Secondary school in American
Speaking broadly, secondary school may include US grades 7-12. The students are ages 12-17. Most schools, however, have two separate programs. This is the junior high (grades 7-8) or middle school (grades 6-8). Then high school includes grades 9-12. While the middle school is the most common configuration, this program is not popular. Both parents and educators favor grouping students in a K-8 school setting. Students of grades 6-8 tend to perform better in K-8 schools.
Finding the best middle schools in America is challenging. There has been some ambiguity about the purpose of these schools and what should be the scholastic plan for students at this age. There can often be a decline in overall student performance between elementary school and middle school. Best middle schools in USA have a good educational plan, clear goals and a team that is willing and specially trained to teach students ages 11-13. They are making a smooth transition from elementary to high school and preparing the students to succeed in a challenging high school curriculum.
What are the key characteristics of best secondary schools in America?
While parents want a school that excels academically, they also want the best possible fit for their child. Top secondary schools in USA foster the right to learn, the right to be happy and the right to be different. Of course, results count. But best junior high schools in America encourage students to be independent learners and to take responsibility for their own education. They are not provided with every answer nor rehearsed on every correct response.
One key is good communication. Teachers should be firm but approachable. Students are willing to work hard for teachers who are likable yet respected. Teachers in top schools are also actively engaged with parents on a regular basis, too. In the best middle schools in the USA, the students are happy. A happy student is able to focus on learning.
Look for these important indicators:
Dedicated support of teachers: good middle schools champion great teachers. They provide their teachers with mentors, instruction and discussion of best practices.
Focus on social, physical and emotional student growth: look for a junior high school where all aspects of development are considered.
Nurturing of student’s individual talents and interests: choose a middle school where the teachers know the students individually, and can name their strengths and aptitudes.
Climate of high expectations: does the middle school set a high bar? When a teacher expects a high standard, students usually rise to the challenge.
Active family involvement: select a school that regularly interacts with the parents.
Pleasant facilities: pick a school that offers open spaces and light classrooms, where there are recreational areas, lockers, safe surroundings.
Examples of best middle schools in USA among public, magnet and charter schools
- William Diamond Middle, Lexington, MA
- Blanchard Middle Westford, MA
- Chetek Middle, Chetek, WI
- Lake Middle School, Woodbury, MN
- Angleton Middle, Angleton, TX
- William B Travis, Dallas, TX
- Summit Middle Charter School, Boulder, CO
- Stella Schola, Redmond, WA