Winfield Middle School

“A Tradition of Excellence” has long been the motto for Winfield City Schools. This motto has manifested itself in several forms, which include research-based instructional practices that have resulted in high academic achievement. This statement is supported by both state and national recognition. In January 2017, this recognition was underscored by an article from the Birmingham News which identified Winfield City Schools as an “A” school district in view of state assessment data and the socio-economic status of the schools. Furthermore, Winfield Middle School underwent the rigorous evaluation for AdvancED STEM Certification in 2017-2018. The evaluation measured Winfield Elementary School's performance across 11 rigorous STEM Indicators. The AdvancED STEM Certification team awarded Winfield Elementary School with an AdvancED STEM Certification for the entire school.

The implementation of integrated STE(A)M strategies provides our students the opportunity to stay ahead of the recent trend towards performance-based assessments and skills-based reporting. It also serves as a connection between the traditional classroom and the digital classroom. As a result of technology, what students learn, and how and when they learn, are changing. Research shows that these changes can make a significant difference when applied appropriately.

According to the Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology (CARET), "Technology can help improve student performance when the application directly supports the curriculum objectives being assessed. Also, technology adjusts for student ability and prior experience and provides feedback to the student and teacher about student performance or progress with the application." This supports the differentiated instruction practices of coaching and mentoring as well as sharing responsibility for learning. The staff at Winfield Middle School has made a commitment to not only provide the most relevant tools for learning but also ensure that the resources are in concert with state standards and curriculum objectives.

We strive to provide this relevant curriculum with continuing opportunities for cross-curricular integration as recommended by state and national standards. Winfield Middle School emphasizes authentic problem-solving methodologies while integrating technology as an additional tool for student engagement. This is facilitated by teachers who relinquish their traditional role of “sage on the stage” to become the “guide on the side.”

Over the past 8 years, we have redesigned our classrooms by removing all desks and replacing them with tables in order to facilitate collaborative learning. In addition, Grades 5 through 8 are 1 to 1, with all students having their own laptop or Chromebook. Access points and Promethean Boards are located in every classroom. Most importantly, the pedagogy has been adapted to promote STE(A)M concepts and practices with an emphasis on Student-Centered Learning. Winfield Middle School students are exposed to district-wide projects, school-wide projects, and community outreach projects. The students are continuously challenged with growing rigor and hands-on, problem-solving opportunities. This approach has led to numerous opportunities for our students. Below is a list of experiences that are a part of all students’ learning opportunities at Winfield Middle School.

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” - W.B. Yeats


The Journeys 21st CCLC After-school Program serves many students with a wide variety of activities and interventions to help with academic enrichment, especially math and reading skills. In addition to homework help and academic enrichment, Journeys provides many other socialization skills, technology training, and the Arts. The program serves as a valued service in keeping children safe who may otherwise be latchkey kids without adult supervision or placed in other unsafe situations.

The program sends children home with the majority of homework completed, test preparation, and other work finished which helps with creating a positive relationship between the school day and the home.

STE(A)M lessons or activities are included in each after-school and summer program day. Since family involvement is the basic dynamic of the Journeys Program and the piston that drives students achievement, our goal is to be an avenue that makes family time better. This project taps into the family as a vital resource and incorporates workshops for parents to assist them in the use of programs along with strategies to increase the learning of their children. Homework is redefined to mean not only work done alone but also interactive activities shared with others at home. Homework with link schoolwork to home life. By providing the home with access to the same curriculum that students work on at school as well as the use of 1-1 initiative laptop computers, Virtual Reality, and computer labs, the Journeys Program now not only extends learning into the home, but also allows the whole family to become involved in what their child is learning at school, regardless of education or economic status. It affords parents the opportunity not only to see and be informed about what is transpiring at school but also participate in the educational process.

House Competitions

Each year faculty, staff, and students are randomly placed in four house systems. The goal of the house system is to provide an opportunity for students and teachers to build relationships with one another outside of their individual peer groups.

The house names are based on different animal genera: Loxodonta (Green House); Aquila (Blue House); Ursa (Yellow House); Panthera (Red House)

Each house is composed of equal numbers of teachers, support personnel and students from each grade. The school gathers in the gymnasium where each student and faculty member spins a wheel to determine there house. Once the students/teachers are placed in their house, they eagerly cheer on their next potential "family" member


STEM and team building activities are planned throughout the school year where team members are required to work collaboratively toward a shared goal/objective. For example, the houses participated in a STEM scavenger hunt, The Amazing Race, and Break Out EDU.

Teachers, administrators, and staff are provided with house coins to distribute to students who are caught going above and beyond with academics or character. The coins are tallied weekly and totals for each house are announced in hopes of motivating students by positive reinforcement. Each nine weeks the house with the most coins receives a special treat.

In addition, the school's field day is imbedded in competitions between houses to earn more points.