5th Grade Transition Bulletin 2 - February 14, 2019

Dear 5th Grade Families,

Happy Valentine’s Day! This weekly transition bulletin includes information regarding the following topics:


  • Academic Schedule/Team Assignments
  • PowerSchool/Canvas

I am including a link for you to access the Julian Middle School Newsletter, “Middle Matters.” This is a great source of information to see what is going on here at our building. In addition to this, please save the date of Thursday, April 25 from 6:00-8:00 for our incoming 6th grade parent orientation.


Dr. Todd T. Fitzgerald

Principal, Julian Middle School

[email protected]

District 97 Vision

Oak Park Elementary School District 97 will create a positive learning environment for all students that is equitable, inclusive and focused on the whole child.



What courses will my 6th grade student take?

6th grade students will have the following courses: Language Arts, Math, Science, Individuals and Societies (Social Studies), Integrated Studies for 2 trimesters paired with Design & Modeling for 1 trimester, Physical Education, World Language course (Spanish or French) and an Arts course (Band, Orchestra, Chorus, Arts Foundation, or Speech, Drama & Debate).


How many classes make up a regular school day?

There are nine periods, including lunch and P. E. (which is required each day). On Mondays and Thursdays, there is an additional Advisory period first thing in the morning. Here is a link to the current bell schedule at Julian.


What is PowerSchool?

PowerSchool is Julian’s online grade book, attendance and lunch money tool.  You can check your student’s attendance record, class grades, status of assignments, and lunch money account balance. A link to PowerSchool is located on the Julian home page. Here is a link to the PowerSchool parent portal. You will receive your student’s ID and password in a letter and email next week  providing information needed to select World Language and Arts courses for next year. This username and password will allow you access to PowerSchool. If you need additional help with this, please contact my Executive Coordinator, Echelon Jackson at [email protected]



What is Canvas?

Canvas is a Learning Management System (LMS), a program that enables teachers, students and families to communicate in a centralized location. Canvas allows teachers to share resources and assignments for students, offer multiple ways for students to complete and submit work, and provides a safe place for students to collaborate.

When will students get their class schedules?

The student schedule with team assignment, teachers, and classes will be mailed to families in mid-August. Your student’s assigned math level will be sent out in mid-July.


What can we expect in terms of class size?

There are approximately 320 incoming 6th graders from Beye, Irving, Longfellow, and Mann that will be here at Julian next year.  Based on this number, class sizes will be 21-25 students per section.


How are twins placed in the classes?  Will they have the same core teachers and the same homework?

Typically twins are assigned to the same team, unless parents request otherwise.



How many teaching teams are there for 6th grade next school year?

Your child will be assigned to one of three 6th grade groups called “teams”, 6-1, 6-2 or 6-3. Each of these diverse teams of students will work together with a small multidisciplinary team of teachers in the following subject areas: Math, Science, Language Arts and Individuals and Societies (Social Studies). These teams provide students with a small, supportive environment for social, emotional, and academic development, often referred to as a “school within a school”. There will be approximately 105-110 students assigned to each team. All three 6th grade teams are located on the 2nd floor of the building.


Do students/families have any input as to what team the child will be on? Can we request to be with friends?

The teams are large enough that your student will have some existing friends across classes, but requests for placement cannot be honored. Students are assigned to teams in order to ensure a good mix of children across gender, race, socioeconomic status and academic ability. It is quite possible that your student’s friend set will shift and/or expand over the course of middle school based on extra-curricular activities and other shared interests.


Will students from the same school be placed on the same team when they enter 6th grade so they are comfortable with one another?

Students from the 4 partner schools are mixed across the teams. An integral part of the middle school concept is the advisory class that occurs two days each week. The advisory class as a small group, usually 14-16 students per class. It is designed to provide a balance between the academic demands and other developmental needs of our students. Advisory class supports 6th grade students as they adjust to Julian and provides a small group setting to address the issues and needs specific to middle school age children.


Dr. Todd T. Fitzgerald
Principal, Julian Middle School
[email protected]