Douglas Hall- SEMS Principal
San Elijo Middle School Overview
In partnership with families and community, San Elijo Middle School strives to provide a safe, challenging, and comprehensive learning environment, where students are taught a solid foundation of academic skills, are motivated to perform to their maximum potential, and to become responsible citizens. The mission of San Elijo Middle School is to foster student-centered and standards-based programs designed to meet the academic, personal and social needs of the middle grade student, giving each the opportunity to experience success.
The philosophy of the San Elijo Middle School program is rooted in the commitment to establish an education program that seeks to meet the needs of youth in transition from the self-contained classroom of elementary school to the departmentalized setting of high school. Middle school instruction emphasizes academic integrity while making an emotional connection with students.
At San Elijo Middle School the focus is on the academic and developmental needs of students and ensuring an intellectually stimulating learning environment, wherein all learners experience the meaning of high standards. Additionally, educators at SEMS focus on the need for a sensitive and consistent environment, which promotes healthy physical, social and personal growth. It is essential that San Elijo Middle School students become independent critical thinkers who are prepared to meet the many and diverse challenges of responsible citizenship in the 21st century.
The most effective schooling at the middle grade level meets two challenges. First, it provides students with the skills they need to be successful in high school and beyond. Second, it conveys a sense of belonging for students, that is, a connection to the goals, purposes and people of the school. The SEMS master schedule and personnel plan is centered on these basic tenets. Professional Leanring Communities enable middle grade students to experience high standards of academic excellence in a school setting that provides personal connections for students.
Continuous assessment, based on state and local standards, gives students ongoing feedback so that they are able to complete high quality work. Assessment criteria are clearly stated and rubrics can be found in every content area. Assessment techniques include student portfolios, presentations, performances, and traditional assessments. Programs such as PRIDE (Pupils Requiring Individualized Daily Education) meet the needs of at-risk students by providing study skills, homework support, and a high level of communication with parents.
The creation of a rich and rigorous curriculum has been a major goal of SEMS since the early development of the plans for this school. Existing programs are a reflection of the articulation that takes place at each grade level, across departments and with our feeder high school. For example, the physical education program has developed a comprehensive and articulated program that addresses 3 goals: movement skills and knowledge, self-image and personal development, and social development.
A vast array of exploratory and elective classes are available to all students at San Elijo Middle School as well as opportunities for academic support, advisement, counseling, and interactions with parents and community groups.