Middle school often means the beginning of more challenging classes, with more coursework, longer-term projects, and new academic expectations. Teachers also expect students to take charge of assignments and projects with less day-to-day guidance. Not surprisingly, with so many changes, it’s possible that a student’s academic performance may drop during their first semester of middle school. If this happens, don’t panic! Avoid overreacting to grades, particularly in the early weeks. Instead, talk to your child about what could be causing them academic stress, and involve the teachers in a solution. As a Learning Coach, your most critical task is making sure your child gets a handle on how to meet these new standards.