Last week our newsletter announced some exciting staffing updates for SMS, and this week, there are a couple of announcements specific to the middle school team that I would like to share with you.
As Saint Mary Middle School classes get larger, we have looked for ways to keep the student experience as personal as possible and to foster relationship building between students and teachers. With this in mind, we will be taking a more collaborative approach to the middle school homeroom model. Our three homeroom teachers, Ms. Chipouras (Grade 6), Ms. Kasinskas (Grade 7) and Ms Arnold (Grade 8) will be assisted this year by Mrs. O’Shea (Grade 6), Ms. Nesbitt (Grade 7) and Mrs. Campo (Grade 8). Our three homeroom teachers, Ms. Chipouras, Ms. Kasinskas and Ms. Arnold, will still be the primary point of contact for parents and students, but Mrs. O’Shea, Ms. Nesbitt and Mrs. Campo will assist them in duties such as:
- hall monitoring in the morning
- helping students with locker organization, and organization for the day
- helping with devices (monitoring)
- helping students with the student mission
- assisting with peer interactions
- reinforcing the Catholic faith
- helping plan any special activities (for examples: parties, CSW)
As our middle school class sizes have grown we have also considered how to best address the individual learning needs of our students, particularly in curriculum areas where hands-on learning is the primary model of instruction, for example in science where students are learning through hands-on labs and experiments. To that end, both the Grade 6 and Grade 7 classes will be split for social studies and science. While half of the Grade 6 is in science, the other half will be in social studies. The same will hold true for Grade 7. These classes will be heterogeneously grouped and the groups will be different from the math and world language groupings. These groups will be determined by the middle school team during our week of back to school meetings. Students will receive their schedules on the first day of school which will indicate which class they have when. Students will continue to have ELA, religion and all specials classes as a whole group. Saint Mary School has grouped students in this way successfully in the past, and we are confident that students will find working in smaller groups for these classes will help them to be most successful.
While we are only a little only halfway through summer, it is time to start getting excited about the upcoming school year. Thank you as always for your support and for sharing your children with us.