General Information about the Puxi Middle School
Middle School Classes –
All Middle School students will be scheduled for 8 classes. Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, Science, Physical Education, Art-Health Rotation and Music.
Two types of Classes, Cores and Specials.
- Core Classes are Language Arts, Social Students, Math and Science. These classes meet every other day in 80-minute blocks.
- Specials Classes are Physical Education, Music and Art/Health “Rotation”. These courses meet for 60 minutes every other day.
Daily Schedule –
Every day Middle School begins with a 5 minute advisory period so that students can touch base with their advisory teacher. All students have a total of 8 classes that meet over two-day rotation. Students’ attend two core classes and two Specials per day. There is a 45-minute period at the end of everyday that will rotate between and Advisory and Exploratory.
The only choice that Middle Schoolers have concerning their schedule is what Global Language and Music classes they will take
Global Languages –
All students must include a first, second and third choice for their Global Language selection. Beginning French and Spanish are available to all grade 6 students. Beginning Chinese is also available for students new to China. For those students who are currently taking Chinese and wish to continue will have a recommendation from their current Chinese teacher.
Performing Arts –
All students must include a first, second and third choice for their Music selection. All students must sign up for Band, Orchestra or Drama. Due to the fact that the vast majority of our students already play a musical instrument, it is difficult for us to offer beginning programs in Orchestra or Band. If a students wishes to start a new instrument, they may take private lessons and audition for the Band or Orchestra once they grasp basic fundamentals.
Art/Health Rotation –
Art and Health are semester long courses for all Middle School students. All students will be assigned to either Health or Art during the first half of the year and then the other class for the second half of the year.
Small Learning Communities –
Each grade level in the Middle School is divided into two teams, Red and Gold. There are between 72-80 students on each team. Each team has a set 4 Core Teachers. These teachers work together as a unit. This is very beneficial as each of the 4 teachers’ works with the same group students. This teaming structure makes it possible for individual teams to meet and discuss the specific needs of each of their students. Our main goal is to create teams that have a well-balanced group of students. We carefully consider academic strengths, areas of concern, special needs, English language levels and behavior when balancing each team. For this reason it is very difficult for us to accept individual teacher or team requests from parents.
Our advisory program is an affective educational program designed to focus on the social, emotional, physical, psychological, and ethical development of our students. Given that relationships are vital during young adolescence, our primary intention is to provide consistent, caring adult guidance and a supportive, stable peer group for every student. Middle School students start and end their day with their advisor and a group of 12 students. During this time there are special activities designed and implemented to help students find ways to be successful in school. The advisory program helps bridge the gap between the self-contained elementary school and the independent world of high school. Every student has contact with a teacher who becomes an ‘expert’ on them, encouraging their independence and personal growth, and planning together for their academic and personal success.
Exploratory classes are learning experiences that build upon the skills taught in core courses. Exploratory courses encourage students to try new things, discover new interests and to learn more about themselves as learners. This supports our belief that content should not be taught in isolation but applied in the context of real experiences. The Exploratory program reaches out to students at this crucial point in their development and encourages them think beyond themselves, to interact with their peers and develop strong and positive relationships with their teachers and their peers. Exploratory classes will meet for 45 minutes twice weekly beginning next year. Students will have the opportunity to sign up for next year’s courses later this spring. Students new to SAS will sign up during the first week of the new school year.
We are very fortunate to have two counselors in the middle school. Each counselor is associated with one of our Learning Communities. Karen Kinsella (Gold) and John Everett (Red) work very closely with students at each grade level and you will find them to be an outstanding resource for you and your child during the middle school years.
As we said at the beginning of this message, there is a lot if information here! Please spend a little time reviewing this document and make a note of any questions you may have.
Dr. Theron Mott Mr. Glen Karlsson
Middle School Principal Middle School Vice Principal
Puxi Campus Puxi Campus