Spectrum Middle School (SMS) is a great place to learn. I say and write this often. Born and raised in Minnesota, it sometimes feels awkward when I do because I was taught to be humble. But it is true, especially when I define “great” with Jim Collins’s definition from Good to Great. He writes that greatness is when there is a delivery of superior performance, there has been a distinctive impact, and it is over a long period of time. At SMS this is what we strive to be and to maintain. The greatness is the culture; it is where everyone is seen and heard. It is where everyone knows everyone’s name because it is a way everyone knows they matter.
David Geurin writes in his blog (1.21.18) that there are five questions every student is trying to answer:
- Am I important to someone here? SMS works hard at knowing everyone name. Of course this is the teachers but also the counselor, office staff, lunchroom supervisors, Dean of Students, and principal. It has been definitely harder this year because of hybrid learning mode, but our students feel important because we see them and call them by name.
- Do I belong here? SMS purposefully clusters and groups its students. This is done routinely in classes as well as courses, Advisories, lunches, and Sting Times.
- Am I good at something here? SMS provides opportunities for students to grow and eventually shine, feeling confident in their identities. We grade for learning and support them in the learning process. They learn where their skills lie and develop them to be at an advanced level. Theater opportunities, being on an athletic team, or joining a club are all ways students connect and find that “something.”
- Who will listen to me here? SMS teaches and expects self-advocacy. Perspective matters, including knowing that there are multiple perspectives on one topic. When students understand this, they feel their own perspective is heard, and they strive then to listen to others'. Knowing when there are questions, as well, that there might not always be an answer but instead more questions; this is a whole different way of thinking. SMS students learn that not only do they matter, but their voice and opinions matter. The expectation is that everyone does share in using that voice beause many are listening.
- Is my presence here making a difference? The middle-school journey is one we all go through. It is one that includes stumbling and sometimes even failing. At SMS, students learn that support is always available and that it often comes in many forms and at many times. Perseverance is developed, which includes an I-can-do-it attitude. Self-compassion creates kindness, and students learn that we are who we are because they are a part of what makes us “us.”
At Spectrum Middle School, students do have these questions, but through their years with us, they learn the answers to their questions, finding themselves and many friends along the way. Is there anything greater?!
Weeks at a Glance
- Monday, January 25 - Friday, January 29: Winter Fest - Student Council’s Dress up days
- Sunday, January 31: Applications due for new students (see NOTE below)
- Tuesday, February 16: Annual Spectrum Lottery for 2021-22 school year
- NOTE: If you have children who wish to join their siblings here at Spectrum or know of others interested in attending Spectrum next year (2021-2022) please make sure to submit an application for enrollment by January 31, 2021, to be included in the February 16, 2021, lottery @ Spectrum Application Link. Contact Christy Siegel, Registrar at email@example.com or 763-450-9859 with any questions.