Putnam Avenue Parent Reflections

Putnam Avenue Parent Reflections
Posted on 03/10/2020
ReflectionsWhen I was a parent of a 5th grader at one of the triad schools feeding into Putnam Ave Upper School (PAUS) I was nervous and uncertain about the future and what to expect as my oldest child moved through PAUS.
Now that my oldest is in 7th grade at PAUS and my 5th grader is getting ready to move up, the nervousness and uncertainty have been replaced by comfortable familiarity of routine and my established expectations of a community whose mission is to educate, foster citizenry, and provide guidance to my child[ren].

This transition between elementary and upper school is hard for parents as well as the kids, especially if it is your first time through with an oldest or only child. In elementary school, we have come to expect intimate knowledge of what our kids go through on a daily basis, in some cases down to the minute. These expectations whether willing or unwillingly, change as they grow, make their own choices and enter the new environment of upper school where they are expected to become more responsible and along the way, advocate for themselves.

Some of the anxiety of entering PAUS, a new environment, with new classmates and teachers is unavoidable but the attempt to diminish it was on full display on December 13th at the Middle School Connections - Parent To Parent conversation event created in partnership by Liaisons of Putnam Ave, and Triad Schools - MLK, Morse, and Kennedy-Longfellow, hosted by Putnam Ave.

I had the pleasure of being both a parent who could provide my own experience as well as to have my own lingering questions answered. The event had PAUS parents on hand to answer questions who had children in 6th, 7th, and 8th, as well as ones who have since moved on to the high school or have younger children coming up from the elementary schools. There was even a period of time where some PAUS kids took over answering questions with their first hand accounts. We finished with a mini school tour of the 6th grade wing, classrooms, common spaces and specialty rooms.

I think the event was a success. Parents I spoke with felt more at ease having their questions addressed, hearing other’s experiences, observing the classroom space and walking through the halls of the lovely new building with their kids, which seemed bright and inviting even at night. 
The current PAUS 
community welcomed 
the future families into 
Putnam Ave., a school 
that will also be their 
home & community for 3 
brief but important years.

- Shannon Finley,
 Parent of a 7th Grader at 
Putnam Ave.
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