Rising 6th Grade Information


We look forward to meeting and working with the new sixth grade class at Lakeside Middle School! During the next three years we will work together to help you stretch your thinking, develop your study skills, and grow into outstanding students…ready to meet the challenges of high school. 

Helpful Transition Items:

Google form for 5th grade students
6th Grade Exploratory Worksheet
Video from Transition Meeting 


Monday, January 22nd @ 7:00pm - Please join us on Zoom for a brief introduction to Lakeside and an outline of the transition process.  Our focus will be to introduce the key points of contact you will meet in transition as well as share about our exploratory opportunities from which your students will soon be choosing.  

February 1st & February 2nd - The Lakeside School Counseling team will be visiting 5th grade classrooms to answer questions and have students identify which exploratories they are most interested in.

March 29th - Course selections will be considered finalized for 23-24.  Any change requests will be subject to class availability and/or class sizes.

April 18th @ 9 - 11 AM - Students will visit Lakeside to tour the building and meet some of our teachers.  Information about that field trip will come from your Elementary School.

Summer - We will be offering opportunities to support the transition to Lakeside.

Who We Are:

The transition from elementary school to middle school is an important one. While students and families are sometimes worried about this transition, we find that with the right support, encouragement, and attention, students (and parents/caregivers) thrive at Lakeside. As some of you may already know, the middle school years are some of the most exciting, challenging, and (above all else) interesting for our children. These years are some of the most important in terms of growth and development. As with any type of development, there can sometimes be growing pains. By having supportive parents/caregivers, our children will finish these years stronger academically, socially, and emotionally. As a school, we look forward to working together as a team in helping our children get the most out of their middle school years.

  • Ms. Laura Saulle: Office Associate
  • Mr. Cabell Guy - Counselor
  • Ms. Anna Hill - Counselor
  • Ms. Heather Lindsay - Counselor
  • Ms. Lauren Servis: School Psychologist


  • We expect students to report to class on time with appropriate materials and to contribute to a positive learning atmosphere.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to contact a classmate or arrange with his/her teachers to make up missed assignments due to absences.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to dress out consistently for PE classes. We do not require PE uniforms, but students should bring closed-toed shoes to PE. 
  • Each student is responsible for using the school’s computer technology and internet access in an ethical, responsible, and legal manner for school-related tasks only.
  • Students are expected to remove trays and trash from their cafeteria tables.
  • Each student is responsible for the care of his or her locker and all assigned textbooks.
  • Each student is responsible for school property and maintaining school equipment, computers, and supplies.
  • Respect people.


  • 6th grade core classes are all roughly 80 minutes long.
  • English and Math classes meet every single day, no matter the color of the day.
  • Science and History are year-long courses, but alternate by day.
  • Sixth grade students will have three core classes and an exploratory block daily.
  • PE and Health meets every other day during the elective block.
  • All 6th grade students have the option to take 4 nine-week exploratory classes OR choose a year-long exploratory. 
  • Lakeside’s school day starts at 9:00 AM. 
  • Students have 30 minutes for lunch and recess. Students can bring lunch, buy a full lunch, or buy part of a lunch – drinks, salad, fries or desserts.
  • The school day ends at 4:00 – later than students are used to leaving school. It is important that students try to organize after-school activities and homework so that they do not feel stretched for time!


Lakeside’s color system might seem a bit confusing at the beginning, but after the first week of school, students will get it straight. Students will know which class to go to because there will be either a “B” (BLACK) or “T” (TEAL) written next to their classes on their schedule. Students will take Language Arts (English) and Math EVERYDAY for one block. Health/PE alternate with the students' exploratories; Science and History alternate with each other as well. We also have the color of the day posted on the school’s website and either a black or teal flag flying in front of the school.

