Planning and the Importance of Middle School
Middle school is an important time to prepare for high school. Although you may not know what path you will take after high school, the academic progress, social skills, work habits and problem-solving skills you develop in middle school will play a critical role in preparing you for your future success.
Your middle school Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) in Naviance is one way to help you prepare and plan for success in high school. Your S.M.A.R.T goals should align with your post-secondary goals and are a great way to monitor your own progress. Exposure to careers will help you further identify your interests and skills as you begin to align those with your course selections in high school. Understanding your interests and academic abilities will help you select the appropriate level of courses in high school.
The Successful Middle School Student
Developmentally, middle school students should demonstrate positive learning habits that include skills like organization, the ability to communicate with teachers and keeping a set homework schedule. Middle school students, with the help of parents, teachers and school counselors, should also be able to do the following:
- Identify personal interests, abilities and strengths
- Describe how work and home and/or school relates to jobs in the community.
- Describe how work is important and attainable for all people.
- Describe how personal beliefs and values affect decision making.
- Demonstrate effective skills in working with others.
- Show an appreciation for the similarities and differences among people.
- Describe individual skills and aptitudes required to fulfill roles.
- Describe skills needed in a variety of occupations.
- Demonstrate skills needed to obtain and keep a job.
Additional opportunities in middle school to prepare for college and career include:
Middle School Academic Programming
Middle school academics build upon the fundamentals of the elementary grades, ensuring a strong foundation for student achievement in high school and post-secondary education. In addition to the basic instructional program, each middle school may also offer special programming that may require an application.
The Basic Instructional Program for Middle Schools (Policy IHA):
“At the middle level, schools will continue to provide instruction and assessment in content standards. This instruction shall include language arts, mathematics, science and social studies, including instruction in civics, geography, history and economics. Students will also have the opportunity to expand their talents and interests through an exploratory/electives program that provides instruction in content standards.
As determined by each middle school, this exploratory/electives program may include any combination of the following courses: visual arts, music, technical education, world languages, physical education, health, consumer and family studies, computer/keyboarding/business and other appropriate middle level course offerings. Middle schools will provide interventions to prepare students for high school and will instruct students about, and expect students to adhere to, the student code of conduct. Additionally, prior to an eighth-grade student’s enrollment in his or her ninth-grade courses, a list of courses the school district has available that satisfies the Colorado Commission of Higher Education’s higher education admission guidelines will be provided to the student and his or her parents/guardians.”
Gifted & Talented/Advanced Learners
Any student who is identified as an Advanced Learner (Gifted and Talented) will have their affective and academic needs met via differentiated programming that supports the classroom curriculum. By utilizing a team approach, programming is responsive to needs, recognizes multiple talents, challenges and diversity. The districts’ research-based strategies provide opportunities for optimal learning that align with academic abilities.