Many of you already know, but if you don't, OHMS has a grade 7/8 looping structure in place. This is our first year and initial reviews are very positive. So what does this mean? This years' seventh graders will have the same teachers next year.
Why do we have this structure in place? There are a number of reasons for looping. Some are explained in the "Research on Looping" link on the right hand navigation bar. Middle schoolers are special kids with specific developmental and social needs. We know this already, especially you the parents. One of the major tenets of the "middle school philosophy" is to have adult advocates for all of our students. There is also a greater understanding of the importance of a healthy rapport/relationship between teacher and student. This takes time to develop, as is with any relationship. It almost seems a shame to have to start this process all over again each year. Teachers can save time in the fall picking up where they left off in the spring. Knowledge of each student's strengths, weaknesses and learning styles is essential for ensuring student's success. Now teachers will have this knowledge for two years. Think of the possibilities!
Why not loop 6-8? Some schools do have this structure. My son's school does. However, we have realized that the 5/6 transition is a huge move for our kids. Our current 6th grade team has a particular skill set and are able to provide a smooth and more effective transition. Having the same 6th grade team also allows an ease of conversation with Carrie Ricker School and their 5th grade team.
Does looping always work? Of course nothing always works. There are options if you or your child feel that looping with the same teachers may not be in the student's best interest. While we generally wish not to interrupt the benefits of looping, please contact the school if you would like to discuss options that are different than looping.
Looping is only one of a number of ways that OHMS tries to meet the specific developmental needs of your child. This entry is an attempt to help parents understand why we loop. Please take a minute to read the posted article about looping. I think it will add some clarity. Feel free to call or email if you'd like to have further conversations about this or any other topic related to OHMS and the education we deliver.