Gordon Head Middle School is an Exemplary Middle School
Each student will be placed in a class group called an Advisory. Students have an Advisory teacher, who is their primary care giving adult in the school. They will meet this teacher at the start of every day and will have part of their academic program taught by this teacher. Advisory time will be spent on a program specially designed to “ground” each student as they start each day. Our primary focus during this time is on the emotional and social intelligence/skills of our students. Advisory teachers are the primary contact with a student’s home. Advisory is very much the heart of our program at Gordon Head.
Interdisciplinary Teaming, Planning and Teaching:
Student Advisories are organized into “teams” of two to five advisories – a “school within a school.” Each team will have a shared schedule which is planned, flexible and taught by a team of teachers who bring a range of skills to share with their colleagues and students. Teachers plan together, design interdisciplinary units together, sometimes teach together and sometimes share subjects. Interdisciplinary teaming describes the organizational structure of our middle school.
Flexible Block Scheduling:
As outlined above, most of the timetable for each team is flexible. This means teachers have the freedom to decide when each subject is taught, as long as the outcomes for each course are addressed and mastered. Each team will be given allotted times to access the gymnasium and will have their students scheduled for Exploratories and Band.
Exploratories are like elective classes at secondary school except they are mandatory. All students in a team receive the same exploratory classes, which are geared towards ten to fourteen year old students. Every student will receive four or five exploratories of roughly eight to ten weeks in length. Offerings include woodwork, foods/sewing, art and music, and dance or drama. They add variety, opportunities for creativity and focus on life, leisure and vocational skills.