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The Academic Program

Core Curriculum/Teaming

One of the primary components of the Rockwood Valley Middle School program is team teaching. Each student is assigned to a group of teachers who work cooperatively to determine learning needs and plan together to design appropriate instruction situations.

Teachers of the core content areas (Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies) are organized into teams to pool resources, interests, expertise and knowledge of students to meet their educational needs. Core teams are organized by grade level, and each student is assigned to a core team. This team organization provides a key source of identity and belonging for students and ensures smallness within the larger school setting.

The advantages of the teaming approach include:

  • more enriched curriculum through on-going sharing of ideas
  • better insight into students
  • building on the strengths of the individual teachers
  • continuity of curriculum across the core contents
  • better grouping of students
  • flexibility in time schedule
  • common availability to meet with parents/guardians
  • greater collegiality among the teachers provides positive role models for students

Encore (Exploratory) Curriculum

Students have opportunities to explore a variety of areas of study. This helps them to explore interests and to make better decisions for high school and beyond.

Physical Education/Health

Students participate in Physical Education/Health class every other day. They are required to wear clothes that are suitable for physical activity, socks, and athletic shoes in order to fully participate in class activities. Boots, sandals, crocs, slides, etc., are not permitted as they pose a safety hazard and don't allow students to fully participate. Students need a combination lock for their gym locker. PE uniforms may be purchased from PE/Health teachers.

With a written note signed by a parent, students may be excused from PE/Health classes for up to three days. A new parent note is necessary for each day that a student misses PE if no doctor's note has been submitted. For a student to be excused from PE/Health class for longer than three days, a written excuse signed by a doctor is required. A physician's note should include the date that the student may return to full activity and any alternate activities that the student can participate in during PE class. Parents should inform the PE/Health staff of any medical problems their child may have throughout the school year.

Academic Mindsets and Behaviors

The Rockwood School District believes that although specific learner skills may not be directly calculated in a student's grade, they have a significant impact on learning and impact the grade. These skills are defined as student work habits. It is critical that students know and understand that their approach and behaviors toward learning have a significant impact on actually learning. These work habits will be assessed by teachers and reported with the student's academic grades at the midpoint and end of each semester providing insight into factors contributing to the overall success of the student. The three work habits are actively engages in learning, task completion of course work, and responsibility for the learning environment.

Homework

Homework is any assignment that students complete outside of regular classroom time. This work might include written assignments, projects, oral drill and practice, independent reading, and test preparation.

All assigned homework will be for the purpose of preparation, practice or elaboration. Preparation is initiating thinking about a topic, establishing context for a topic or gathering materials or information needed to study a topic. Practice is additional repetition of a skill that students are largely familiar with in order to reinforce correct execution of the skill. Elaboration helps connect new learning with prior knowledge in order to embed concepts in long term memory, facilitate the transfer of ideas and encourage application of concepts.

A typical sixth grader will have a minimum of 60 minutes of homework each school night, seventh graders will have 70 minutes, and eighth graders will have 80 minutes. Parents/guardians can facilitate homework by providing a quiet place with adequate lighting where the student can complete assignments. We encourage all parents/guardians to promote reading for pleasure.