Friday, January 28, 2011
Middle school Vision: Mission Driven Structures
The structures we have put in place are directly guided by that mission. The curriculum we teach, the schedule in which we teach it, the Developmental Designs system we use, and our emphasis on spiritual development are four core representations of mission-driven structures in the middle school.
The middle school curriculum is a manifestation of thoughtful deliberation by faculty and administration which originates with our Desired Results of Student Learning. Through this review not only have we added courses in the arts in the last few years, but we have implemented technology such as the TI-84 calculator (and soon the iPad) to deliver content in a new and stimulating way.
The schedule is paramount to when and how we can teach. It is the way we manage our most important resource: time. This year, we have allotted more time to math and writing instruction in the morning, while providing a semi-rotational afternoon schedule. These changes are part of best practices for middle school aged children.
Development Designs is based on a whole child approach from advisory to instruction to whole school routines. Nourishing a sense of respect and empathy through our social contract, students understand the value of each and every member of our middle school community.
Finally, our special emphasis on spiritual development is framed in both our Theology classes and chapel services. The Episcopal rites and traditions provide guidelines for a student’s self exploration into their own beliefs.
Whether it is through finding a song that represents a student’s feelings toward God, internalizing the social contract, moving from class to class, or achieving academic results, the middle school structures help our students become a part of the middle school vision.