What is a middle school?
A middle school is a friendly and safe place that provides a challenging academic environment designed to address the needs of 11 to 14 year olds. Middle schools were created to help this diverse, active group of young people learn and move successfully through this important stage of life. The idea behind the middle school is to create small communities within the school. This provides students with many opportunities to develop academic skills, acquire fundamental knowledge, determine their interests and special talents, and experience a sense of belonging. Middle school focuses upon helping students satisfy their need for close relationships with teachers and friends while moving toward greater independence.
Components of a Middle School
Interdisciplinary Team Teaching (Teaming) is a way of grouping students and teachers together to form small communities of learning within the school. Teaming is an integral part of the Middle School concept. Currently the sixth grade is divided into two teams: Tamarins and Ocelots. Students on each team have the same "core teachers" in all academic subjects. Each team of teachers works very closely together to plan academic units, special events/activities, and overall goals and objectives. Each team of teachers shares a Team Planning Time which is one period per day.
HOW WILL TEAMING BENEFIT ME AS A PARENT?
Teaming will benefit parents in several ways. We hope you, the parent, will take full advantage of the opportunities teaming gives you.
Parent/Team conferences offer you a time to meet with your child's teachers as a scheduled part of your child's day.
Progress reports are more easily requested and implemented.
One call to school can get you a more complete picture of your child's progress.
TEAMING IS DESIGNED TO PROMOTE CONNECTEDNESS FOR TEACHERS, STUDENTS AND PARENTS. THE KEY IS FOR YOU, THE PARENT, TO SEE YOURSELF AS A PART OF THE TEAM.
Not all classes may be the same length or at the same time each day. This means that teachers can change the length of a class to accommodate longer tests, projects, or activities.
Each semester a service project is developed to encourage the students to look beyond themselves. Service project activities are coordinated through Team Planning Time. Students realize they too can have an impact in our school, community, and world through the service projects.
(Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support)Student behavior and good study habits are important factors in the middle school. MMS faculty put an emphasis on teaching students to be respectful and responsible. These expectations are taught within the weekly advisory program. To promote an increase in these positive behaviors, incentives are planned throughout the school year. Students have enjoyed incentives such as a game hour, shakes, a movie with popcorn, and the monthly Student of the Month Assembly.
Connecting subject areas is an important component of middle school. The teams of teachers combine their subjects around a common theme. These connections tie academic goals across the subject areas, and reveal the interconnectedness of knowledge.
On the first day of school, your child will receive an agenda book. It is to be used each day, in each class, to write down the homework and when it is due. Having your child bring it home each night will allow you to see that the homework is getting completed and it helps keep you informed about classroom topics that are being covered in school.
Our website has a plethora of information and is found at www.mascoutah19.k12.il.us. You can find homework assignments, lunch menus, activity schedules for clubs and sports, due dates for athletic paperwork, and lots of other information.
A monthly newsletter is e-mailed to all middle school families. Relevant information such as service projects, upcoming events, curriculum reports, team activities, due dates for required athletic paperwork, and other middle school news is included
All students have five "core" academic classes; math, English, reading, science, and social studies.
Exploratory are classes that students rotate through to explore a variety of areas. Sixth grade students will experience Art, Shop, Spanish, Music, and Keyboarding as their exploratory classes. Each class is one quarter in length. They also have the option of taking Band or Chorus in addition to the exploratory rotation.
Physical education is fitness based interspersed with a variety of activities. Your child will have a PE uniform that is required to be worn daily.
All students are assigned a locker with a combination lock on the first day of school. Lockers are to be kept clean and orderly at all times. Regular locker checks and clean-outs are performed to promote neatness and organization. All books and notebooks are kept in lockers not desks. It would be helpful to have a combination lock at home to practice during the summer.