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New Middle School Exploratory Classes!

As part of our continuous school improvement work, there are some exciting schedule changes occurring at the middle school this year.  Currently all seventh and eighth grade students participate in two Project Lead the Way classes (Design & Modeling and Computer Science) opposite physical education and art; during the 2017-18 school year they will take part in an additional four exploratory classes during 8th period.  Each class will be 1 quarter long allowing students to experience 4 different courses across the year.   These changes will benefit our students in several ways:  1) increase STEM opportunities; 2) provide authentic opportunities to develop skills in critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity; 3) provide opportunities to explore a variety of career service areas which will help make the 8th grade career plan more meaningful, and 4) assist students in designing their 4-year high school schedule.  These changes will also help our district be in alignment with the state expectations for Career and Technical Education as well as the College and Career Readiness expectations put forth in the Iowa Core.  

    Seventh grade students will get to take part in a business exploratory, an automation and robotics course, a leadership course, and a computer skills course.  Eighth graders will engage in an introductory agriculture course, a family and consumer science overview course, a course that explores the importance of design/art principles in a variety of careers, and an in-depth career exploration/planning course.  While the seventh grade courses will all take place in the middle school, three of the eighth grade courses (Ag, FCS, and Design) will take place at the high school.  School buses will transport 8th graders to the high school at the beginning of 8th period.  Students will then walk down the hill back to the middle school to catch buses and be picked up at the end of the school day.   Classes will practice this process together the first few days of school!

    Although many people have put a lot of effort into making these changes come to life, we also know that we will learn a lot as we implement the new schedule.  We will try to anticipate problems, reflect frequently, and respond quickly when things don’t go as planned.  We firmly believe that these changes will help us achieve our goal of being “the best that we can be”.  

    

Brad McCloskey, Principal

Becky Zesiger, Director of Instruction

Dan Maeder, Superintendent

 

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