Our school was founded in 2005, and named after a great leader of the Civil Rights and Peaceful Resistance Movements, the Reverend, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Our school is a Title 1 school, and a member of the Central Secondary Zone of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Jennifer Dean was appointed principal of Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School on June 14, 2012. The educational philosophies expressed in the school mantras are reflective of the key initiatives for improving student achievement:
Growing and Learning with a Focus
Reaching children through Data Wise
Ongoing examination of student Response to Interventions
Work, Professional Learning Communities
Learning and Teaching
Reaching every child Data Wise
On campus with Learning with a Focus
Available resources Professional Learning Communities
Regardless! Response to Intervention
The structure of the school is based on the true middle school concept of teaming teachers and students in order to cultivate strong relationships and consistency in expectations. Grade six and seven are structured into small teams consisting of 2 to 4 teachers who all serve a team of students. The instructional blocks are designed to have five classes per day with the four core content classes taught on a daily basis and the electives on alternating days. Grade eight is the transitional year to prepare for high school; therefore, this grade level is modeled more closely to the high school structure, with two larger teams, four longer instructional blocks per day, with both science/social studies and electives scheduled on alternate days. This differentiation in structure helps to meet the developmental needs of students in each grade level.
There are two assistant principals, Akimme Porter and Adrienne Robinson, whose duties are both horizontally organized by grade levels, and vertically organized by curriculum areas. They work as the instructional leaders for the grade levels in addition to the cross-curriculum literacy initiative and the specific content areas.
A unique team of three Behavior Management Technicians work closely with the administrative team to spearhead the PBIS initiative, which supports the needs of struggling students and reinforces positive behavior management. These staff members build close relationships with the students and staff in order to support the best decisions for students.
Talents and skills among staff members have been identified to create tiered leadership throughout the building. Staff members who have been trained to be experts or who show a natural talent for aspects of facilitating the teaching/learning process have been placed into leadership tiers, so that they may serve as peer leaders and coaches for other staff members.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School has a partnership with Citizen Schools, an after-school mentoring program, which offers extended learning opportunities across grade levels, with a focus on grade six. Also at our school is the Communities in Schools programs and Behavioral Mental Health psychotherapeutic services, which reach out to families to build strong, supportive relationships through which students’ needs can be met. In addition, there is a partnership with A Child’s Place and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department through the Gang of One grant to reduce student truancy and increasing gang resistance. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a uniform school, which provides the students with a sense of unity and safety. Other resources which support our students are the Extended Day program and the SES tutoring program.
Learning with Focus is the instructional planning model used at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. This planning model ensures instructional rigor with multiple elements to support student engagement. In addition, the Gender-based Education program provides differentiated opportunities for targeted instruction and support while using strategies that support the adolescent brain development. Per federal guidelines, all three grade levels and some electives offer single gender classes.
Additionally, Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol, SIOP, is used to scaffold the instruction of English Language Learners, and Martin Luther King, Jr. structures its Exceptional Children's Department through an inclusive environment of co-taught classes, which have the regular education content teacher collaboratively teaching with the Exceptional Children's teacher, and with a split class structure for those students who need small group support. Martin Luther King, Jr. houses the Specialized Behavioral Support (SBS) Program, which consists of two self-contained classes of students grouped into grades 6-7 and 7-8. The new EC service delivery model also includes the EC Learning Lab to help scaffold and support the children.
Our belief system is built on the foundation that true learning happens through a variety of engaging experiences. The staff at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School is committed to providing rich educational experiences, tailored through multiple initiatives, to fit the needs of each child.