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Patriot's Perspective: Middle school - a year in review

As teachers and staff have reflected on this year in middle school, there have been a lot of changes.

Middle school at Pequot Lakes changed from being a grades 6-8 building to a grades 5-8 one. The building project created the new fifth- and sixth-grade addition.

Students went to school around construction workers who put in lockers, created new bathrooms and media center, laid sod and finished the parking lots.

Teachers had their first faculty meeting of the year in the parking lot. Teachers had nothing in their rooms at the beginning of the year and had to put their rooms together.

Fifth- and sixth-grade students made the transition very well, adapting to the new environment without their open house that had to be postponed. This is a credit to the support of our parents, the positive nature of students and the dedication of our teachers and staff to make education happen for the middle level this year.

I want to thank everyone for all of their patience and hard work.

Many changes also occurred during the school year. Teachers have added technology to their classrooms in terms of computer carts and doc cams. Teams of teachers have analyzed the current discipline policy and worked on developing a new schedule for the 2013-14 year to better meet the needs of the students.

Another area we have worked on is Response to Intervention (RtI), a multi-level framework aimed at improving academics and behaviors for all students.

By providing supports in terms of interventions, students who are at risk for poor academic progress are provided instruction that helps them succeed. This committee of teachers assists staff in reviewing data to identify which students need these supports, helps teachers with resources, and provides help with progress monitoring.

It has been a busy year.

As summer is quickly approaching I encourage you to help your students continue their education in different ways. For reading, some students may like novels while others may like reading online books or magazines. When you take your children shopping you can have them calculate percentages. When they are cooking they can work on fractions.

Adolescents also need physical activity as they are growing and changing. So get outside and do some activities such as swimming, biking or walking.

Keep in mind for next year, open house for middle school for the 2013-14 school year will be Aug. 27. There will be meetings and orientation during this evening to help students who will be entering fifth grade.

Students and parents, have a safe and relaxing summer!

(Susan Sergent is Pequot Lakes Middle School principal.)