Chief Joseph is a wonderful school with diverse opportunities for its students. High-achieving students will find many options to interest and challenge them at CJMS. Occasionally, a student has learning needs that fall well beyond the regular classroom curriculum, however, and that is a time when it may help to know a bit more about parenting a highly-capable Chief Joseph student.
TEAM MEETINGS: Please be aware that teachers will begin the year with several weeks of getting to know kids, assessing skill levels, and building classroom climate. The first weeks of school are not a time to make a judgment about the level of rigor in any class! Once the year is moving along, teachers are happy to meet with you and discuss your child’s learning. Generally, this is done in the form of a Team Meeting, which your student’s counselor can help set up. At this type of meeting, teachers and parents can discuss student needs and adjustments to the regular coursework that may be helpful.
ELECTIVES: Selecting a variety of electives is important for students, as they will be introduced to content that they can pursue in greater depth through their middle school years. Your child’s counselor can help with these choices, if you feel a change might be beneficial.
LEVELED CLASSES: Math is leveled/clustered at Chief Joseph. This model has worked well to provide instruction at an appropriate pace for bright students. Multiple data points and teacher feedback are used to inform placement decisions.
GIFTED INDEPENDENT STUDY: The Independent Studies class offers gifted 6th through 8th Grade students the opportunity to explore their interests through a student-led, process-based program. The areas of exploration are not necessarily related to schoolwork, but can be if the student so desires.
The goal of the independent study process is to provide a meaningful learning opportunity for each student who participates, such that each will
· identify and explore personal passions,
· actively engage in the learning process,
· struggle, fail and excel throughout the learning process in a safe, supportive environment,
· gain greater self-awareness of how to best learn, and
· ultimately reflect and share the new knowledge attained and personal insights learned about him/herself.
EXTRA-CURRICULAR: Students have choices about activities they can pursue after school at Chief Joseph, too. In addition to sports, there are clubs for students interested in the following: Art Club, Drama Club, Forensics, Geography Bee, Jazz Band, SOAR Club, Spelling Bee, Student Council, and Yearbook Club.