New 6th Grade Building Supports ASK Culture and Eases Transition

October 1, 2019


By Olivia Shadle

Photos by Olivia Shadle The new academy opened its doors to its sixth graders at the beginning of the semester.

Every good school starts with a strong foundation; it spreads and becomes a culture and an attitude. Nothing is stronger than the foundation built by the scholars. For The ASK Academy, it starts with the 6th grade. One of the goals at The ASK Academy is to help make the transition from elementary school to middle school easier for the incoming scholars.

This year, the school opened the doors to a new building near the existing Academy, which will be used solely by sixth graders and sixth grade staff. The new academy will hold roughly100 6th graders this year.

“There were multiple reasons for the new addition to the Academy,” said school director, Daniel Barbour. One of these was transitioning 6th graders and building a culture and attitude for the entire school. 

“The new addition to the Academy was designed to make the transition to middle school easier for the scholars,” he said. 

Coming into The ASK Academy is hard for scholars who have not yet experienced this type of setting. 

Liam Johnson, a 6th grade scholar at the academy this year stated “It was scary,” when asked about his transition into middle school, “I didn’t know many people.” He likes being in the smaller building because most of his classes are in a general area, and he doesn’t have to brave the crowds of upperclassmen.

Sixth grade is an important year, but it is difficult to go from sitting in a single class with your friends all day to changing classes and having higher expectations. The 6th grade Academy separates the new scholars’ so they have time to get equipped for the rest of middle and high school. 

6th grader Colin Lynch enjoys the smaller building because there is less clutter and crowding among other grades. “It’s small so I know where I’m going,” he said, “It makes me feel safer.”

The ASK Academy is a scholar built and lead school. Scholars build the culture of the entire school, leading and inspiring other scholars to do the same. However, the culture has to be developed first. The ASK Academy is all about attitude, the attitude of what it means to be a scholar, the attitude that is taught is carried on.

“6th grade builds the culture for the entire school,” Barbour stated.

One of the most important things taught and experienced at this Academy, Barbour said, is that The ASK Academy is a choice. Everyone deserves the best education. The ASK Academy is not always the best choice, but it is one built on attitude and one that starts in the 6th grade. Students will learn how to act and how to build their own future; they have control over their own learning and their life, he said. 


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