The Gigantic Leap to 7th Grade in Highland Park Independent School District

McCulloch Intermediate and Highland Park Middle School are technically in the same building so how different could it be? As my oldest enters 7th grade I’m finding that crossing to the other side is quite a huge jump. For starters, there’s A and B lunch so you could end up eating without your BFFs. But I’m still super confused about everything else. I took notes but they don’t help a bit.

Experienced parents, help me out. What’s the scoop as it compares to 5th and 6th grade?

And specifically:

  1.  I see there are still teams but I’ve heard parents say those don’t mean anything anymore. True or false? 
  2. 7th and 8th are blended for lunch? I can handle it, just tell me if it’s true. Should I be worried?
  3. Moms of girls: what are the time saving tricks your daughter mastered for getting ready after first period athletics in the allotted 12 minutes?
  4. I’ve heard girls chit chatting about how necessary it is to have a Mac from 7th grade up. Is that just chicks trying to get a cool computer so they can Skype in style for the 27 minutes a day they’re not together?
  5. Give it to me straight. What else is there?
  6. And finally, which is more drastic, the transition from 4th to 5th or 6th to 7th?
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12 thoughts on “The Gigantic Leap to 7th Grade in Highland Park Independent School District

  • August 17, 2010 at 11:07 am

    We’re also headed into 7th, but I can answer 1 question. The blended lunch time is a fact & the incoming 7th graders worry about it. Some of the 8th graders look like grownups,which freaks ’em out. It’s also the first time for our kids to look around the lunchroom and not know half the people. They seem to do fine with it, but I think it is nerve-wracking the 1st week. I also want to know about the changing after athletics thing.

  • August 17, 2010 at 11:21 am

    There IS a big jump but 7th grade was a fabulous year for my son – having three electives helps them discover their real peers.

    Seventh grade is when all the competitions start so get ready! Chaperoning those trips can be a lot of fun.

    I cannot say enough good things about our district’s off-season sports programs – most districts don’t have those until high school.

    There is also a big jump from 7th to 8th. I expected the 7th grade jump but was completely surprised by how much more is expected of 8th grade students. The rules about late work and redoing work are very different.

  • August 17, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Lunch – pack a lunch for them the first few days. That way they can spend their first 10 minutes finding friends instead of finding food.

    Dressing – my son was advised to practice the quick change at home the week before school starts. They may discover that some clothes aren’t a good choice for quick changes. They don’t dress-out for the first couple of days.

  • August 17, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Most girls had enough time to change but if your daughter wears make-up, that’s where she might have trouble. Lunch wasn’t an issue for me at least. It is necessary to have access to a computer, but you don’t necessarily need your own. I did just fine in middle school without one, but there is often homework that you need a computer for, especially if she’s taking Spanish.

  • August 17, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    1. True
    2. Everyone knows someone they can have lunch with during their A/B lunch period.
    3. Use baby wipes, facial wipes & body powder to freshen up after morning workout. (Also, beware of thieves. Make sure clothing/belongings are labeled & lock up everything in the locker room.)
    4. Our daughter got a Mac about halfway through 8th grade. She does use it for school, but mostly for facebook, iTunes & video chat.
    5. HPHS Parent is right about the rules for late work, etc. Access the gradebook viewer regularly (parents & students).
    6. Both transitions are big because they bring greater freedom & greater responsibility. Going from 6th to 7th is probably more dramatic due to hormones, puberty, and all of the emotions, temptations & physical growth that go along with it.

    Good luck! 😉

  • August 18, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Oh man we smelled in 7th grade. The combo of am cc practice+first period gym+hormones+NO WAY were we stripping down for the communal shower=hazard pay for teachers and bad memories for whatever poor girl we walked to class.

  • August 18, 2010 at 9:37 am

    7th grade is generally a yucky year – in many ways. In the cafeteria, one way to tell the 7th graders from the 8th graders is that the 8th graders look like they got dressed in the privacy of their own home while the 7th graders look like they got dressed, while sweating profusely, in the presence of 100 of their closest friends in a confined space in 12 minutes. The boys generally smell ‘post-football’ all day and the girls might also. They’re lucky if they have time for a quick ponytail, not much else.

    Its kinda a rite of passage and if you look (and smell) ‘post workout’ during the day, you are known as an athlete – generally a good thing at HPISD.

    It’s very similar to the moms that play tennis in the morning then wear the tennis outfit (without make-up or redoing their hair) for the rest of the day. It sends the message “Hey, I just got off the court – I have a cool reason to look like this. I’m part of the tennis club. Don’t mess with me.”

  • August 18, 2010 at 10:37 am

    B! Hilarious stuff. The tennis moms in the all-day, post 8:30am tennis skirt and visor. Still rockin’ the sweat stains at 4pm. How can they be oblivious to all the snickering and rolling of eyes??
    They crave attention..”Hey, look at me, I played tennis today (but I hope no one realizes it was at a public park because I’m from the east coast and will never get into a good country club in Dallas)”. Hah!

  • August 18, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    classic bubble thread.
    thanks for the free entertainment.

    all you parents should chill.
    middle school are the lost years.
    hopefully they won’t remember
    any of it.

  • August 18, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    oh for gosh sakes, do what we all do, send them to school and they will figure it out and by the way, maybe you need to be busier, your daughter might benefit. Let your children navigate a bit. They will thank you later in life for it.

  • August 18, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    Have to agree with kit on this one. It’s the same library, cafeteria, band hall, auditorium, bathrooms, elevator, tennis courts, fields, counselor, and even two of three prinicipals (Norton and Moran).

    Real differences:
    1. Dress code–shorts have to be mid thigh and no athletic shorts or white Hanes t-shirts
    2. Everyone can keep their backpacks and bookbags with them all day instead of in the locker.
    3. School Day starting and ending before the younger kids. They forget the 5th and 6th graders are even there sometimes.

    As for the Mac question, you need a reality check. No one in 7th grade “needs” a Mac.

  • October 14, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    Ahem? Since when does any kid ever “need” a Mac? Also, chill. I had to figure it out myself and I’m sure the next generations can, too.


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