WSMS Program Placement Information
This page is intended to briefly describe some of our middle school programs and to share how students are selected for and placed in various classes at WSMS.
This page does not include Special Education Programs.
Algebra (Grade 8 only)
Grade 7 teachers make the decision to recommend a student for Algebra during the 8th grade year based on the same criteria that is used for high math determinations in grade 6 and 7. This is an advanced math course offered to grade 8 students only and will allow them to begin high school math at a higher level.
Band (All grades)
Selected via Student Sign Up.
Chorus (Grades 7 & 8)
Selected via Student Sign Up.
Creative Literacy (All grades)
A Unified Arts course that combines all areas of English Language Arts in addition to artistic and creative outputs to demonstrate comprehension of literature, society, current events, and self. There are often multiple projects occurring simultaneously, as we are housed in both a classroom and a computer lab setting. Teachers and students utilize media as well as technology to enhance the delivery and completion of each assignment. Most students are placed in Creative Literacy and will have it every year. (Students take the class for two non-consecutive terms: 1&3 and 2&4) *Open to all students, not an intervention class.
High Math (Grades 6 & 7)
Students are placed in the high group through teacher recommendation (work ethic, behavior, grades, MCAS scores, benchmark assessment grades and teacher ‘s professional opinion)
Grade 6 - decisions are made by Grade 5 teachers - we adjust during the year if we identify an incorrect placement.
Grade 7 - decisions made by Grade 6 teachers - similarly, grade 7 teachers make adjustments if necessary
In all grades - End of year - teachers reassess who is in the class and add or demit those that need to be changed.
Intro to Spanish (Grade 8 only)
This course offering in the eighth grade will be a major subject that introduces students to active conversational Spanish and everyday aspects of the Spanish speaking world. This class will help students acquire the fundamentals of pronunciation and grammar, practical vocabulary, useful phrases and the ability to understand, read, write and speak simple Spanish. Upon successful completion, they will be able to enroll in Spanish I in 9th grade. Recommendations for this course are made by the grade 7 ELA teacher.
Math Exploration (All grades)
This Title I program is designed to service students in grades 6, 7 and 8. It is part of the Unified Arts rotation. The main goals are:
Assist students in achieving proficiency in in targeted areas of remediation. This includes the use of online math programs that personalize the instruction for specific areas needing support.
Highlight and participate in practical math experiences (finance, math in careers, etc.)
Provide practice in skills which are needed for success in the grade level curriculum
Referrals to this course are made by student’s math teacher. (Term 1 students have been referred by prior year’s teacher.) Evaluations consider work ethic, grades, MCAS scores, benchmark assessment grades and math teacher’s professional opinion. Students are limited to a maximum of two terms per school year, generally terms 1 & 3, or 2 & 4. The instructor and math teachers review students against the criteria each quarter.
Middle School Spanish (Grade 8 only)
This course offering is for eighth grade students who have met the criteria established by the School Committee. This level is being offered to provide an opportunity to students planning a concentrated foreign language study. They will thereby be eligible to pursue advanced placement courses in foreign language as seniors at the high school. Foreign language in the eighth grade will be a major subject, following the high school curriculum for Spanish I. In this course, the students will use basic vocab and grammar to explore Spanish speaking countries and navigate through life situations that are age appropriate. The class will focus on the 4 basic skills of a language which include reading, writing and speaking. Emphasis is placed on conversation, vocabulary and correct grammatical usage of the language as oral and written proficiency are the primary goals. Upon successful completion, they will be able to enroll in Spanish II in 9th grade. Recommendations for this course are made by the grade 7 ELA teacher.
Modern World (Grade 8 only)
Modern World is a civics course designed to assist students in identifying and enhancing their skills in preparation for their future. This course explores areas such as civic engagement and community involvement where students will learn the responsibilities of government officials as well as the role of an active citizen. In addition, the course focuses on high school and college preparation in which students will learn successful strategies to implement in high school as well as explore the topic of college life and admission requirements culminating in a trip to a college/university. The Modern World course also discusses skills for the professional world ranging from interview strategies to resume building as well as financial responsibility discussing topics such responsible credit card use and stock market investments.
21st Century Skills (Grade 8 only)
Developing valuable and necessary skills are things every student should have in preparation for college or the workforce. 21st century skills is a class designed for students to take advantage of things such as: taking a field trip to local colleges and to learn about the opportunities available for career planning, budgeting and the importance of evaluating real world scenarios involving personal finance, effective ways of note-taking, goal setting and organizational/study skills. Students will also have the opportunity to develop a community service project, gain independence and take ownership of their own learning. Recommendations for this course are made by the 7th grade ELA and special education teachers.
Targeted Reading Intervention (All grades)
Grade 6 - 5th grade teachers provide us with names of students already enrolled in the Leveled Literacy Intervention program at the elementary level for Term 1 of 6th grade. Beyond Term 1, available slots are filled using Lexile scores (a score that measures the grade level a student is reading at) along with teacher recommendations.
Grade 7 & 8 - students are selected by their end of year Lexile score, previous enrollment in the program and teacher recommendations.
Progress is monitored by Scholastic reading inventory Lexile Levels (an assessment given throughout their time at the middle school). A student can leave this course at the end of a term if they have achieved a grade level Lexile score (or are very close and the Reading Specialist is confident of their success)..
For all three grades, Leveled Literacy Intervention is designed for students who are one to two grade levels behind the program’s proficiency ranges which is aligned to the CCSS.
Since the SRI is given four times a year, students new to WSMS will be considered once their score has been determined. They would enter at the beginning of a new term.
Choosing other UAs
Our goal is for students to experience all Unified Arts offerings over the course of their three years at WSMS. Often students are able to take courses like Health, PE, Exploring Foods, Music, and Art annually. We offer three different styles of Computers/Technology with three different areas of focus. Students do not select UAs in middle school, but are scheduled to have a variety of them throughout their time here. Students may have the same UA teacher for multiple years at the middle school, but the content varies each year.