Academic Extensions

Academic Extensions at Sartell Middle School

Middle School Students are Unique

Early adolescence is generally described as the time between ages 10 and 15. During this developmental span, young adolescents experience a wide range of growth rates in cognitive, physical, social, emotional, and moral dimensions. Change in young adolescents can be rapid and uneven.  Every middle school classroom represents a wide array of talents.  Click here to view opportunities.

At Sartell Middle School, excellence is a persistent goal for each learner. Every learner has the opportunity to have the highest possible quality education to maximize his or her learning potential.

Middle School Students Require Unique Instruction

Ongoing assessment is critical to informing classroom practice in meeting the unique needs of middle level students. Pre-assessment, in-process assessments, and post assessments give students consistent opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding, and skill related to topics of study. Middle school teachers use data from such assessments to modify teaching and learning plans to ensure that each student—including those who already perform well beyond expectations—have consistent opportunities to extend their abilities.

Equity in the middle grades requires that all learners have an opportunity to participate in curriculum that is rich in meaning and focused on thought and application.  Sartell Middle School students are engaged in differentiated classrooms in every content area.  In addition to “core” subjects of Math, Reading/Language Arts, Science and Social Studies, students have the opportunity to experience Music, Theatre, Physical Education, Spanish, Family and Consumer Science, Tech Ed, and Visual Art as well as Band, Choir and Orchestra.

In 5th and 6th grade, classroom instruction includes concept-based flexible pacing and flexible grouping.  In Mathematics, leveled courses are offered to meet the specific needs of all learners.  In addition, teacher teams differentiate instruction based on student pre-assessment achievement data that demonstrates the level of student understanding for a given concept.  Instruction is structured to match the ability level of each learner to ensure engagement in inquiry, higher level thinking, and the development of creativity.  Click here to access course-specific enrichment details.

Advanced middle grade learners require different opportunities that support and meet the degrees of challenge for individual readiness levels.  To address this need, 7th and 8th Grade students have the opportunity to participate in Enriched Programming in Math, Language Arts, Science and Social/Global Studies.  

Student enrollment in these classes is based on specific placement criteria including Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) and STAR Assessment scores, placement test scores, and previous grades.  Students who qualify and are ready for more academic challenges may elect to register for these classes. The Enriched classes move at a faster pace and provide more depth in certain topics.

Middle School Students Need Affective Education

Critical to healthy development in the middle grade years is development of positive student affect. Students benefit greatly from learning environments that reinforce their worth as individuals and support them in becoming more independent and productive. For advanced learners, this may require helping students affirm both their abilities and their need to belong to a peer group. The Sartell Middle School Student Advisory program is designed to meet this need.  All students are given the opportunity to develop their interpersonal skills as they participate in meaningful teacher developed curriculum designed to address the needs of our middle level students.  Sartell Middle school prides itself on addressing the unique dynamics that high-ability and high-potential young adolescents may experience, by providing opportunities for leadership and real-world experiences extend beyond the traditional classroom.  Some of these experiences include:      

Geography Bee Speech Team
Project Earth Stock Market Game
Spelling Bee Civic Engagement Day with Youth
Wake-Up SMS We Day Minnesota
Cribbage Club Minnesota Envirothon
Maud Hart Lovelace Book Selection Math Counts
Battle of the Books Math Cribbage
Art Club Theatre Productions
Chess Club  


For more information on these opportunities, please contact Lori Dornburg at (320) 656-3701 extension 2674.