Teaming

  • Radnor Middle School utilizes the teaming approach in organizing the student body. Teaming is when a specific group of students are assigned to a common group of two (2) to four (4) teachers and is at the core of the middle school concept. These teams create smaller learning communities within the larger school population.  Organizing students and teachers this way helps adolescents feel as if they belong to a school family where they know their teammates and teachers well and feel supported in an environment where it is safe to take intellectual risks.

    Research continues to confirm the benefits of interdisciplinary teams in middle level education. Student achievement, parent-teacher communication, and school climate all improve when effective teams are implemented as an organizational structure. Traditional teams consist of one (1) core teacher per 20 students, supported by special education and gifted teachers, who work collaboratively with each other on a daily basis. The team meets daily and the focus of team meetings rotates on each of the following areas:

    • Special Education - Teachers meet with special education teachers, monitor and plan for the progress of students with IEPs, and conduct IEP meetings.

    • Gifted Education - Teachers meet with the Teacher of Gifted Learning (TOGL), monitor and plan for the progress of students with GIEPs, and conduct GIEP meetings.

    • Counselor Meetings - The grade level counselor meets with each team to have a dialogue on the social, emotional, and academic progress of the students.

    • Student Development - Teachers review data, set goals, and monitor the academic progress of all students.

    • Counterparts - Teachers meet with fellow subject area teachers in their grade to common plan for their subject area.

    • Team - The team meets to monitor and plan for the Team as a whole. This may involve field trip and activity planning, as well as interdisciplinary activities. At least once a month, all teams in the same grade meet to review grade-level items and/or to participate in professional development activities.
       

    In addition to traditional interdisciplinary teams, Radnor Middle School also has four (4) integrated teams in which two (2) teachers facilitate an educational program for 40 students. These integrated teams implement thematically-based curricula in which students often play an active role in creating and assessing their own work. 

    Sixth (6th) grade students have an opportunity to be part of Crossroads, a program that focuses on an individual’s relationship with his or her family, community, nation, and world. In seventh (7th) grade, Watershed provides an environmental science focus that includes stream studies and an in-depth look at how a region’s watershed affects environment and culture. In eighth (8th) grade, Gateways uses science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as a thematic approach, while Soundings provides a democratically-designed curriculum in which students create the units of study, essentially charting their own course within the larger curricular framework. 

    There are opportunities for students in integrated classes to take classes with students and teachers who are not on their integrated team. These situations usually occur in math and specialized reading instruction, where students are leveled and instructed at their specific current academic and/or performance abilities in a homogenous setting, as well as Encore (world language, PE, health, music, technology education, art, and FaCS) classes. 

    Students interested in entering a random lottery for the opportunity to participate in one of the Integrated Programs will attend an informational meeting in late April or early May.  Interested students will then submit their name to the lottery.

    Following the lottery, students and parents will be given approximately two weeks to make a commitment to join the integrated course.  Students not making the commitment by the established deadline will be placed onto a traditional team with their integrated slot given to the first student on the waiting list.

    The lottery selection process is conducted with a computer randomizer in the presence of a team of staff and administrators.  A student’s opportunity to participate in multiple integrated programs, throughout their middle school years, is not based on enrollment in a prior program.