Middle School Program
WIVA students in grades 6–8 take courses in all core subjects—English, math, science, history, and art—as well as self-guided elective courses in world languages or music. Coursework is a mix of online and hands-on work, which caters to a wide variety of learning styles. Easy-to-use online planning and progress tools keep you and your student on track.
Work Completion Expectation
Middle School is a semester-based approach where students are required to earn a passing grade of 60% or above on their assignments and online lessons. Due dates are assigned to lessons to encourage consistent, steady progress for academic success. Attending teacher-led, direct-instruction, online synchronous “ClassConnect” sessions, along with completing coursework, will also assist with student success. Middle school teachers will work with families to ensure students are progressing academically as expected. To achieve success, it’s in the student’s best interest to follow the pacing schedule that’s assigned for each course.
Middle School is a time when students become more independent, taking on more responsibility and ownership for their learning. A parent (or other responsible adult) serves as a "Learning Coach" to the child. Parent/Learning Coach involvement is critical for student success, as middle school students continue to build their organization and time-management skills. Teachers set the pace of instruction, but the Learning Coach helps students stay on track.
Parent/Learning Coach involvement may vary per child and grade level. The initial 4-8 weeks can be intensive as families settle into a routine. Students in grades 6–8 build self-advocacy skills and work more directly with teachers, but Parent/Learning Coach involvement is essential for at least 20 hours a week and roughly 50–60% of time is online.
Working with Your Teacher
While online lessons can usually be completed at any time of day, students will be required to attend live ClassConnect sessions with their teacher(s) based on the student’s individual needs. During ClassConnect sessions, students will receive direct instruction from teachers and have opportunities to interact with classmates. In addition to regular, synchronous classroom instruction, teachers may offer support or small group sessions to assist in student learning. Parents/Learning Coaches are encouraged to contact their child’s homeroom teacher any time they have questions or concerns.
Attendance is logged Monday through Friday; however, academic progress can be achieved during the weekends as well. Middle School students are expected to spend approximately 4–7 hours on schoolwork per school day. Skills and study habits escalate to a goal of five lessons per day, five days per week.
E-mail is the primary form of communication between the school and families. Learning Coaches and students are required to check and respond to e-mails on a daily basis.
Our testing is purposeful and meaningful, and drives our instructional practices to best serve the individual needs of your child. Below is a list of some of the assessments students will take over the course of the year. Not every test applies to every grade level. Check the Resources section for a list of the tests and the grades in which they are given, as well as the schedule on which they will be administered.
Personal Learning Assessments (PLA)
Students in grades 6–8 will be required to take the PLA (LANGUAGE ARTS PLA) and a readiness assessment in math. Students must complete the reading assessment by the published deadline date.
The PLA and math assessment are administered at the beginning of the year and used as a beginning benchmark. Students in grades 6–8 will participate in required state testing in the spring. Assessments will be a great way of showing growth over a year. They also provide a great deal of information as to what areas students excel in, and what areas they may need a little support in. For this reason, all assessments are considered required.
Below is a list of the state mandated tests and the respective grade levels associated with these tests.
· ELL (English Language Learners) Access: Grades K–12. Winter 2016–17
· FORWARD Assessment (ELA, Math and Social Studies): Grades 3–8. Spring 2017
· FORWARD Assessment (Science): 4th, 8th, and 10th grades only. Spring 2017
You will be kept up-to-date about testing and assessments through communication from advisors and teachers throughout the school year, as well as informational pieces in the monthly newsletters and the WIVA Weekly. At any time, please feel free to call Katherine Siegmann, WIVA's Testing Coordinator, at 608-838-9482 (WIVA office number) x1111 for any clarification on the information you are receiving.