Traditionally, the middle school years are all about making transitions. Young people learn to grow up to be teenagers. Students have to learn to deal with new environments as they enter (from the elementary) and leave (to the HS). Even the courses created at the middle school level are designed to transition students to the real world environment of making choices as young adults at the high school.
In order to support students’ transitions, CCMS uses the PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) system. CCMS’s version of PBIS is called….’The Comet Way.’ Currently, all faculty members are broken down into teams that teach building wide expectations, define referral procedures and outline consequences, review behavior data and individual student needs, adjust plans already in place for student supports, support other faculty members, etc.
Curriculum transitions are in full swing in this district. For CCMS, this statement is quite true as we look to break down standards of the Core Curriculum and implement a more viable and relevant curriculum related to what students are learning. Teachers at the MS have long asked for ability to plan together and to have the opportunity to teach with other disciplines. As we prepare for the added transition of moving to a single campus, our teachers and students will have the opportunity to experience more PBL (Project Based Learning) opportunities. Additionally, cross-curricular opportunities and co-teaching will be extended with a schedule modified to allow these experiences; teachers will have common prep times to create interdisciplinary units and forms of assessing the students’ acquisition of skills. This schedule will also provide supports (CCMS’s version of MTSS or multi-tiered systems of support) for students to learn skills not yet mastered in the classrooms and also enrich the experiences for those students that have mastered the skills deemed necessary.
I look forward to visiting with parents and students about transitions we are making at CCMS on Aug 26 as we host a ‘Back to School Night.’ The building will be open from 4-6PM for students and parents to test the students’ schedules and find their classrooms. There will be a presentation in the auditorium starting at 5:30PM followed by sports meetings at 6PM. I hope to see you that night.
Rick F. Gabel
Principal, Safety & Equity Coordinator
Charles City Middle School
500 N. Grand Ave.
Charles City, IA 50616