APS’ Middle School Transformation initiative makes headlines

There’s a great article in the AJC recently about APS’ Middle School Transformation initiative, which seeks to not only ease the transition from elementary school but also, by extension, hopes to provide a clear path to high school. That’s a neat trick, and one of the key elements this initiative can be found in a pilot program that reporter Kristina Torres examines in the article. The program focuses on sixth-graders (the first-year students at middle schools) at four different APS schools: Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy and Inman, Kennedy and Price middle schools. Torres followed CSKYLA student Breasya Jenkins through her classes to see how they’re set up differently than at other schools …

Instead of reporting to four different teachers for regular academic subjects like science and social studies, these students report to only two. Instead of a bell schedule with classes lasting less than an hour, a “block” schedule increases the amount of time students spend on each subject. So while a typical class period might be 55 minutes elsewhere, sixth-graders at Breasya’s school spend, for example, 80 minutes in math.
The idea is to ease the passage as students go from being king of the hill on one campus to a peon on another that also has higher academic expectations. It’s now in place at Coretta Scott King, Inman, Price and Kennedy middle schools.
“In elementary school, they have one teacher for all their core academic subjects. They come to middle school and it’s a huge change,” said King teacher Sarah Grant, who teaches both sixth-grade math and science in the new program. “In middle school, a lot of the onus is on the student. They become responsible for their own work. Sometimes that can be overwhelming for them.”

2 thoughts on “APS’ Middle School Transformation initiative makes headlines

Add yours

  1. I read the article AJC about transformations in Middle School and it was wonderful. It eases transformation from the elementary school. It also gives us a hope of providing with a clear path to high school. The important elements in these initiatives can be seen in a pilot program. It focuses on sixth graders. The main advantage is that instead of reporting to four teachers they need to report to only two which is actually beneficial for both parties!

  2. Interesting concept….is any other school in the nation using this model of one teacher, two content areas with middle garders?

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: