Cohesive Middle School
One More Week of MCAS Testing!
- Gr. 4 & 7 Math – May 16 & 17
- Gr. 5 & 8 Science – May 18 & 19
The Transition to Middle School
Gr. 5 Parent Meeting
Wednesday, May 25, 2015
8:00-9:00 am – Library
What does it mean to have a cohesive middle school within a K-8 school? Do you want to know what to expect from the move up to the “third floor?” Fifth grade parents are invited to join the sixth grade teachers, Vice Principal Laura Horst, and me on Wednesday, May 25 at 8:00 am to get an overview and introduction to sixth grade. Here is a preview of some of the areas we will address:
Cohesive Middle School
Our work to create a cohesive middle school within a K-8 setting began 7 years ago. Some of the key components include:
- Aligning the sixth grade schedule with the Grade 7-8 schedule to allow teachers to teach across grades and to provide support services more effectively.
- Establishing an Advisory program 3 times a week that provides a smaller community for students and enables a stronger connection to one adult. Each grade follows a grade level specific curriculum based on the developmental and social needs of the students. Teachers use Developmental Designs as a guide. Since the launch of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in January of 2013, a regular Olweus meeting has been part of advisory during which students and advisor discuss school climate related to children feeling safe and included.
- Establishing a twice weekly common planning time meeting for all grades 6-8 teachers that enables teachers to meet in a variety of configurations to discus student performance, to plan collaboratively, and to develop common initiatives.
- Adding a grades 6-8 Conservatory program that increased music to twice a week, created larger performance groups (Chorus, Band, Orchestra), and enabled us to offer non-performance options (guitar, music production).
Sixth Grade Specific
We see sixth grade as a transition year from self-contained elementary grades to working with many teachers. Here are some important features in sixth grade:
- Students have an additional homeroom period four days a week (in addition to Advisory three times a week). This time is used for extra support and extension, but also enables students to spend extra time and develop a stronger relationship with a homeroom teacher.
- Students change classes for English, Math, Science and Social Studies, but remain with their homeroom group throughout the day. In seventh and eighth grade, they are divided into at least two different groups during the day.
- World Language class increases to 45 minutes (still 3 times a week). New this year, students may choose to begin French in sixth grade – or continue with Spanish.
We look forward to continuing to work with you to ensure our students have a successful transition to this next stage in their development