Bernardo Heights Middle School
Academic Support

Middle school is a big adjustment!  Some students seem to make this transition more smoothly than others.  Why is that and how can we help them?  Executive functioning skills can make the difference!

Executive Functioning skills are “brain-based skills required for humans to effectively execute or perform tasks and solve problems.” (Smart but Scattered Teens: The “Executive Skills” Program for Helping Teens Reach Their Potential) There are eleven basic Executive Function skills:

  1. Response Inhibition – The ability to evaluate a situation and how someone’s behavior might affect another
  2. Working Memory – The ability to hold information in mind while performing complex tasks
  3. Emotional Control – The ability to manage emotions to help regulate and guide behavior
  4. Flexibility – The ability to revise plans in the face of obstacles, setbacks, new information, or mistakes
  5. Sustained Attention – The capacity to attend to a situation or task in spite of distraction, fatigue, or boredom
  6. Task Initiation – The ability to begin a task without undue procrastination in a timely fashion
  7. Planning and Prioritizing – The ability to make decisions and prioritize what to focus on
  8. Organization – The ability to create and maintain a system for arranging or keeping track of important details and items
  9. Time Management – The ability to estimate how much time is available and how to use it
  10. Goal-Directed Persistence – The capacity to establish a goal and follow through on achieving it
  11. Metacognition –  The ability to self-monitor and reflect when performing a task
*For more information check out 
PUSD Parent Academy:
The PUSD Parent Academy is a one-stop shop where parents can learn about the numerous educational technology tools that teachers are using with students in their classrooms. These resources will make it easier for parents to understand how teachers engage students in meaningful ways in a virtual environment that highlights student collaboration.

PUSD Testing & Assessments: 
Information about State and PUSD testing and assessments.

Parents' Guide to Homework:
Helping your child establish habits to complete homework assignments in a timely and appropriate manner is a challenge all parents face.  Preparing yourself and your student for the time commitment and discipline required for successful homework completion will pay off in the long run with higher grades and overall academic success.  Following are suggestions to help you and your child manage this area of responsibility.

Success Tips and Strategies

  • Encourage Independence and Responsibility:  Help your student learn to keep track of assignments and due dates in their Bobcat planner and on a master calendar.
  • Foster Good Student Habits:  Provide a special place to do homework during a specific time frame each day.
  • Create New Friendships:  Help your child foster new relationships by encouraging participation in clubs, sport teams, and social functions.
  • Learn to Self-Advocate:  Encourage your child learn to approach their teachers or counselor when they are struggling with an assignment or difficulty at school.
  • Prepare the Evening Before:  Designate a special "ready to go" place at home where backpacks, jackets, instruments, athletic/PE gear and lunch are ready to head out the door.  Choose an outfit to wear the next day to alleviate slow starts in the morning.
  • Eat Healthy Meals and Snacks:  Provide a diet with ample amounts of protein, fresh fruits, and vegetables.  Students are better able to concentrate in school with a full stomach and healthy food options.  Breakfast is especially important.
  • Enjoy the Experience:  The "Middle School Years" will pass quickly!  It is important to plan family outings and activities to help your student ease the transition and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.  Balance is the key!
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The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is an equal opportunity employer/program and is committed to an active Nondiscrimination Program. PUSD prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, nationality, immigration status, ethnicity, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. For more information, please contact: Title IX/Equity Compliance Officer, James Jimenez, Associate Superintendent of Personnel Support Services, Poway Unified School District, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128, 858-521-2800, extension 2761,

Poway Unified School District, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128-3406