Middle School Curriculum

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Middle School Curriculum

Middle schools are different from junior high school programs, although the two are often confused. At Franklin Road Christian School, we have a true middle school. Our program is designed to meet the needs of young adolescents, and it meets the
qualifications for an exemplary middle school set forth by the National Middle School Association. Within a few years, young adolescents undergo rapid physical growth, changes in moral reasoning, the onset of abstract thinking, and introduction to a range of social pressures, including sex, drugs, and violence. At the same time, the lifelong developmental tasks of forming a personal identity, acquiring social skills, gaining autonomy, and developing character and values are begun. At FRCS, we help students to deal with these important tasks in a secure, loving, Christian environment.

Characteristics of Successful Middle Schools
Interdisciplinary teaming refers to a group of teachers assigned to the same group of students. Teaming provides the structure to support two essential aspects: (1) a positive environment that allows flexibility and variety; mixed-ability grouping of students;
a structure to plan and deliver a curriculum that balances academic and humane
factors. Because teachers share the same students and plan together, they are able to respond more quickly to the needs of individual students though collaboration, meeting jointly with parents, and designing thematic units which foster the transfer of ideas among disciplines and increase relevance. Our team of teachers enjoys working with middle school students and use student-led conferences, status reports and Ed-line to communicate with home in order to support the students. Teachers often plan connected units, linking language arts, history, science, Christian Studies, etc.

Advisory programs consist of a small group of students (usually 20 or fewer)
assigned to a teacher for a regularly scheduled meeting to discuss topics of concern to students. The purpose of this program is the development of close, trusting relationships between students and adults and to increase engagement with learning and feelings of positive self-esteem and belonging. Teacher advisories also help create more positive school climates, develop students’ self-concepts, and prevent dropouts. At FRCS, Achievement Hour meets 4 times per week to assist our students with homework assignments when needed.

Varied instruction includes (1) integrating learning experiences, addressing students’ own questions and focusing upon real life issues relevant to the student; (2) actively engaging students in problem-solving and accommodating individual differences; (3) emphasizing collaboration, cooperation, and community; (4) seeking to develop good people, caring for others, democratic values, and moral sensitivity. Some of the more common programs include multi-age grouping over longer periods of time, (such as FRCS’s Achievement Hour or Interim classes), cross-age tutoring, cooperative learning, hands-on and student-centered activities; use of block time and flexible scheduling; and positive evaluations. The middle school team of teachers at FRCS is committed to
making learning interesting, challenging, and fun.

Exploratory programs capitalize on the innate curiosity of young adolescents,
exposing them to a range of academic, vocational, and recreational subjects for career options, community service, enrichment, and enjoyment. Exploratory topics include foreign languages, sports, health, clubs, student government, home economics,
technological arts, independent study projects, music, art, speech, drama, careers,
consumer education, creative writing, and other special areas. At FRCS, students can take electives in some of these areas during the school year, or choose from an even greater number of options during our special J- term of classes. Middle School students serve the community through outreach programs such as the fall Rake and Bake, which touches many people in the community.

Transition programs focus on creating a smooth change of schools for the young
adolescent. Eighty-eight percent of public school students begin the middle grades in a new school, a transition which may overwhelm the coping skills of some students and “have pathogenic effects on their psychological adjustment, self-esteem, and motivation to learn.” At FRCS, the teachers meet with fifth graders, many of whom they already know, in the spring to introduce them to the middle school program. The eighth grade year is spent preparing for high school with the Eighth Grade Exploration project and other activities. The World Studies program begins in eighth grade and continues in ninth, providing a bridge for the sometimes difficult high school transition.

In summary, developmentally responsive middle level schools are
characterized by:
a shared vision
educators committed to young adolescents
a positive school climate
an adult advocate for each student
family and community partnerships
high expectations for all

Therefore, they provide:
a curriculum that is challenging, integrated, and exploratory
varied teaching/learning approaches
assessment and evaluation that promote learning
flexible organizational structures
programs and policies that foster health, safety, and wellness
comprehensive guidance and support services

This description of an exemplary middle school was adapted from the National Middle School Association website (www.nsma.org).

Our middle school students are supported, celebrated, and encouraged to mature. The teachers have the freedom to teach our children how to lean on Christ for wisdom and answers to problems. Students are not treated as miniature high school students, nor children. They are valued during this exciting time of their lives.

Below is a list of publishers and programs used in Middle School.

• Lifeway Christian Resources
• Summit Ministries
English Language Arts:
• Glencoe/McGraw Hill Education
• 6+1 Traits of Good Writing
• Holt McDougal
• Glencoe/McGraw Hill Education
Social Studies:
• Holt McDougal


Franklin Road Christian School

40800 West 13 Mile Road
Novi, MI 48377

Tel: (248) 668-7100

A Ministry of Brightmoor Christian Church


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Franklin Road Christian School in Novi, Michigan is a preK-12, coeducational, college preparatory day school with a non-denominational Christian philosophy. FRCS is affiliated with Brightmoor Christian Church, and was founded in 1986.
40800 West 13 Mile Road
United States

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