Middle school is a crucial time for youth to have support and affirmation in developing their academic and social identities. Students’ likelihood of developing healthy relationships with peers and teachers and thriving in school is largely determined by their middle school experience and influences their pathways to success in their postsecondary (adult) education, health, and careers. Parents, teachers, school support staff, school boards, community-based organizational leaders, and community elected officials are key players in cultivating an environment where every middle school student can thrive regardless of their socioeconomic background, race/ethnicity, or ability status. “Navigating Middle School”, a public education forum, will be a space where stakeholders in the education of students in Orange County schools can combine experience and perspectives to strategize ways to maximize their support of middle school students in their distinct roles. Panelists will include A.L. Stanback Middle School Social Worker, Aviva Scully; Boomerange Executive Director, Tami Pfeifer; Orange County Schools School Community Relations Coordinator, Amy Franks; A.L. Stanback Middle School ESL Teacher, Esmeralda Rodriguez.