Whittier Middle School opened in 1973. Originally designed as an open-concept school, there were no walls designating individual classroom areas in the majority of the original building. This design was meant to enhance the teaming and collaborative teaching strategies associated with middle school philosophy in the 1970s. While Whittier is still a traditional middle school, utilizing structures and principles of both Turning Points and Turning Points 2000 by the Carnegie Corporation, our school building and its occupants have undergone many transformations and additions over the past 38 years.
At one time, Whittier, Longfellow, and Irving Middle Schools all shared a similar structural design/architectural blueprint. Mr. George Beavers, an original Whittier faculty member and current Whittier Botball coach, describes the school on Opening Day as, "Chaotic!" According to Mr. Beavers, one could stand in the doorway of what is still the art room, and he/she had a view of the entire open area--unobstructed--all the way to the Main Office (which was originally located in what was most recently used as the counseling offices at Whittier).
In more recent years, the original Longfellow Middle School was transformed to become Norman North High School in 1997; that same year, Longfellow was relocated to the Central Mid-High building and a fourth middle school, Alcott, opened in the building formerly known as West Mid-High. Now, only Whittier and Irving share a similar design. Whittier has not only expanded to include many more students over the years but has also had multiple classroom additions, a library renovation which partially enclosed it from the open area, a cafeteria addition, and the addition of a new front facade and front office area. With monies from the 2007 school bond, Whittier received an expansion that provided 10 additional classrooms for the 2010-2011 school year, and thanks to the Norman community who voted for a $109,000,000 bond issue in December 2009, WMS is in the process of a total "facelift" and an extensive renovation!
Currently Whittier Middle School has 3 core teams consisting of English, math, science, and social studies teachers at each grade-level. These teams also include courses for high school credit: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Biology I. In addition we have over 14 Explo, or "elective," courses including Spanish I for high school credit.
Needless to say, Whittier has a long tradition of academic achievement and educational excellence. Many prominent members of our Norman community and our global community have been students at Whittier. Our current mission statement proclaims that Whittier Middle School, through the combined efforts of parents, students, staff, and community, provides a safe environment that promotes respect, development of character, responsible citizenship, and life-long learning. While the specific wording of our mission may have changed through the years, the basic premise has remained the same. We continue to move forward with clear direction, which honors the past and prepares our students for a bright future in the 21st Century. We are Whittier... and Warriors ROCK!
Teachers of the Year
* denotes a District Finalist
** denotes District Teacher of the Year
*** denotes State Finalist
Holly Swanson Nevels
Whittier was named a Reward School by the Oklahoma State Department of Education in 2012 based on outstanding achievement on student assessments for the previous 3 school years.
View our 2010-11 School Report Card HERE.
Whittier placed first in all grade levels of the Oklahoma Math League Contest in 2012. (See more information on indvidual Math League achievements in our School News section of the website!)
We tied for first place in the Oklahoma Math League Math Contest in 2011. Whittier sixth grade students placed 1st, 4th, 8th, 14th, and 20th out of all students in the state and were 1st and 4th place in our region; seventh grade students placed 2nd, 5th, and 9th in the state, and two seventh grade students tied for 2nd place in the region. Our eighth grade students placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 8th in the state and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place in the region!
Whittier's 2013-2014 MathCounts Team placed 1st at Regionals. Whittier had 7 students place in the top ten. These 7 students will advance to the State Competition! Way to go, Warriors!
8 Whittier students were recognized during the ninth annual Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics Middle School Math Contest. All of the students finished 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in their Division. More than 200 middle school students from more than 30 counties in Oklahoma competed in the competition. Great job, Whittier Math Team!
Whittier Middle School's girls' and boys' Botball teams competed in the State Competition in 2011. The girls' team place 2nd overall and the boys' team were named State of Oklahoma Middle School Botball Champtions! The Whittier girls' team also received the Judge's Choice Spirit of Botball trophy at State.
The Whittier Botball Robot from 2010-11 has been placed in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.
Whittier has had a state qualifier in both the Spelling Bee and Geography Bee for the past 13 years. In 2010, a Whittier student placed 4th in the statewide Geography Bee.
Whittier Middle School has students who have been recognized in the Duke University Talent Identification Program/Talent Search. In 2011, 3 Whittier students earned national recognition and 23 Whittier students received state recognition. Recognition is based on students' scores on the SAT or ACT Test.
Whittier has had a District Teacher of the Year Finalist for 8 of the past 10 years.
Whittier Middle School currently offers 5 courses for high school credit at our middle school: Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Spanish I, and Biology I.
Whittier Middle School is a Rachel's Challenge/Friends of Rachel School.
Whittier's PTA has earned the National PTA Unit Achievement Award.