Middle Matters: A Culture Of Inclusion

By Eric Majors, Pangyo Middle Associate Principal

The transition to middle school brings about many changes for students. Students move to the middle school building where they experience new classes, new teachers, and new faces. New students arrive to KIS from schools around the world. It can be a time that challenges the students’ comfort zones. These are some of the reasons that we work diligently to promote a culture of inclusion in the middle school.

What do we mean by inclusion? Simply put, it means that every student has a place to belong at KIS. This can be seen in the wide range of elective courses offered, the student interest clubs that meet during the school day, and the many sports available as part of our athletic program. No matter where a student’s interest lie, there are many opportunities available for them to discover and develop their individual interests.

Perhaps even more importantly, inclusion is seen in the way that our that our students interact with each other. I am proud to see how readily our middle schoolers reach out to new students when they arrive at KIS and learn to navigate their new surroundings. After all, most of us were new to KIS at one point and know how meaningful those positive connections to peers are, especially early on. I also love to see our students recognize each other’s actions using the “Gotcha” forms outside Dr. Rhoden’s office. On your next visit to campus please stop by the middle school office to see these recognitions on display.

There are many great things happening now, but can we still do more? Yes! It is our goal to ensure that all of our students feel a sense of belonging at KIS. I would encourage you to challenge your child to step outside their own comfort zone and make a connection to someone new. Encourage them to invite someone new to sit with them at lunch or involve someone that they don’t yet know in their activities during lunch recess. There is a place for everyone to belong at KIS, let’s work together to continue to strengthen our culture of inclusion.

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