Photo provided by Sean Beauvais -- Attending the recent St. Michael Catholic School New Parent Boot Camp are, from left, Mary Beth Campagna, Jackie Berthelot, Holly Wilson, Simone Hamilton and Lori Steib.

Parents of incoming freshmen at St. Michael Catholic School picked up tips to help their teens transition from middle school to high school June 3 at the school’s New Parent Boot Camp.

Understanding the fear of the unknown and realizing that the transition from middle school to high school is a big deal for students and parents, the St. Michael Home and School Association designed the boot camps to make that transition easier, a news release from the school said.

Two years ago, some of the moms in the association spoke to several parents of students and asked them, “If you could go back, what information would you like to have known then that you know now?”

The consensus was that parents would like information on four main topics: the academic and faith-based curriculum at St. Michael; the resources available to students; on-campus activities; and how they could get involved, the release said.

They also said a new parent orientation would have been beneficial for them to get familiar with the school and to be able to prep their student for what was ahead.

Thus, the idea of the New Parent Boot Camp was born.

“Once eighth-grade graduation festivities were done and my child’s start at St. Michael was now a whole long summer away, I found myself wondering about all these little things like parking passes and what he would eat in the cafeteria and what color shirt the boys liked to wear,” said Lori Steib, president of the St. Michael Home and School Association. “Of course, these were all things that we would find out soon enough, but still, I couldn’t help wondering.”

Over the last two years, New Parent Boot Camp has grown into a popular event, Steib said. Some 170 parents attended the June event.

The St. Michael Home and School Association’s boot camp welcomed parents to the school, hosted tours through decorated halls and offered a reception during four sessions.

One session outlined the basis for the educational curriculum at St. Michael. At the first session, parents learned about academic standards, the faith-based development students will receive and what resources are available to students.

Session two, she said, focused on the guidance services available to students to help them with the academic and social transition to St. Michael.

At other sessions, parents learned about various student activities, teams, clubs and organizations students can get involved in and how they can get involved in school events.

“It is very important for parents to get involved,” Steib said. “A parent getting involved promotes their student getting involved, helps instill school pride in their student and helps them to become a leader. Being a part of welcoming the new families into the St. Michael fold has been a great experience for me, and I think it has been an all-around positive experience for everyone involved. I am so thankful that the school administration embraced this little idea so quickly and willingly and am happy to see it turn into such a successful event.”