A Message From The Principal
Our Core Beliefs –
Our students learn best when they are engaged and supported intellectually and invested emotionally. Not all students learn the same way. At the middle school level, learning best occurs when tasks are appropriately challenging; students engage in structured conversations, work collaboratively, have models to follow, understand assessment criteria and expectations, can be leaders in the assessment/feedback process, and have choices in how they demonstrate their learning. We believe our students learn best when they are supported both at home and in school.
Our Classroom Practices –
We build on our core beliefs through a system that includes our instructional focus, curriculum work, and collaborative efforts around instruction, assessment, and professional learning. Our classroom reflects our beliefs, our vision, and our mission:
ü Our students, including English learners (ELLs) and students with disabilities (SWD), engage in discussions about content, guided by protocols and supports they are familiar with (i.e., discussion prompts/stems that are visible and easily referred to by all students in the classroom (on the wall, on the desk, etc.).
ü Students, including ELLs and SWD, answer higher level, open-ended questions that make them think (teachers utilize the DOK wheel/chart as a planning resource).
ü Students are grouped purposefully based on teacher's data (i.e., exit slips, baseline data, quizzes, their observations).
ü Teachers actively work with small groups of students based on their knowledge of them (i.e., exit slips, baseline data, quizzes, observations), even in our honors-level classes.
ü Students, including ELLs and SWD are supported by scaffolds based on the teacher's knowledge and data; groups of students may be working on different tasks (i.e., the highest performers are matched with appropriately challenging tasks).
ü Students, including ELLs and SWD, engage in self-reflection/assessment and/or peer assessment/feedback using checklists, graphic organizers, and rubrics.
ü Students often have choices built into classroom and homework tasks.
ü Students can speak to the assessment criteria and expectations of the lesson as well as the routines and rituals of the classroom (Students refer to teacher models of product, process, and thinking). They can answer questions such as: “What are you working on? What are you learning? How will you know you have learned it? What do you do if you need help? What do you enjoy most about this class?”
ü Teachers articulate their rationale for grouping and supports for students (i.e. ELLs, SWD, higher level learners, struggling learners). Teachers can speak about their students in terms of their own assessment data and use of resources, including technology (i.e., Smartboard, iPads, laptops, Plickers, video, or platforms such as MyON, Castle Learning, and Skedula/DDC).
ü Classrooms are student-centered with plentiful student work displayed and reflects the current unit of study. Rooms organized with supportive resources and references around the room.