A: 100 – 90
B: 90 – 80
C: 80 – 70
D: 70 – 60


The majority of students coming to Lakeside ride the bus to and from school each day. Pick-up and drop-off points should be sent to you by the ACPS Transportation Department. Busses begin to arrive at Lakeside by 8:50 AM. Students are not allowed off the bus unless they have a Breakfast Pass (available in the first-day-of-school packets). Busses release the students at 9:00 AM once the school day begins. In the afternoons, dismissal follows the schedule below:

  • 3:55 PM: Afternoon announcements
  • 4:00 PM: Bus riders dismissed
  • 4:07 PM: Busses leave Lakeside Middle School
  • 4:07 PM: Walkers and riders are released

Please note that students who are not riding the bus are dismissed last. This is done so we can allow our busses easy and safe access out of the parking lot. Please do not pull in to the front of the school until after the busses have cleared the area.

All 6th grade students eat lunch together. There are many different healthy food options available to them from the hot meal option of the day to a la carte items like individual salads, snack items and beverages. Students have the option of bringing their lunch to school. We have microwaves located in the cafeteria for student use. We use assigned seating at lunch for the first week of school. After the first week, students may eat at whichever table they choose. Student lunch numbers carry over from Baker-Butler, Hollymead, and Stony Point, so there is no need to learn a new account number. Students will use the same 5-digit pin when ordering lunch.


Students may choose to participate in some of the activities at Lakeside. In addition to Electives and ICA activities, you might think about these…

ACADEMIC GROUPS AND CONTESTS – We have students who participate in Destination Imagination, National History Day, the Youth Leadership Initiative, the Stock Market Game and Math Counts competitions held locally each year. There are also opportunities to enter writing and art contests. Families can check the “Daily Announcements” portion of our website for information on how to participate in these as well as other academic field trips.

ICA DAYS - Every other Friday is a little different at Lakeside. Classes are shortened by a few minutes. From 3 - 4 PM, we have an ICA period. ICA stands for Intramural Sports, Clubs and Activities and is a time reserved for you to choose to participate in an activity, game, sport or club.

STUDENT COUNCIL ASSOCIATION – All Lakeside students are eligible to join the Student Council Association (SCA). The purpose of this organization is to assist in the orderly operation of the school, to help improve the school and to develop leadership and responsibility in our students. The SCA sponsors many activities for students and faculty members including dances, Spirit Week, a talent show, and community service projects.

The SCA has officers elected by the students. These officers include President, Vice-President, a Secretary and a Treasurer. Sixth graders may run for any office except for President. SCA representatives will attend all SCA meetings and provide information from the meetings in their homerooms. We urge our students to participate in SCA activities.

CLUBS – Lakeside provides opportunities to participate in clubs such as Video Club, Diversity Club, Art Club, Drama Club, Chess Club, Guitar Club, Jazz Band and Robotics Club. Other clubs may be offered based on student interest.

Every year we find that kids worry about the same things. What we want to tell you is: DON’T WORRY! We’ve already taken care of most of the things you worry about….

1. LOCKERS – Yes, it may take a while to learn to open them quickly, but the 6th grade teachers provide extra time during the first week of school to learn and remember combinations.

2. GETTING TO THE RIGHT CLASSES – Moving from class to class throughout the day is a big switch! Students can “walk through your schedule” at the August orientation before the first day of school. Also, during the first couple of weeks of school, teachers will help students get used to the building, lockers and classmates. They will walk your children through their schedules, too. After a few days, students will have no problem getting where they need to go within three minutes.

3. DRESSING OUT IN P.E. – We no longer have gym uniforms for students, so we recommend all students bring a pair of close-toed shoes for PE.

4. DISCIPLINE REFERRALS – Discipline referrals are given for not following rules that apply to all students in the building. Teacher will explain the classroom expectations at the beginning of the year and how “timeouts” and discipline referrals work.

5. BIG KIDS – Some people worry about traveling in the halls with 8th graders. The 6th grade classrooms are grouped together in a separate wing so you only have to travel in the rest of the school during PE/exploratory classes. Students in the 6th grade will have little contact with 7th and 8th graders during the school day. When they do, you’ll find Lakeside students to be considerate and helpful.

