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Community Viewpoint: A parent offers perspective on middle school challenges

By April Goodjohn

We all remember middle school. For most of us, it was “junior high school.” While the terminology may have changed, middle school memories fall somewhere between a living hell and a tolerable right of passage.

As adults, we know that hormone surges add to the awkward feeling not one of us doesn’t remember. There is something hard to define about these tweeny, transition years. They snatch kids from the safety of elementary school and push them toward high school in which they are expected to start navigating more independently in preparation for college life.

I wonder if it’s remembrances of our own middle school years that contribute to why we, as a parent body, drop our financial support at the middle school level? La Jolla’s other four public schools boast record high involvement. Yet the annual PTA membership at Muirlands Middle School lands at about 25 percent.

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One easy, and frankly cheap, way to offer support at the middle school level is by joining the PTA. Of course, any parent, member or not, is welcome at PTA meetings but as the ad promises “membership has its privileges.” A mere $15 annual membership helps give our school a voice at local, state and national levels when dollars for education are on the proverbial chopping block.

We’re busy. It’s easy to simply “back-burner’” the whole issue of getting involved at the middle school level. But, please don’t. For those of you who have kids in public school in La Jolla, don’t forget about Muirlands.

Emotionally treacherous waters for kids this age will be a reality till the end of time. You can help by joining up and securing a voice for Muirlands so teachers and students are prepared for success in their journey to the other side.