Chaotic Middle School Sets New Standard of Excellence

Last year, Teachers’ Memorial Global Studies Magnet Middle School in Norwich, Connecticut, was a place where students roamed the halls, skipped classes, and fought with each other. The school had a reputation for being unsafe and disorderly, and many parents and teachers were unhappy with the situation.

But this year, things have changed dramatically. The school has implemented a new vision and mission that focus on global studies, service learning, and world languages. The school has also adopted a new discipline system that rewards positive behavior and provides support for students who struggle. The result is a school that is more peaceful, respectful, and engaging for both students and staff.

The school’s principal, Dr. Anne Hogsten, credits the transformation to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved. She says that the school’s theme of global studies has helped students develop a sense of curiosity and empathy for others. The school offers students the opportunity to learn about different cultures, languages, and issues through interdisciplinary projects, field trips, guest speakers, and virtual reality. Students also participate in service learning projects that benefit the local and global community.

One of the most popular features of the school is the planetarium, which was renovated last year with the help of a grant from NASA. The planetarium allows students to explore the solar system and beyond, as well as learn about astronomy and space science. The school also has a language lab, a video production studio, a greenhouse, and a MakerSpace where students can create and innovate.

Dr. Hogsten says that the school’s new discipline system has also made a big difference in the school climate. The system is based on the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework, which emphasizes teaching and reinforcing expected behaviors rather than punishing negative ones. The school uses a system of points and rewards to motivate students to follow the school rules and values. Students who earn enough points can redeem them for prizes or privileges, such as attending special events or choosing their seats in class. Students who need more guidance or intervention are referred to a team of counselors, social workers, and mentors who provide them with individualized support.

The school’s transformation has not gone unnoticed by the community. The school has received positive feedback from parents, students, teachers, and district leaders. The school has also seen an increase in enrollment and attendance, as well as a decrease in referrals and suspensions. The school has been featured in local and national media outlets for its remarkable turnaround.

Dr. Hogsten says that she is proud of what the school has achieved in such a short time, but she also acknowledges that there is still room for improvement. She says that the school’s goal is to continue to provide students with a high-quality education that prepares them for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.

“We want our students to be curious, resilient, global citizens who use intellect and empathy to shape the world,” she says.


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