Making the switch to middle school is EXCITING, but a little SCARY at the same time…IT’S A BIG SWITCH! There are a lot of people to help you if you have questions or concerns:

  • YOUR TEACHERS can answer many of your questions about how things work at Lakeside or who to go to for help. Any teacher can help you if you are having problems.
  • YOUR SCHOOL COUNSELORS, All four counselors are here to help you get adjusted to middle school. We can help you with problems or concerns you may have. You may make an appointment to see your counselor through the Counseling Office.
  • YOUR PRINCIPAL AND ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL, Mr. Craddock and Mr. Smith, can talk to you about concerns you have. They also like to hear about good ideas you might have for Lakeside.
  • RESOURCE TEACHERS are available for students with learning disabilities or emotional difficulties. They have small class sizes to help students succeed in school. Albemarle County may also provide - as appropriate - support from specialists, such as a School Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, and/or a Physical Therapist.
  • FAMILIES may call the Main Office to let us know you are going to be absent and get homework assignments if you are out of school for two consecutive days. Requests for homework must be in by 9:30 AM in order to allow teachers to gather work. Parents may call a counselor if they would like to set up a meeting with their child’s teachers. We also will have scheduled conference days during the school year.


  • Bring your child to the middle school during the summer to help them get comfortable with the building. Older siblings or friends can guide them through the building, pointing out classrooms, the Library, gym, and the Gathering Area.
  • Encourage your child to participate in clubs/activities. This will allow students to make new friends and explore new interests.
  • Buy a combination lock for your child and have them learn how to use it before the school year begins. Practice using the lock over the summer to familiarize how to use the lock and combination.
  • Create a consistent supervised study time for your child. Establish a study area that can be monitored.
  • Encourage your child to ask for extra help when needed.
  • Check in periodically about your child’s progress.
  • Allow your child to gain a sense of independence and responsibility.
  • Encourage your child to practice good hygiene.
  • Have your child “pack” up for school before going to bed. It will make things easier in the morning.
  • Stay in communication with your child’s teachers through phone, email, and your child’s agenda.
  • Finally, DON’T forget that your child is young and there will be bumps in the road. Mistakes will be made‐‐ but it’s all a part of the learning process.

Course Descriptions:

Language Arts 6: Year-Long 

Sixth-grade students experience English language arts through exploration of communication and author’s craft. This emphasis allows students to study those structures (systems) and styles (communication) that authors use to communicate ideas about the world. As such, students read extensively from a variety of genres, including fiction, narrative nonfiction, nonfiction, and poetry and transfer what they learn about those genres to their own writing and speaking. Students write for a variety of audiences and purposes, using narrative and expository forms. Additional emphasis is placed on continuing to build comprehension strategies, understanding Latin roots for vocabulary development, and using correct punctuation and grammar. A focus on systems reinforces students’ developmental processes in word study and fluency and their continued growth as readers and writers. Each grade also uses a second concept as a focusing lens through which students gain deeper understanding of elements of language and literature. Additionally, courses are designed to incorporate a balanced literacy diet that includes the components of fluency, word study, comprehension, and writing.

Math 6: Year-Long - Levels: Math 6 and Compacted Math 6

Students in the middle grades use problem solving, mathematical communication, mathematical reasoning, connections, and representations to integrate understanding within this strand and across all the strands. Students in the middle grades focus on mastering rational numbers. Rational numbers play a critical role in the development of proportional reasoning and advanced mathematical thinking. The study of rational numbers builds on the understanding of whole numbers, fractions, and decimals developed by students in the elementary grades. Proportional reasoning is the key to making connections to most middle school mathematics topics. Students develop an understanding of integers and rational numbers by using concrete, pictorial, and abstract representations. They learn how to use equivalent representations of fractions, decimals, and percents and recognize the advantages and disadvantages of each type of representation. Flexible thinking about rational-number representations is encouraged when students solve problems. Students develop an understanding of the properties of operations on real numbers through experiences with rational numbers and by applying the order of operations. Students use a variety of concrete, pictorial, and abstract representations to develop proportional reasoning skills. Ratios and proportions are a major focus of mathematics learning in the middle grades.

Traditional Math Pathways in Middle School: Please note, these are just the three traditional pathways. There is flexibility for movement in both 7th and 8th grade year to move up a level or down a level. Starting in a math course in 6th grade in no way means your child will not have the ability to move.

