Hoping to ease transition to 7th grade, Shawnee Mission shifting 6th grade Olympic Festivals to middle school campuses

The annual 6th grade Olympic Festivals will be moving to middle school campuses this year.
The annual 6th grade Olympic Festivals will be moving to middle school campuses this year.

A rite of passage for Shawnee Mission School District 6th graders will have a new location this year.

For decades, 6th graders have celebrated the end of their elementary school years with a spring Olympic Festival, which features a series of field games held at the district’s high school football stadiums. This year, the festivities are moving to middle school campuses, where administrators hope 6th graders will get a better sense of how the middle schools they’ll attend the next year operate. Additionally, the day’s activities will now include arts and academic challenges in addition to the physical games.

“We were interested in creating an experience that provided more academic and “hands on” experiences to help create a positive transition for sixth graders preparing to enter 7th grade in the fall,” said Shawnee Mission Director of Communication Shawna Samuel. “”[These] students will now have the opportunity to interact with new classmates and explore a day in the life at the middle school they are scheduled to attend.”

The Olympic Festival will also provide students with a chance to tour their new middle school buildings, including the lunch rooms and the hallways during class transitions.

The schedule for this year’s Olympic Festivals is as follows:

  • Tuesday, May 2: Westridge Middle School
  • Wednesday, May 3: Trailridge Middle School
  • Tuesday, May 9: Hocker Grove Middle School
  • Wednesday, May 10: Indian Woods Middle School
  • Thursday, May 11: Indian Hills Middle School

“With the additional activities planned, Shawnee Mission students will receive a preview of all of the exciting experiences awaiting them,” Samuel said. “These diverse activities will also reach different interests, passions and abilities of the diverse group of students we serve.”