Welcome to Eisenhower Middle School!It is with great pride and enthusiasm that I begin my seventh year as Eisenhower's principal. During this time period, our building has endeavored to develop instructional, philosophical, and cultural transformations in an effort to best meet the needs of our adolescent students as we prepare them for success in the 21st century. Eisenhower offers every student a rich, rigorous, and equitable academic experience, which includes the study of four core classes (language arts, mathematics, science and social studies), instrumental and vocal music, physical education/health, and three possible choices for world language: Spanish, Italian, and French. Across their middle school experience, all students are exposed to a broad range of five annual cycle classes, where they learn about different types fine art and expression, culinary arts, coding, digital citizenship, robotics, engineering, prototyping, music recording, video and sound editing as well as running a new state-of-the-art television studio. In addition to these course offerings, students are also introduced to basic additional engineering concepts through a science extension S.T.E.M course, basic economic principles and finance in a Financial Literacy course, and authentic writing experiences in grade level specific literary areas such as Performance Literacy, Fan Fiction, and Graphic Novels.While much of the focus of our school is dedicated to academic rigor and student achievement, we have added several programs designed to support the social and emotional development of our students. In 2011, Eisenhower implemented an advisory program that is designed to provide faculty advocacy for each student in efforts of building a strong school community, and to assist our young students in developing essential social skills, self-awareness, and personal responsibility. About twelve students are grouped with one staff member in multi-grade level groups that meet twice monthly for thirty-five minutes. Advisory groups proactively discuss important middle school topics such as bullying prevention, learning styles, study skills, stress management, and community service in efforts to building a more responsive community. This year, our advisory program will begin to streamline with the strategies and beliefs of our district's Responsive Classroom initiative.
Additionally, administrators and staff members alike recognize that our middle school students require differentiated, individualized and/or personalized learning environments to meet the varying learning styles and strengths of our students. During the 2011-2012 school year, Eisenhower piloted a T.I.E.E (Team Intervention, Enrichment, and Extension) program with our sixth grade students. During a daily thirty-five minute period, students who required remediation in core subjects were able to meet with their teachers for targeted instruction. Other students were able to explore topics of their own interest and to conduct research in developing a personalized learning experience. Beginning in the fall of 2012, we implemented a new master schedule, allowing for all students in all grade levels to have access to a daily T.I.E.E. period. With this scheduling change, students who require remediation are provided the much needed time and instruction with their teachers in small group settings. Students who wish to further their knowledge of core area subjects and/or cycle areas have an opportunity to take part in a scheduled and structured enrichment experience.
As a district, we are committed to providing students with the technological skills necessary to achieve success in the 21st century. In the fall of 2016, we implemented a true 1:1 Digital Learning Initiative in which all students are issued a Acer Touch Screen Chromebook to be used both at home and in school. Students are challenged to communicate and collaborate with their peers in a cloud-based setting, edit work and present information using Google Apps, and create multimedia projects that are designed for an authentic audience. To continue building capacity for 21st century skills, our staff uses social media outlets such as Twitter to enhance their professional learning by being part of a global personal learning network. Eisenhower Middle School is also committed to the teaching of design thinking, tinkering, and pre-engineering skills. Working in our new state of the art design lab, students use acquired skills such as coding, 3D printing, laser engraving, as well as using hand tools and powered machinary to develop real-world solutions to current problems.
Whether it be our evolving curriculum, developmentally responsive programs, or current technologies that revolutionize the way we teach and learn, it is truly an exciting time to be a student at Eisenhower Middle School and even more energizing to be part of the staff that harnesses the opportunity to educate our future leaders. I look forward to having a wonderful and productive school year as we work together in building a school community that places the needs of our students first and provides them with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful.
Very truly yours,