D-C Middle School Characteristics

Teacher Advisor Program: A program that will build student social skills, develop a sense of belonging, teach group skills, encourage self respect and appreciation for others and provide instruction in study skills.

Academic Programs: Emphasis should remain on the acquisition of basic and more advanced skills even though more attention is given to developing the child socially, emotionally and physically. Assurance of mastery of basic skills, remediation of special needs, enrichment programs extending the basic curriculum and gifted program activities are all key components.

Allied Arts Programs: Early adolescents have individual strengths and talents that can be developed only through instruction in areas of art, music, physical education, home economics and industrial arts. Co-curricular and extra-curricular programs should emphasize broad student participation to enable each and every student a chance to participate in their area of interest.

Positive Recognition Philosophy: Realizing that no one does anything for nothing, that there must always be some payoff, it is better to recognize and reward positive student growth so that positive behavior and attitudes are fostered.

Interdisciplinary Team Planning: Team planning facilitates integrated studies as well as allows teacher the opportunity to develop specific programs for students with unique needs. It takes full advantage of teacher strengths and makes home and student communication more feasible.

Flexible Scheduling: The schedule must allow teachers and students the freedom to control the amount and kind of instruction required to ensure student success. It must permit teacher advisor time, interdisciplinary team planning, exploratory programs, the development of interdisciplinary units and time for implementing the positive recognition philosophy.

Community and Parent Involvement: Members of the community and the parents will ultimately decide the quality of our service; therefore, being responsive to the community and parents can not only help us reach our goals, but can help us become accountable and ensure our success.

Student Support Groups: Providing for the social and emotional needs of students supports classroom instruction and makes student success more likely. Guidance that is flexible and personalized will enhance the other programs in the school.

Interdisciplinary Units: Interdisciplinary education, encompassing academics and allied arts, will increase students' understanding of the world they live in and develop their use of higher level thinking skills. These units will also foster reference and research skills as well as promoting the use of visual aids, media center resources and other skills needed for continued lifelong learning.

Student Organizations: Clubs and organizations offer students the opportunity to explore, expand and develop new interests while providing application of social and group skills. These activities develop a sense of belonging and bring a positive attitude about school.

Teacher Support Groups: Teachers must be actively involved with their colleagues in planning instruction and in developing improved teaching methods. While empowering the staff, there must also be training and support programs that permit individual staff growth and personal development.

Orientation Program: Programs to help students and parents function in a new situation are critical to the success of the middle school. These programs should offer a time for developing student-teacher-parent relationships, conveying information about program offerings and sharing the school and classroom vision.

Parent Education Programs: Because parents play such an important role in their children's social, emotional, intellectual and physical attitudes it is necessary to actively involve parents in their children's education. It may also be necessary to train the parents to be more effective in their role of teacher and provide support for them as they attempt to deal with their early adolescent.