Welcome to the 2016-17 school year! This year, we are excited to continue with our
new middle school program and all its potential. For over a year, teachers and administrators
read current literature on the best ways to educate the young adolescent. Three themes continued to rise to the
top: 1) Social Emotional Learning, 2)
Academic Achievement, and 3) Organizational Structure of the Middle School Day.
Research tells us that the physical and emotional
development of the young adolescent is rapid and often a confusing time for
children. The literature suggests that
students thrive when their teachers are very familiar with them. To ensure this, teaming was adopted so today
each student is well-known by at least 5 teachers who work closely with the
student and with each other every day.
Collaboration meetings give teachers the opportunity to share concerns
about students and work together to help each student excel.
We all understand that student achievement is paramount in
Carmel Clay Schools. As we delved into
the literature, research suggested that depth and exploration were important as
the young adolescent mind develops. The
research also pointed out that students needed to be challenged and supported,
not only as a group but also on an individual basis. Supportive structures need to be implemented
to allow every student to learn, explore, and be challenged.
As we discovered the needs of our students, the organization
and structure of the school day were next.
Time was a constant theme in the literature: allowing enough time in
classes to allow students time for depth and exploration of topics. The second pervasive theme revolved around relationship building. To achieve these
goals, it was apparent that a schedule with more time per class and fewer class
periods in a day was necessary. Also,students needed to feel safe in a family environment. The block/teaming schedule met all the
criteria and was adopted.
This is an exciting year at Creekside and we look forward to
working together and bringing the best educational environment to our students.
Dr. Tom Harmas