The Best Middle Schools in the U.S.

This ranking of the best middle schools in the United States focuses on grades 7 and 8. By a "middle school" we mean a school that includes those grades. Because regions (states, districts, etc.) set their own standards, in some places grades 7 and 8 may be combined with the high school, while in others they may be found together with elementary grades. Another alternative has been to place 7th and 8th grades in a separate school by themselves or together with 6th grade (these are usually called "middle schools" or less frequently now "junior high schools").International middle school

Whatever the combination, the schools in this ranking have both 7th and 8th grade housed together within the same building (which is nearly always the case). Where 7th and 8th graders were housed with other grades, achievement scores for the 7th and 8th graders were evaluated individually, rather than for the school as a whole. The schools in this ranking have found a way to provide 7th and 8th graders with a rich school experience that prepares them superbly well for high school, college, and life.

Recent research indicates that it is beneficial to put 7th and 8th graders together with the elementary grades, creating a single school for K through 8. There are significant studies which show that junior high/middle school students perform better when educated in a K through 8 setting. However, in large urban or suburban areas this option may create space, staffing, and safety issues. For this reason, it is not always feasible to make one school for nine grades.
For this study, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results in science, math, and reading for 8th graders were used as a principal (but not the sole) basis for comparison of schools. The NAEP administers the same test nationally so that one standard is applied to each student no matter which state they live in.

In the case of other common standardized test assessments, each state creates and administers its own tests, which makes cross-state comparisons difficult. That is the reason why we emphasize the NAEP. However, state assessment scores were also examined, where available, and weighed together with the NAEP scores.

Finally, other factors such as awards and rankings and geographical diversity were also taken into account.
Community Day Charter School
Community Day Charter was founded in 1995 and was one of the first charter schools in Massachusetts. It began with grades K--3 and added a grade every year thereafter until it had all grades K--8.

Teachers work together in teams to identify areas of weakness and formulate action plans for students who are not succeeding as well as they should. All students are given the opportunity to succeed with school support and the belief that all students are capable of meeting the demands of challenging standards.An extended day and extended year is offered to students who wish to develop their skills or participate in extracurricular activities.
2. Stowe Middle School
Stowe Middle School is a school for grades 6--8. The program at Stowe is rigorous, but the school recognizes the importance of more than just academics. All students are required to perform four hours of community service and many perform more service than is required. Personalized classes are provided so that students can build relationships with other students, as well as staff and faculty.

An online free library is provided to all students in addition to the regular library, which has a website that assists students in finding books that they will enjoy and to keep them updated on what is new and what is popular. The school also prepares a newsletter that gives suggestions to parents on things they can do to help their children to be successful both socially and academically.

Each grade in middle school is separated into teams so that students on the same team share the same teachers. Likewise, teachers on a team share the same students. There is a math, social studies, and science teacher for each team, and each teacher also teaches language arts across the curriculum.

Electives include life skills, band, choir, art, Technology Design Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences Education (FACS). A theater group performs plays and musicals and the school hosts informative seminars on drug awareness and prevention tips for parents on subjects like Abduction and Harm.

Friday wellness classes allow students to participate in snowboarding, snowshoeing, skiing, swimming, and skating. Team sports include field hockey, soccer, track, and cross country skiing.             

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