6th Grade Year
7th Grade Year
8th Grade Year
9th Grade @ AHS
Math 6  Math 7    Math 8 with Pre-Algebra   Algebra I
Math 6  Math 7  Algebra I Geometry
 Math 6 Compacted  Algebra I Geometry Algebra II



Science 6: Full-Year / Every Other Day

Sixth grade students focus on data analysis and experimentation in their science classes. They learn precise methods for testing the validity of their predictions and conclusions. Students study energy sources, transformations and uses, with emphasis on the role solar energy plays in driving most natural processes. They study basic chemistry such as the structure of the atom, elements and compounds and chemical formulas. Students learn about the properties of water, the natural and human interactions that affect watershed systems and the structure and dynamics of the Earth's atmosphere. They also study the solar system and natural resource management, particularly as it relates to public policy.

History 6: Full-Year / Every Other Day

Students use skills of historical and geographical analysis to explore the early history of the United States and understand ideas and events that strengthened the Union. The standards for this course relate to the history of the United States from pre-Columbian times until 1877. Students continue to learn fundamental concepts in civics, economics and geography as they study U.S. history in chronological sequence and learn about change and continuity in our history. They study documents and speeches that laid the foundation of American ideals and institutions, and examine the everyday life of people at different times in the country’s history through the use of primary and secondary source documents. The study of history emphasizes the intellectual skills required for responsible citizenship. 

6th Grade Exploratory Classes:

All 6th grade students have two options for exploratories. 

In Option One, students select one year-long class that will meet every other day for the entire school year. For the 24/25 School Year, we are checking student interest in Band 6, Choir 6, and Orchestra 6 as our Year-Long exploratory class offerings. 

In Option Two, students will take 4 nine-week exploratory courses that give each student an introduction to courses they can continue throughout middle school. The four courses students will take are Art, Career Investigations, Drama, and Manufacturing and Prototyping 6 (Introduction to Engineering) or World Language Introduction. We will run the 4 courses that students are most interested in. 

* * *

Art 6 - In our art exploratory program, sixth-grade students use the elements of art and principles of design as the basis for their study of art. Projects include creating both realistic and fantasy-based art, making ceramic sculptures, and color painting. Sixth-graders also study art history as it relates to examining how their own art can be used as a means of expression.

Career Investigations 6 - Students will investigate a variety of careers, analyze their personal interests, select occupations for further study, and create a plan based on their academic and career interests. They will also explore Albemarle County’s specialty centers and academies.

Drama 6 - Drama students develop a variety of improvisational and more formal acting skills. Students learn the fundamentals of stage design and presence, performing selected dramatic works as a troupe. Emphasis is placed on gaining comfort in a variety of performance styles while building confidence in public communication skills.

Manufacturing and Prototyping (Introduction to Engineering) - This is an introductory technology course. This class will introduce students to problem-solving through the design process, and then apply that process to beginning computer coding, basic electronics and circuitry, and computer-aided design (CAD). The maker-style format of this class allows students with different comfort-levels to use technology to grow their skills at their own pace. 

Introduction to World Languages 6 - In this survey course, students will be introduced to various world cultures. Through the use of body language, visual aids, and student-created characters and stories, students will explore the course content. Students will be introduced to the languages through music, videos, stories, and other forms of media.

------------------------------6th Grade Year-Long Exploratory Course Descriptions--------------------------

Band 6 - Students have an opportunity to start on flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, euphonium, tuba, or concert percussion. Classes are focused on beginners learning the necessary skills needed to succeed at a wind or percussion instrument. We will focus on performance fundamentals and music reading in the first year. 

Chorus 6 - Students have the opportunity to participate in the chorus. Choral students study and perform a variety of music types. Students will also be introduced to basic music theory and musicianship. 

Orchestra 6 -  Students will begin the study and performance of a string instrument of their choice including violin, viola, cello, or bass. Instruction will include basic music competencies such as note reading, rhythm, instrument position and posture, and tone and intonation.