At Holmes Middle School, students are encouraged to discover, explore, and construct meaning in a rich and stimulating educational environment. Our goal as educators is to support every child and develop each student to be an independent, continuous learner. Teachers design and implement challenging lessons in which students are active participants. Students should ask questions, participate in discussions, and work with a purpose to enhance their own learning. They also need to be engaged in reflective thought. Each student needs time to process what he or she has learned in order to be able to apply knowledge to new situations, which will help them make meaning as they take ownership of the world around them.

Students are expected to be accountable for their own behavior during school hours, on their way to and from school, at school­sponsored activities, at the bus stops, and on the school bus. In order to help students make appropriate behavioral decisions and to develop personal responsibility and self­discipline, we have developed a set of Learner Qualities. Learner Qualities are those behaviors that enhance a student’s ability to learn and to get along with others. Learner Qualities are ‘life skills.’ These are the same qualities that are essential for success in the workplace and in everyday life. By learning these behaviors now, students will be preparing for a successful future throughout their schooling and beyond.

A student who is a Self-Directed Learner…
-sets, achieves and re-evaluates goals;
-organizes time, tasks, and materials;
-takes responsibility for his/her own learning; and,
-completes daily and absentee work on time.
A student who is a Collaborative Worker…
-establishes positive working relationships with others;
-builds a community of learners;
-shares time and talents in the classroom and school;
-participates appropriately in a variety of settings;
-works well in groups of various sizes by teaching and encouraging others;
-works to achieve group goals.
A student who is a Quality Producer…
-meets the requirements of an assignment;
-demonstrates depth of thought;
-creates a variety of original products;
-invests time, effort, pride; and,
-produces work that is neat and organized.
A student who is a Respectful Citizen…
-models high behavioral standards;
-demonstrates care and respect for self and others;
-respects school property and the property of others; and,
-follows behavioral directions of teachers.

Learner Quality Grade Descriptor
4 – Performance is consistently at a high level and achieved independently.
3 – Performance is often at a satisfactory level and achieved independently.
2 – With help, performance is at a satisfactory level.
1 – Performs with partial success while requiring help.

The standards for the content areas align to district and state goals. As teachers design instruction, these goals are being addressed. Teachers will share the standards and expectations for their classes with students and parents at the beginning of the school year.

Throughout the school year, teachers are monitoring student growth in content areas, as well as Learner Qualities that together give us an accurate picture of every child. Teachers use formal and informal assessments to gauge student learning and to inform decisions for instruction. Tests, quizzes, projects, performance­based activities, and portfolios are used as evidence to guide instructional decisions. Teachers use this evidence to determine content area grades. In addition to the content area grades, this handbook presents standards for student behaviors; as mentioned earlier, these are called Learner Qualities. These qualities are respectful citizen, self­directed learner, quality producer, and collaborative worker

If a student has been absent for an extended period of time, or if a student is missing several assignments, he/she may receive a letter grade of “I” for Incomplete. Incomplete grades must be made up within 2 weeks from the end of the grading period

A grade of an AAdvanced-Consistently demonstrates depth of thinking and transfers learning to new situations
A grade of a B Proficient-Independently uses and understands concepts/skills
A grade of a C Developing-With support, uses and understands concepts/skills
A grade of a D Deficient-Struggles to demonstrate understanding of concepts/skills
A grade of a WAcademic Warning-Requires intensive improvement