Sarah Schaeffer concurs, “As a sixth grade team we agreed to six consistent support structures in order to help 6th graders have a successful transition to middle school. A common stressor of middle school students is having different teachers with different expectations. We hope that 6 for 6th alleviates some of this stress for sixth graders.”

The 6 for 6th program helps introduce students to the school’s school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) program, SMART program. SMART stands for:

  • S-Solve Problems
  • M-Make Great Decisions
  • A-Achieve
  • R-Respect
  • T-There and Ready!

The 6 for 6th program is easily identified with bright green “6” campus posters and online icons on the TMS page on the District’s website, www.lbusd.org. Key components of the program are:

  1. There and Ready (on time and prepared)
  2. Planner (utilize a planning tool)
  3. Binder Awareness (develop organizational skills)
  4. Website (teacher blogs and classroom webpages)
  5. Online Worksheets (assignments always available)
  6. Green 6 (online icon and displayed throughout TMS campus denoting access to 6th grade information)

The 6th grade team has developed creative ways to engage students in this new program. One example is the recent Student Planner Scavenger Hunt conducted by the Language Arts teachers. To participate students used their planners to discover important information about their lives as a Thurston student.


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