March Is Middle Level Education Month
Whole child partner National Association of Secondary School Principals has joined with other organizations, including the Association for Middle Level Education, the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, and the National Association of Elementary Principals, to declare March the official month to celebrate middle level education. This celebration looks to focus attention on students ages 10–15 and the importance of their academic success and well-being during this stage of their lives.
In acknowledgement of this month's designation, we've compiled a list of whole child examples that highlight schools that are positively affecting middle grades students. Each example highlights a program, focus, or achievement and includes links to more information. Take a look and get inspired for this year's Middle Level Education Month.
Whole Child Examples
School's Active, Caring Environment Guarantees Student Success
The mission of Reading Middle School, an active and caring community, is to guarantee the development of all students as successful, lifelong learners who become contributing citizens after graduation. A 2013 School to Watch, whole child partner The National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform gave this school this recognition for providing a challenging, comprehensive curriculum; best practice instruction; and quality extracurricular activities supported by an exceptional staff in state-of-the-art facilities in partnership with parents and community.
School Program Engages Community While Challenging Students
The Florida Environmental Education Team (FLEET) at Southwest Middle School was developed to help students focus, understand, and appreciate the environmental resources outside their door. Collaborating with community environmental agencies, this program helps students benefit from higher-level thinking and keeps them actively engaged in the curriculum. The FLEET program has positively affected its students' learning by providing real-life experiences, challenging them to develop the skills to weigh multiple sides of an issues, and providing the necessary support to become informed decision makers. The FLEET program at Southwest Middle was a recipient of whole child partner, the Association for Middle Level Education's 2012 Teams That Make A Difference Award.
Resource Center Unites School and Families in the Pursuit of a Successful Future
McLoughlin Middle School joins other top Washington schools in receiving the Supported Students Award from Washington State ASCD. Located in Vancouver, Washington, McLoughlin strives to connect with its students and their families on multiple levels. The school's family community resource center serves as a central access point for the numerous support services offered in the area, from free school supplies to dental care. During the school day, students who have been identified as needing additional academic assistance are paired with mentoring advocates or attend support classes to help them boost their grades and succeed.
Respect and Support Frame Academic Achievement
South Middle School has been named a South Carolina School to Watch by whole child partner National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform. The Lancaster school maintains a partnership with Winthrop University in order to continue its pursuit of academic excellence and high standards for students and staff alike. Visitors to the school immediately note the culture of mutual respect among students and staff. Students receive support from individualized interventions designed to keep all learners on track for success.
Supportive Environment Eases Middle School Transition
National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, a whole child partner, has named Marietta Sixth Grade Academy as a Georgia Lighthouse School to Watch. The academy—located in Marietta, Georgia—helps ease the difficult transition from elementary school to middle school. Principal Gabe Carmona emphasized that the school's achievements have come about largely as a result of the collaborative efforts of students, staff, and the community as a whole. The school was recognized not only for its academic excellence, but also for its supportive environment among other factors.
Visit each of the partner websites above for celebration ideas and resource links to bring attention to the middle grade education in your community throughout March, and all year long.