The Mission of the Verona Public Schools, the center of an engaged and supportive community, is to empower students to achieve their potential as active learners and productive citizens through rigorous curricula and meaningful, enriching experiences. With that in mind, teachers and staff have created a culture of learning that promotes discovery and achievement and connections to the “real” world. These core and special academic programs for grades 5-8 provide opportunities for our students to flourish in an intellectually stimulating environment.
The 2016-2017 school year marks the second year of the house model structure at HBW, with the goal of providing smaller and more personalized learning communities for our students. The house model structure provides frequent opportunities for grade level team members to effectively identify students in need of further academic, social, or emotional support and respond by designing and implementing appropriate interventions. Additionally, grade level teams are committed to developing partnerships between the school and home through frequent individual and grade level-specific communication.
World language classes offered in Mandarin, Spanish, or French emphasize culture and oral language development. Cycle classes offer students the opportunity to take mini courses in oceanography, civics, music, coding, technology, engineering and design (TED), anthropology and art to name a few. In eighth grade, students can sign up to participate in National History Day. Science and math classes at all levels promote inquiry and problem solving. For accelerated students, advanced language arts, and geometry, and algebra are offered in seventh and eighth grades.
H.B.W. Middle School provides many opportunities for students to take curriculum-based field trips, like our environmental trip for fifth graders or a sixth grade trip to the Museum of Natural History in New York City. Other extra-curricular events include assemblies, visits to our local museums and restaurants, visits from parents and community members with particular specialties or stories to discuss, and participation in cooperative activities and contests, like Battle of the Books and Academically Speaking.
Our students have the opportunity to pick from over twenty clubs to join. Some of them focus on the following: intramurals, service, art, cooking, Chinese culture, chess and environmental issues. Our visual and performing artists can opt for the drawing club or perform in the spring musical. Our young writers and photographers work on filling the pages of the yearbook and literary magazine. Students in H.B.W. bands and choruses consistently receive superior evaluations in regional competitions and on average, four to five musicians and singers are accepted into regional honors groups annually.
Students receive academic, social, and emotional support not only from their teachers, but through a comprehensive, developmental Guidance Program. They take advisory classes with their guidance counselor in 5th and 6th grade. Students are encouraged to accept and assist one another through participation in Student Council and numerous service projects. The H.B.W. community is particularly well known for its generosity and commitment to giving back to the community. During the 2013-2014 school year, H.B.W. ranked 1st in the state for the amount of money our students raised for the American Heart Association during the Jump Rope for Heart campaign.
H.B.W. is able to be successful in educating our children because of the supportive community of Verona and a very strong School/Community Association. Both complement H.B.W.’s efforts to provide challenging, supportive, and relevant experiences for our middle-schoolers.