A Smooth Transition ... with Some Aid: Mikeidra Is One of Several Students the Magazine Is Featuring to Personify How the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act Is Helping or Not Helping Students

Article excerpt

LaTrice Pew, mother of seventh-grader Mikeidra Mitchell, admits she was worried about the transition to middle school in the Hamilton City School District in Ohio. Two years ago, her daughter's grades dropped, and her reading comprehension skills were three years below grade level.

The trend was reversed, but Garfield Middle School Principal Ken Pierson says it's normal for students who wobble between achieving and struggling to have a difficult transition to middle school. Their grades can fall without individual attention from one or two teachers like they get in elementary school.

Mikeidra is earning nearly all As and Bs.

Reading Connections, a supplemental reading class, keeps Mikeidra on track. The individualized class addresses three learning styles--kinesthetic, auditory and visual, explains teacher Becky Lawson. Mikeidra has warmed up to the auditory emphasis and is listening to an audio book during a silent reading portion of the daily 50-minute class. Lawson says the biggest surprise about Mikeidra was her relatively high pre-test scores that placed her reading skills close to seventh grade reading level. But fifth grade proficiency test scores two years ago indicated Mikeidra was struggling on the verge of proficiency and could benefit from the class. …