From Shalom Christian Academy's Middle School Principal Mrs. Dionne Martin
Middle school…it’s an anomaly that many educators have tried to figure out. This is a time in adolescence when rapid changes occur more than any other time in their life. These changes occur irregularly and progress at different rates. Therefore, specific and intentional instruction, curriculum, and interaction is needed in order to best meet the needs of these students.
Our goal is to support and prepare our students during this transitional time in their lives. Academic credibility is achieved through small classes and directed curriculum. This allows for increased contact with teaching staff who model our living curriculum.The middle school team is aware of the importance of students' developing and forming positive relationships. There are several practices to build strong, positive relationships such as dividing students into small groups where 8th grade students serve as leaders. Shalom's unique Bridge program for 6th grade students helps with the transition from the elementary to the middle school setting. Habitudes is a program taught by the school counselors and Shalom's chaplain to reinforce positive peer interactions.
Along with core subjects such as language arts, math, science, social studies, and Bible, students attend chapel once a week. They also take part in Learn to Serve which gives them an opportunity to minister to others through various tasks throughout the school.
Middle school offers extracurricular activities and electives such as band, art, drama, chorus, clubs, basketball, soccer, and volleyball. Students also have a computer class each year in addition to being introduced to cooking, sewing, basic building techniques, design, and robotics.
Technology increasingly becomes an engaging tool for students as well as a convenience in turning in and assigning homework. Teachers use interactive whiteboards as a teaching tool. Google Classroom is used to assign homework and serves as a platform for discussion. There is also a set of Chromebooks in each classroom.
Effective Christian education is not simply a process of adding chapel and Bible class to an academic curriculum, but the mission is to forge a transformative mindset that begins through a relationship with Jesus Christ and is nurtured and developed deliberately and strategically through curriculum and through relationships that confront and challenge a secular worldview.
Mrs. Dionne Martin