U-46 recognizes that middle school is a time of transition for 7th and 8th grade students in many ways. They transition from the relatively sheltered environment of the elementary school to the more independent middle school atmosphere. Students must adjust to a new academic setting, higher expectations and greater responsibilities as well as interacting with a far larger number of students and teachers. This transition occurs at a time when they are also experiencing rapid changes intellectually, physically and emotionally as they move from childhood to adolescence.
Since growth in each of these areas does not occur in isolation, the U-46 middle school philosophy is to create a child-centered approach to learning that will provide students with opportunities to develop basic skills and acquire knowledge necessary to develop a positive self-image and to foster academic, social and personal growth.
With this philosophy in mind, educators in middle schools recognize they are not just teaching a subject, they are working with a diverse group of students with special needs and circumstances. A variety of activities encourage physical and social development as well as expose students to new experiences.
There are a number of curriculum and assessment tools and strategies in place to help students succeed academically. One of the tools being used by teachers is Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), a computerized assessment program aligned with state standards that provides educators with the information they need to improve teaching and learning by pinpointing each student’s strengths and areas for improvement. With this knowledge lessons can be adjusted and skills can be reviewed and supported.
A number of interventions such as guided study halls are in place to extend and support the work in the classroom. These study halls provide a time for students to work with teachers on areas where they need more direct instruction. Homework clubs provide another opportunity for students to receive help.
Every effort is made to ensure students have the opportunity to have a successful middle school experience.