Carmel Middle School is located in the South Park area of Charlotte. Our total student enrollment is approximately 1,150 students. Our student population is comprised of the following ethnicities: White 62%, African-American 16.6%, Hispanic 23%, Asian 1%, American Indian 9% and Multi-Racial (more than one) 11%. Our Economically Disadvantaged (EDS) subgroup constitutes 41% of our student population. Students with a Disability (SWD) population are currently 11% and certified Academically Gifted student population is 16%. Our current data reflects that 9% of our student population has been identified as Limited English Proficient.
Carmel Middle School has a total of 60 classroom teachers on staff, two assistant principals, a dean of students, three counselors and 15 support staff. Of the 67 certified staff, we have 10 National Board certified teachers. There are 23 certified staff members with Master’s Degrees and 4 additional teachers are enrolled in a Master’s program.
Carmel Middle School has consistently met or exceeded state and national goals as measured by the North Carolina End-of-Grade and End-of-Course tests. Each year Carmel has performed above CMS and state averages. Carmel was recertified as a national “School to Watch” in 2017.
Every student at Carmel Middle School has the opportunity to use a Chromebook to support their learning and growth. Teachers are using the State Learning Management System, Canvas, to provide instructional support as well as instant feedback. Schoolnet, an assessment platform, allows teachers to create instructional assessments to both pre and post assess student learning. We have created job embedded Professional Development that focuses on differentiation strategies, flexible grouping, blended learning strategies and technology in the classroom while implementing the Common Core State Standards as well as the North Carolina State standards. The PTSA will generously continue to support our efforts by providing resources to improve student achievement and support our school-wide goals.
Carmel Middle School’s English Language Arts (ELA) department seeks to continue our pursuit of preparing students for college and beyond. Therefore, we will continue to use the Collegeboard AP framework entitled, SpringBoard. SpringBoard is a Pre-AP ELA curriculum for grades 6-12, based on the Common Core State Standards. This curriculum is designed to aid student success through integrated instructional materials, close reading of complex text, and high quality sustained embedded assessments. With this framework, all students will be able to succeed in a rigorous academic environment and make significant achievement gains. Teachers are given ongoing professional development in ways to infuse SpringBoard Digital, which includes opportunities for short cycle assessments allowing teachers to track objectives for mastery. Our instructional system will clearly map what college and career ready students should know and be able to do at each grade level. For that reason, the following essential characteristics are expected:
• Increase rigor in curriculum by utilizing close reading of complex text in all content areas
• Challenge and engage all students through a “toolbox” of learning strategies
• Develop 21st century literacy skills (delving into both classic and contemporary or “new literacies”)
• Explore real-world contextual settings and situations
• Emphasize higher order thinking skills and student ownership of learning
• Plan collaboratively to increase staff knowledge of content literacy standards including the argument, explanatory and narrative writing products and processes in lesson development and implementation
• Create and deliver professional development that increases the skills and knowledge of school staff in the SpringBoard and Standards of Mathematical of Practice by examining resources and utilizing standards based grading for mastery
• Provide information updates, as available, to staff on assessment development, design, and timeline.
Carmel Middle School obtained the opportunity from CMS to transform our school into a place of personalized learning. Our goal is to transform teaching and learning from passive direct instruction to a 21st century learner-centered collaborative environment encompassing critical thinking for both students and staff. As we strive to include project-based learning opportunities for students to meet the standards within the state curriculum, we will implement Personalized Learning in a variety of classrooms to support student needs and learning styles. Within Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Personalized Learning is an instructional design that requires a fundamental shift from a traditional teaching model, to a classroom that empowers and nurtures the social, emotional, academic, and developmental needs of each self-directed 21st century learner. Student needs would be met based on short assessments of content prescribed at the appropriate level and interest of students. Personalized learning will strengthen the engagement of students and develop active learners who take responsibility for their learning by moving at a pace allowing mastery of a given objective. Through tailored instruction, our learners will move from receivers of knowledge to seekers of knowledge. Taking ownership of their learning will empower students to become more accountable and responsible for their education. Our students will experience a learning environment conducive to a more active and collaborative learning approach. Carmel PTSA has transformed one classroom into a collaborative learning environment creating a climate for students to actively engage in 21st century learning opportunities.