Education Apex Middle School, Part of the Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :


Apex Middle School, part of the wake county public school system in Raleigh, NC has implemented a rigorous curriculum for grades 6, 7 and 8. The curriculum for Apex Middle School includes the following: Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Computer Education, Health and Physical Education (Wake, 2003). The objectives of each of these programs are stated below. The Apex Middle School curriculum and objectives outlined in this paper are similar to the curriculum and objectives for most public middle schools in NC. How does this differ from the middle school curriculum typically seen in New York middle schools?

According to the New York State Education Department, the objective or mission of educators is "That all students will meet or exceed high learning standards at the elementary, middle, secondary and continuing education levels" (NYSED, 2003). Major reform is currently occurring in New York. These reforms will have the potential to greatly affect students at the middle school level. Are these reforms necessary, and will they ultimately prove more successful than traditional programs such as those offered at Apex? These questions will also be addressed.

Apex Middle School Curriculum, Wake County Public Schools Raleigh, NC

The curriculum at Apex Middle School is demonstrative of most school programs in NC. It includes the following, with descriptions and outcomes of course objectives for students in grades 6-8:

Language Arts: The objective of the middles school language arts program at Apex Middle School is to master reading, writing, listening, speaking and viewing skills (Wake, 2003). Wake county uses an integrated approach, studying a variety of literary genres in the hopes that students will develop greater reading comprehension techniques, enrich their vocabulary and through each successive level, acquire high-order thinking skills from grades 6 to 8 (Wake, 2003). The overall goal as stated by school authorities is "to have students become proficient communicators and lifelong readers" (Wake, 2003).

Math: The math curriculum in Wake County Public schools emphasizes mathematics as "a way of thinking, communicating and problem solving." Courses available for grades 6-8 include accelerated math, algebra 1 and geometry. Teachers goals in implementing the curriculum is to give students the opportunity to explore the connections between differing mathematical concepts and to gain experience solving problems utilizing a hands-on approach. The mathematical problems presented in grades 6-8 are practical and can be applied to real life situations.

Science: Apex middle school has implemented the FAST Science curriculum, standing for Foundational Approaches to Science Teaching Program (Wake, 2003). As stated by the schools manual, "Emphasis is placed on the nature of science and inquiry" (Wake, 2003). Students are instructed utilizing a combination of classroom and laboratory environments. Instruction emphasizes understanding and investigation of scientific method by the applying the skills learned in the classroom to tested laboratory situations. Students in grades 6-8 deal with academic and real world problems. The goal and strategy of teachers implementing this curriculum is to provide instruction that reflects the intellectual, physical, social and emotional needs of all of their students. Teachers encourage their students early to construct working definitions of problems and then re-define those definitions as their learning and education increases at each subsequent level.

Social Studies: This program helps students at Apex to develop an understanding and appreciation of their "American Heritage" as well as other forms of government and cultures in the world. The goal of this program is to assist students in becoming effective and responsible citizens. Courses included in this curriculum include the following: "The Ways of Change: Europe and Eurasia (Grade 6)," "Africa & Asia (Grade 7)," and North Carolina: History of an American State (Grade 8)" (Wake, 2003).

Computer Education: Beginning in 2001 the Wake County school district and Apex Middle School implemented a curriculum including computer education. Students are now required to pass a state-mandated…

Sources Used in Document:


Wake County Public Schools/Middle School Curriculum/Raleigh, NC/,1876,31679-750-33-1773,00.html

New York State Education

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