Corbett Middle School is a 7th and 8th grade program embracing thematic learning in a multi-age setting. Students spend two years with their primary teacher in a 7th and 8th grade multi-age classroom where all of their core instruction is delivered. Students leave their core class for math instruction which is delivered to the entire school at the same time each day. Math instruction, like the rest of the curriculum, embraces the idea of continuous progress for students wherein each student is expected to make progress from their zone of proximal development forward. In this environment where students do not have a “ceiling” placed on their learning relative to their grade level it is not uncommon for middle school students to be enrolled in pre-calculus or even Advanced Placement Calculus while still in middle school. Students also have a rich array of enrichment courses available including: band, choir, strings, and art.
A typical middle school day consists of all of the school meeting for “Morning Meeting” in the middle school common for the first half hour of the day. Students sing Karaoke, compete in weekly competitions, make announcements to their peers, and generally engage in whole school relation building. After morning meeting, students report to their core class where they spend the morning working on thematic based projects incorporating multiple “subjects” at one time such as: reading, writing, social studies, science, health, and more. After morning block, students leave their core room to study math for an hour with a teacher who is instructing math at their level. After math class, students report back to their core classroom and spend time with “read aloud” or “free read” before they head to lunch. Lunch break is split in half with half of the students while the other half have a physical activity break before the two groups switch. After lunch, afternoon block begins with students returning to their core class to continue work on thematic based projects and participate in physical education instruction provided by their core teacher. The last 90 minutes of each student’s day is spent in two 45 minute blocks of time participating in an enrichment class, as well as a literature class.
Because of the classroom generalist model used for core instruction, Corbett Middle School students enjoy the opportunity to travel outside of the school grounds on a regular basis. It is not uncommon for students to go on dozens of field trips each year, including as many as three whole school overnight field trips each year. Students travel as far as the Coast and Eastern Oregon exploring topics related to the thematic units they study in the building.
Finally, Corbett Middle School students enjoy the opportunity to participate in many extra curricular activities including: Sparrow Club, Middle School Rock Band, and a healthy array of athletic activities.