Educators: Middle School Checklist

Getting ready for college starts in middle school. Help students and families understand how to prepare for the future.

Download PDF checklists for students, families & educators



  • Do well in school.

    Help students set academic and personal goals for the year in order to stay motivated and focused.
          Discuss ways to take on challenges. Help students understand that failure is a learning experience and an opportunity for growth.

    Be vocal about your high expectations.

    Emphasize the importance of attendance.

    Offer a variety of instructional practices and consider learning styles.
    Teach skills such as taking notes, making outlines, and doing research.

    Provide extra academic support such as tutoring outside of regular classroom hours.
         ● Encourage students to help each other as well as use online resources.

    Celebrate academic achievements.

    Encourage reading for pleasure.
         ● Provide class time for personal reading.
         ● Visit the library as a class and teach students how to check out books.
  • Take the right classes.

    Coach students to take challenging classes so they will be better prepared for high school and college.

    Offer honors or advanced classes.

    Offer Pre-Algebra and Algebra as an option for all students.

    Offer foreign/world languages.
  • Get organized.

    Provide and/or encourage the use of a paper or digital planner or calendar to keep track of assignments and deadlines.

    Provide strategies like a binder or folder for keeping notes and papers organized.

    Model good organizational habits.

    Provide quiet study spaces before, during and after school -  especially for students who may not have access to technology at home.



  • Get involved.

    Offer a variety of school extracurriculars including academically-focused ones.

    Encourage community service and help connect students with volunteer opportunities.

    Partner with community organizations to provide afterschool and summer programs.

    Host transition events such as high school orientation for 8th grade families.
  • Spend time with good people.

    Provide peer, near-peer and adult mentoring opportunities.
    Create advisory or other mentoring programs so that every student feels connected and has a positive relationship.

    Engage families in school activities.
  • Make good choices.

    Teach and model good digital citizenship and safe online and phone behavior.
          Help students set appropriate privacy settings on social media.
          Remind students to only share information with people they know and trust, that information can live online forever and to always ask themselves: would I want my grandma/teacher/religious leader to see this?

    Teach students the risks of behaviors like drinking, doing drugs, and having sex.

    Set a culture of respect and kindness in your classroom and school.





For more information on creating a college-going culture schoolwide and additional resources, visit oregongearup.org.