Henry David Thoreau Middle School is named after the great American author, poet, and philosopher whose namesake the school is so fortunate to bear. A famous quote of Henry David Thoreau's is, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams." Thoreau Middle School tries to embody the spirit of that great statement and fosters an academic environment in which all children learn and are challenged to their highest levels of academic achievement. To ensure this occurs, teachers are continually examining and refining their craft. Thoreau Middle School has adopted the philosophy of creating a community of professionals (PLC) that focuses on student learning through best practices and formative assessment. Thoreau Middle School is:
- a school with a shared vision, common values, and achievable goals
- a community of collaborative teams focused on student learning
- focused on current reality, best practices, and formative assessment
- committed to continuous improvement and stretching all children to learn
- results oriented
As a professional learning community (PLC), Thoreau teachers focus on student learning and best practices for continuous refinement of their education expertise. At Thoreau Middle School teachers accept learning as the fundamental purpose for the school and, therefore, are willing to examine all practices in light of their impact on student learning.
The following five questions drive the academic mission of Thoreau Middle School:
- What are students expected to learn?
- How do teachers know if students have learned it?
- What is done for students who have not learned it?
- What is done for those students who already know it?
- How is formative assessment used to refine the craft of teaching and improve student learning?
Thoreau Middle School Assesses Student Learning...
- By using both formative and summative evaluation tools
- Using the shared knowledge and expertise of teachers working together to create an assessment package that is meaningful to all participants
- For the purpose of ensuring that learning has taken place