Overview: In Middle School, teaching and learning are intentionally designed to support our students’ intellectual, emotional, and physical growth. Our students are encouraged to take risks, learning from both successes and challenges and acquiring self-knowledge and self-esteem along the way. Middle School teachers respect students’ emerging identities and interests, and work tirelessly to support them as they develop. In Westtown Distance Learning, students are continuing to strengthen their academic acuity and develop analytical and communication skills. Online as in the classroom, Westtown Middle School continues to keep kids at the center of learning.
"It is important that Westtown's Middle School be a place for students to develop independence, resilience, confidence, and empathy in an environment that allows them to succeed brilliantly and fail boldly while growing from each experience." - Will Addis, Middle School Principal
Classes meet in 70-minute synchronous sessions two to three times a week. During these live online classes, students engage in large-group discussions about content and work in small groups supported by their teacher. Teachers also use this time to clarify and respond to questions that arise from the independent work, and students have time to connect and collaborate.
Following best practices for online learning, most direct instruction of students takes place through robust asynchronous lessons. Materials may include short instructional videos made by our teachers, a digital whiteboard lesson, or screencast presentation. Asynchronous lessons allow students to master new content and deepen understanding of ongoing material, as well as honing their skills.
Students connect with their advisors and teachers frequently, through advisory groups, office hours, and individual appointments. Adults are always ready and waiting to support our students in their learning and growth. Students are provided social-emotional and learning support resources, opportunities to come together for growth and identity development, and other ways to connect with one another.
Meeting for Worship is conducted in a variety of formats, from Middle-School-wide Meetings for Worship to small Worship Sharing groups. Our student Clerks create queries that encourage our students to reflect and share, like: How am I being of service to others? What am I learning about myself during this time? What helps me remain positive during times of uncertainty and change?
Students engage in a variety of community programs, including Common Period, Affinity Groups, MOOSE Group, Student Clerks, and Spirit Captains. Each Friday the student leaders plan a fun virtual recess.