Tagged “Middle Grades”

High Expectations Yield Valuable Lessons

Fairmont Elementary K–8 School, Sanger, Calif.

Fairmont Elementary K–8 School, recently named a California School to Watch by whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, sets the bar high for educational achievement. Located in Sanger, California, Fairmont works to help its students succeed by providing them with a safe learning environment, diverse intellectual opportunities, and a strong partnership with families and the local community. Students understand the high expectations held by their teachers and school administrators, and they strive to work at that level each day.

Community Stakeholders Motivate Middle School Excellence

Vilonia Middle School, Vilonia, Ark.

Vilonia Middle School joins twelve other exemplary Arkansas schools as one of whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform’s Diamond Schools to Watch for 2013. Located in Vilonia, Arkansas, the school prides itself on its staff’s “can-do” attitude and passion for learning and teaching. Principal Cathy Riggins cites the school’s ties to the local community as a source of support and motivation for continuing educational excellence.

Technology Guides Students to a Bright Future

Owl Creek School, Fayetteville, Ark.

Located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Owl Creek School joins a select group of Arkansas schools as a 2013 Diamond School to Watch with whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. The Owl School promotes growth and achievement in its students through a strong commitment to technology-based instruction and a positive campus community. This supportive, in-school environment is bolstered by high levels of engagement with families and the local community through workshops; family activity nights; and a strong, involved Parent Teacher Organization.

Culture of Respect Brings Arkansas School to the Top

Crossett Middle School, Crossett, Ark.

As one of whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform’s 2013 Diamond Schools to Watch, Crossett Middle School—located in Crossett, Arkansas—is a model for middle-level education. The criteria for this commendation fall into three main categories: academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, and social equity. Principal Lou Gregorio cites the positive and respectful culture of the school (PDF) as the main factor in student, As one of the 2013 Diamond Schools to Watch, Crossett Middle School is a model for middle-level education and school culture.parent, and educator satisfaction.

School Focuses on More Than Just Academic Achievement

Port Jervis Middle School, Port Jervis, N.Y.
 

Port Jervis's school improvement efforts over the past few years have completely changed the school into a thriving learning environment that focuses on more than just student academic achievement. One of the first recipients of the NYSASCD Whole Child for the 21st Century Award, the school has initiated programs that fully prepare students for work, college, and citizenship by keeping them healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. The culture motivates students and engages them in learning through programs such as the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Students, community outreach activities, health fairs, and proactive assemblies.
 

Caring and Belief Are Key at this New Jersey Middle School

John A. Carusi Middle School, Cherry Hill, N.J.
 

Carusi students tell visitors they feel even more cared about at Carusi than they did at their elementary schools. Science teacher Angela Warrington notes, “We at Carusi are so committed to our students’ success. We all believe we can make a difference.” The hallways and classrooms are covered with student artwork, posters, and documents that publicize the school motto: Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve. The motto, however, is much more than words on a wall or poster. It embodies a school that infuses character and academics into every class, every interaction, every day. Character education informs every decision at the school, including curriculum design, student–teacher relationships, and approaches to discipline.
 

School Library Program Engages Students and Meets Community Needs

Pine Grove Middle School, East Syracuse, N.Y.
 

East Syracuse Minoa’s Pine Grove Middle School earned the 2011 National School Library Program of the Year award from the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). The Pine Grove library program was given this honor for its ability to transform and meet the needs of the community. The library plays a vital role in providing students with learning experiences that embrace real world connections, interdisciplinary work and community partnerships. Efforts at the school have integrated the library program into curriculum, literacy, technology, and all areas of educating the whole child.
 

An Individualized Education Rich in Academics

St. Louis Charter School, St. Louis, M.O.
 

Comprehensive character education has been a part of St. Louis Charter School’s mission since its inception 11 years ago: “To provide children with an individualized education rich in academics and character.” All classrooms emphasize core values. According to school board member Lynn Yearwood, the values are so embedded in the school that “[t]hey are even woven into board meetings.” St. Louis Charter staff work hard to create community among their students—who come from different parts of the city and from different backgrounds—and to celebrate their differences. Student work and art are everywhere, even on attractively painted ceiling tiles. Staff members monitor data closely and plan program changes in response. The school also uses its data to help individual students improve. St. Louis Charter does an outstanding job of providing professional development opportunities for the entire staff to help them meet the needs of their students.
 

Nurturing, Supportive Environment Prepares Students for the Future

Martha Brown Middle School, Fairport, N.Y.
 

The staff, parents, and students at Martha Brown Middle School work as a team to develop a friendly, nurturing environment that fosters positive self-esteem, mutual respect, and responsibility. The school recognizes individual learner styles and offers diverse opportunities that promote academic, physical, social, and emotional growth. Martha Brown influences students during their critical transitional years, striving to develop critical thinkers whose spirit of inquiry creates a lifelong love of learning and helps its students become contributing members of society.
 

Academic Excellence Drives School Success

Crestdale Middle School, Matthews, N.C.
 

Crestdale Middle School (PDF) is a 2012 North Carolina Middle School Association Redesignated School to Watch for its demonstrated academic success. Students are happy, excited to be at Crestdale, and proud of the activities available to them. The culture of the school provides all students access to challenging and engaging educational experiences. An Academic Enrichment Class Period ensures that students are both remediated and accelerated . Ther school's high expectation objectives are posted everywhere to be visible for all students and faculty. Crestdale is consistently being recognized as a School of Excellence or School of Distinction every year. Faculty and students are proud of their accomplishments.
 

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