Middle School Philosophy:

The middle school provides a gradual educational and social transition between the elementary school and high school for those in grades 6, 7, and 8, which is a unique experience apart from both.

The middle school experience places high priority on the following goals: acquisition of basic skills and knowledge; development of positive self-concept; personalization; and exploration and transition.

The middle school incorporates the following instructional and organizational strategies: teaching teams; block scheduling; flexible use of space and time; expanded reporting procedures; interdisciplinary teaching and learning; and increased teacher and student decision making. The instructional mode emphasizes both process and content and is student centered. The major theme, Learning How To Learn, helps students to grow from dependent to independent learners.

Standards-Based Education:

The Aurora Public Schools (APS) has provided quality education to students in Aurora for over one hundred years. Building on this strong foundation, in 1989, through a strategic planning process that involved staff, parents and community stakeholders, APS adopted a mission to develop lifelong learners who value themselves, contribute to their community and succeed in a changing world.

This mission guided the development of a unique vision of what learning will look like for our students. Our stakeholders have said that it is not enough that students have knowledge and skills in a variety of areas; they must be able to use and apply them in real life situations. We ask that students demonstrate their performances systematically and regularly in classrooms throughout their education in APS. It is not enough for our students to simply "know," they must be able to "do."

By using a variety of types of assessments (including both traditional and performance) to evaluate and report on the progress of our students, we are confident that students from the Aurora Public Schools will graduate as knowledgeable, productive citizens who will succeed in our changing world.

For additional information, please contact Instructional Services at 303-340-0861 or the Administration at Columbia Middle School.

Middle School Curriculum:

The middle school curriculum consists of two major areas:

An Academic Block provides instruction in language arts, math, science, social studies, and reading. Special attention is directed toward developing basic skills, critical thinking skills and reading in the content areas. Students spend approximately four hours a day in the Academic Block.

An Elective Block includes the areas of health, physical education, computers/keyboarding, music, drama and visual arts. The Elective Block provides the opportunity to explore new subjects and ideas, an important facet in pre- and early-teen development. Students spend approximately two hours a day in the Elective Block.

Other middle school programs include intramurals to provide additional sports activities for all interested students; inter-school sports for 7th & 8th graders; and academic and social clubs developed around student interests and needs.

Special Needs:

Please contact your school or the Aurora Public Schools Office of the Superintendent (303-344-8060 ext. 28004) [TDD 340-1584] if, because of a disability, you require special assistance in order to participate in a school activity. Persons with such needs are requested to make contact at least two weeks prior to the event, if possible, in order to allow staff to coordinate arrangements.

This publication, and most other publications from your school, are available in alternative formats (e.g. large print, on audio tape and in braille) upon request. Please contact the Principal of your school for more information.

Multicultural Education:

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.