A Project of the Child Trends News Service Supported by the National Science Foundation

Latinos in Middle School: Tips for Success

Diversity is key to schools success

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Schools are becoming more diverse. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the percentage of white students enrolled in elementary and secondary schools was less than 50 percent for the first time in 2014. Still, there are challenges that come with being a minority student. Here are more details on a study that examines why diversity matters for Latinos.

Today, one in four students in the United States is Latino. A new study shows that the ethnic makeup at the school they attend may be linked to how they perform. Researchers looked at over 1,800 Latino sixth graders from 26 middle schools with a mostly Latino population. They found that Latino students who started in schools with a large Latino population—but moved to less diverse middle schools—were less likely to feel that they belonged and had lower achievement. The scientists say their findings suggest that diversity is a protective factor for Latino students as they move to middle school.

Some other tips for a smooth transition: help your child learn where everything is at their new campus. Also make sure they have a watch, so they can get to class on time. If your child’s elementary friends won’t be going to the same middle school, find a way for him to meet some kids who will. Also encourage your child to get involved in extracurricular activities, such as sports or clubs.

Most students are able to adjust to the changes that middle school brings within a few months. If your child is still struggling socially or academically after this time, you might want to meet with a school counselor to discuss ways to help her.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Julie Marks, Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. 

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