Shifting Gears Registration Now Open

February 01, 2018

Shifting Gears 2018

Shifting Gears is the Kilmer Middle School Summer Transition Program, open to all rising 7th grade Kilmer students. It takes place at Kilmer Middle School.

Session Schedule

  • Session I: July 30 - August 3, 12:00 - 5:00 pm
  • Session II: August 6 - 10, 8:00 am - 1:00 pm


  • Early Bird Special Price: $165
  • After June 1: $175
  • Note: Registration is not complete until payment is made.

Registration Information

Registration is open February 8th until sessions are full. Registration form must be completed online - click to access the Shifting Gears Registration Form and enroll! Once submitted, click on the link to My School Bucks to complete registration. Students may only participate in one session. Transportation must be provided by parents/guardians. 7th Grade class schedules and locker assignments will not be available during this program!

  • Cancellation fee: $25 prior to June 1, 2018. No refunds will be given after June 1, 2018.

  • School Contact: Kaitlin Walsleben,

Program Information

Lunch included Tuesday - Friday (bring a bag lunch on the first day).

Ice cream social on Day 1 of camp!

Middle School Curriculum

  • Four Core Subject Areas
  • Summer Reading List
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Writing Process

The Middle School Student

  • Goal-Setting
  • Self-Advocacy Skills
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Cooperative learning

Middle School Strategies

  • Layout of the Building
  • Troubleshooting with Lockers
  • Using Your Planner to Stay Organized

    Tools of Technology

    • Keyboarding Skills
    • Fun Programming
    • Study/Test Taking Skills


    My son or daughter is not currently a registered FCPS student OR we are brand new to the school system:

    • If you are new to Fairfax County Public Schools, you will need to create an account.
    • When prompted to select a school, choose from one of the following schools (you do not have to attend the school to register to purchase school store items):
      • Freedom Hill ES, Lemon Road ES, Stenwood ES, Westgate ES.
    • Once registered, go to “school store” to purchase “shifting gears”-make sure the week you have registered for matches the one you select. If it is NOT available, the session is full.
    • If you have any issues after you have attempted the above, please contact Kaitlin Walsleben.

    What exactly is Shifting Gears?

    • Shifting Gears is a week-long orientation camp for rising 7th graders. Some things your student will experience include making new friends from different schools, learning how to effectively work in a group with other students from diverse backgrounds, become proficient at their locker, understand middle school expectations, and be exposed to a sample of core classes.

    Will lunch be provided?

    • Yes. Lunch is provided Tuesday through Friday. However, students will need to bring a bag lunch on the first day. We will have an ice cream social where families will be encouraged to socialize with each other and staff.

    What impact has Shifting Gears had on students coming to Kilmer?

    • Shifting Gears has had a positive impact on both students and staff!  Here’s what our students are saying:
      • “I was so glad to learn about the Paws class. I didn’t know what that was about. I also liked that I got to meet some of the teachers before school started!”
      • “We had so much fun! I liked that we were able to talk about our “fears” and “cheers” of middle school. I was glad to see I wasn’t the only one who was nervous about certain things…like changing for PE!”
      • “I am so thankful I learned how to work my locker! And I am really glad I learned how the lunches and Paws work.”
      • “The end of week competition was amazing! At the beginning of the week, our team didn’t really know each other. By the end of the week, we were all working hard together and cheering each other on. We even exchanged numbers and kept in touch over the summer before school started!”