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The AMS Curriculum
We have an incredible staff at Aspen Middle School! They have chosen to be middle level educators because they recognize that the years of adolescence are pivotal, and abound with individual potential and opportunity. The Aspen Middle School staff cares for the middle school students' concerns, and engages them in meaningful educational expereinces that prepare them for a successful future. Most important, the teachers are active advocates for all young adolescents. This is an exciting time in your child's life and we are privileged to be a part of it.
What types of instructional programs and curriculum does AMS offer its students?
AMS has partnered with Grassroots TV, Channel 12, for an exciting new local media experience. Taught by long-time AMS teacher Jo Mueller, the class will focus on media production, journalism and media empowerment. Our students will be obtaining an understanding of media production, and will be mentored and trained by the Grassroots production team. Through our new Media Literacy class, students will, gain a balanced understanding of media, including technical training in all areas of camera operation and lighting, audio theory and mixing, interviewing skill, professional ethics, and more.
Aspen's teachers are dedicated to the growth and achievement of their students. They work hard and demand as much or more of themselves as they do of their students. They all teach in their areas of expertise. Aspen has developed curriculum standards and continues to refine curriculum each year. In addition, Aspen's standards have clear, understandable benchmarks. Parents know what their children will learn and when they will learn it.
Why has Aspen demonstrated such high levels of achievement, in all areas, year after year? First, Aspen's curriculum attracts students who need or want academic challenge and are willing to work hard. Second, through individual attention, Aspen aims to provide more than one year of academic growth for every year students are enrolled. There are formal and informal programs in place to provide support to students to ensure their success at Aspen.
and respectful environment for learning.
Accurate placement in core subject classes is a high priority at AMS. Students are placed in exploratory classes according to interest, motivation, ability, developmental level, and mastery of previous material.
AMS's curriculum is coordinated to ensure high standards and continuity from level to level. Students at Aspen take five core courses every semester: English, math, science, social studies, and world language (Spanish or French). Core subjects have an average class size of 21 students.
Several levels of math are offered, from Pre-Algebra through Algebra 2, in sequences designed to meet each student's needs and abilities. Language Arts courses include instruction and practice in essay writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and the reading and analysis of classic literature. A typical middle school science curriculum is covered in the 7th and 8th grade years.
Students take different combinations of physical education, health, and electives each semester. Electives include exciting topics in art, music, integrated studies, media literacy, health, and woodshop. Most electives meet every other day. Aspen has a strong music program that emphasizes both vocal and instrumental ensembles through venues like; concert band, jazz band, and select choir. In art classes students learn painting, sculpture, drawing, cartooning, and ceramics while participating in multiple building wide art projects.
One outstanding characteristic about Aspen is its level of individualization in scheduling and counseling. Flexible scheduling ensures that students receive the courses they need while at Aspen. Grades are not inflated. Hard work is needed for achievement, and grades reflect that achievement.
As a small middle school, Aspen has substantial control over its courses, textbooks, and curriculum.
It is important that students understand that in a diverse society, the knowledge of one's own culture and the culture of others can assist in their awareness, respect and understanding of others. Multi-cultural education challenges and rejects racism and other forms of discrimination, while accepting and affirming the pluralism (ethnic, racial, linguistic, religious, economic, and gender, among others) that students, their communities, and teachers represent.
A yearly survey of our students show that 94% of our population have very positive perceptions about:
Who they are, how they learn, and how they communicate.