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Middle School Essentials

The standards-focused middle-level school or program is purposeful. It has two basic goals:

The intellectual development and academic achievement of all students, and the personal and social development of each student.

In a standards-focused middle-level school or program these two goals are not in conflict or competition; rather, they are compatible, complementary, mutually supportive, and inextricably linked.

The seven essential elements of standards-focused middle-level school programs are:

  • A philosophy and mission that reflect the intellectual and developmental needs and characteristics of young adolescents (youth 10-14 years of age).
  • An educational program that is comprehensive, challenging, purposeful, integrated, relevant, and standards-based.
  • An organization and structure that support both academic excellence and personal development.
  • Classroom instruction appropriate to the needs and characteristics of young adolescents, provided by skilled and knowledgeable teachers.
  • Strong educational leadership and a building administration that encourage, facilitate, and sustain involvement, participation, and partnerships.
  • A network of academic and personal support available for all students.
  • Professional learning and staff development for all staff that are ongoing, planned, purposeful, and collaboratively developed.