The mission of Gattis Middle School, a highly qualified and motivated staff dedicated to a common vision and committed to excellence with integrity and presence, is to build a strong educational foundation for life-long learning through character building and critical thinking, in a technologically rich environment in partnership with family and community.
Motto: Vision, Integrity, Pressence
An effective middle school program is designed around the unique developmental needs of early adolescents (11-14 years old). Because the intellectual, social, physical, and emotional needs of this age group are different from either elementary or high school students, a customized educational program is necessary. The middle school is a bridge between elementary school and high school. It is not an exaggerated elementary school nor a miniature high school, but a blend of the two.
WHAT IS A TEAM
A team is a group of teachers who have the same group of students every day. Their classrooms are clustered together in the same wing of the building. The team consists of anywhere from two or four teachers. Together, teams teach science, language arts, social studies, and mathematics. A special education teacher also works with the teams. The number of teams depends each year on the number of students in the school.
ADVANTAGES OF THE TEAM APPROACH
There are many advantages to the Team Approach. Classrooms that are contiguous make it easier for students to get back and forth to class on time, especially since the core classes are located in the same area. Since team teachers have a “teaming period” they are able to plan for curriculum integration, interdisciplinary units, field trips and special activities for their students. Communication and support among teachers is much greater with this approach. Parent conferences and special education meetings are made easier by the fact that all of a student’s basic skills teachers are available at the same time of the day. Students also feel like they are part of a group when on a team.
HOW IS IT DETERMINED WHICH TEAM MY CHILD IS ON?
This is a random process done by the computer. However, if your child selects a particular elective class, he/she may have his/her schedule “locked in” due to the fact that those classes are offered only at certain times of the day.
CAN MY CHILD SWITCH TEAMS OR CERTAIN TEACHERS ON A TEAM?
Every organization has certain “inviolable rules” that are not broken. One of ours is to honor the integrity of the team approach. If students have teachers from each team or switch between teams, it defeats the purpose of this approach. As professional educators, we are confident any conflict between student and teacher can be satisfactorily resolved without jeopardizing the benefits of the team approach. Part of our task of educating the child is to teach them to deal with their problems or concerns in an open manner rather than “escape” from them.
Middle School Curriculum
THE MAJOR COMPONENTS OF THE MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM
Three major elements make up the middle school curriculum: 1) basic skills (the team classes), 2) exploratory classes and 3) electives. “Basic Skills” consist of language arts, science, mathematics, and social studies. The “Exploratory classes” component consists of computer keyboarding, computer hardware and components, information skills and foreign cultures. Physical education, band, choir, art, family consumer science, agriculture, and home economics are the electives.
Gattis Middle School does not have lockers.