Skip to main content

News

Exciting Changes Ahead for NVUSD Middle Schools
Posted 3/14/22

When the Middle School Design Team met in August 2021, they had a huge task ahead of them —  reimagine and redesign the middle school experience for all our students and staff. Central to its decision-making was to improve programming and provide school options to support our diverse community of learners. 

The ongoing work by the design team, made up of students, staff, and administrators, was recently presented at a Board of Trustees meeting. Members shared highlights of what our district’s middle schools will look like starting with the 2022/23 school year. 

 

Schedules

All middle schools will have consistent start and end times. New bell schedules include a weekly advisory or homeroom period allowing students to build community and experience our social-emotional learning curriculum. Additionally, schools will add flex periods for academic differentiation — whether a student needs intervention or advanced learning opportunities.

 

Smaller Learning Communities

Middle school is a critical time for students to form positive connections with teachers and peers and begin preparing for a more rigorous high school schedule. To better support, our students, the three comprehensive middle schools (Silverado, Redwood and American Canyon Middle School) will adopt a teaming approach in 7th and 8th grade, where students are grouped in a cohort and share the same teachers for the entire school year in English, Social Studies, Math, and Science. This approach allows teachers to effectively address and collaborate on the best ways to support students’ socio-emotional and academic needs. Sixth grade will adopt a core model, meaning all students are taught by a team of three to four teachers. 

Another option for smaller learning communities is the expansion of our TK-8 schools. Starting with the 2022/23 school year, Shearer will add an additional 6th grade class and a 7thgrade class to eventually build a complete TK-8 program at that campus. And Browns Valley will begin the transition to a TK-8 school by adding two sixth grade classes next year. This gives families looking for a smaller school experience another option to consider. 

 

Athletics

The district will operate an expanded after-school athletics program by offering two 6th grade sports and seven sports for 7th and 8th grades. All teams will compete against other schools in the district and a budget has been allocated for coaches, equipment and uniforms. 

 

A Redesigned Middle School

Unidos Middle School

NVUSD will open a dedicated dual-language immersion middle school, strengthening our DLI pathway and offering families an additional option in programming. The program will offer three language pathways, Dual Language Immersion, Introduction to Spanish, and Spanish for Spanish speakers. Unidos, which is fully enrolled for its inaugural year,  will also offer cultural arts integration throughout its core classes.

Much has been accomplished in a short time,  thanks to the dedicated work of the Middle School Design Team. There is still more work to be done and district leadership is confident these improvements will positively impact the middle school experience. 

“When the team developed our middle school vision and programming, we were focused on the unique emotional and academic needs and milestones that present during the middle school years, '' said Monica Ready, Director, Secondary Curriculum, Instruction, and English Learner Services and the lead for the middle school design team’s work. “We are excited for the future of our middle schools and will continue to seek feedback and adjust programming to better serve our middle school students and families.”

Look for more stories in the coming weeks about the future of our middle school and visit our middle school webpage for the latest information.