JCS Manzanita Middle School Academy (6-8)
About the JCS Middle School Academy (6-8)
Our middle school students attend classes with direct instruction two days a week. On the other two days, students may complete home study assignments at home OR, they are encouraged to attend the academy for personalized learning time (PLT). This allows them a structured environment to complete their home study assignments with a teacher available to answer questions and other students to collaborate with. With the support from a caring mentor, and our innovative curriculum from Summit Learning, our students are able to Learn More, Live More and Be More.
We have a close-knit community of learners. Our focus is on the student and his/her role in the learning community. We nourish this community by emphasizing the importance of individualized instruction. We hold our students to a high academic standard and provide the support that extends beyond class time.
With a more flexible schedule, JCS Manzanita students have more time to explore their passions, participate in extracurricular activities. Our focus is to teach students the skills, knowledge, and expertise they need to master in order to succeed in work and life.
Every student is unique and, therefore, the approach to each one is unique. Our teachers encourage students to take charge of their education and guide them to become independent lifelong learners as they accomplish their goals.
Students attend classes 2-4 days a week, Monday-Thursday 8:30am – 3:30pm. Friday is a home study day. Our doors open at 8:00 am for drop off. Class days vary depending on the grade level, classes, and the level of support that is needed.
The Summit Learning Approach
JCS Manzanita partners with Summit Learning to engage students in meaningful learning while fostering strong teacher relationships that prepare students for life after graduation. We use a customizable curriculum, a large bank of resources, and technology tools to empower students in taking control of their education.
At JCS Manzanita, personalized learning is our vision. The Middle School Academy seeks to Connect, Engage, Empower and Nurture students. We have designed our program using Summit Learning to model these tenets of personalized learning in many ways.
Connect students’ long-term goals and aspirations to their daily decisions, actions and behaviors.
- 1:1 Mentor meetings
- Personalized Learning Time (PLT) where students are guided to set short goals as part of the self-directed learning cycle.
- Access to the academic counselor through email, phone, and academy visits.
Empower and equip students to drive their learning and own their success.
- Students set daily goals as part of the self-directed learning cycle during Personalized Learning Time
- Students complete focus areas at their own pace. They decide when and how to complete the work of Personalized Learning Time.
- 1:1 Mentor meetings provide students with opportunities to reflect and decide on next steps.
Engage students in meaningful, deeper learning experiences where progression is based on competency and subject matter knowledge is applied to real, authentic problems.
- Students demonstrate mastery on Focus Areas by earning 8/10 on each assessment during Personalized Learning Time.
- Students complete projects centered around real world problems that require critical thinking and cognitive skills.
Nurture communities of learners, where students practice and model life skills, and receive rich feedback to individually grow and thrive.
- Community groups where students support one another and practice life skills together.
- Project time where students collaborate on projects together.
- Intervention groups where students meet with teachers and other peer mentors to solidify understanding of skills.
Learners will set and achieve goals — from short-term daily or weekly goals to long-term college and career goals.
From the first day, students are encouraged by their mentors and teachers to develop in the Five Characteristics of Self-directed Learning. These are the behaviors that will enable students to achieve their goals.
Self-directed learners are always looking for challenges. They know that they will not grow unless they are pushing themselves to try something they don’t feel completely comfortable with.
Self-directed learners are persistent even when a task is not completely engaging or interesting. They understand that deliberate practice leads to quicker processing and frees up mental space to solve more difficult problems and think through more interesting ideas.
Not all strategies will work for every problem. Self-directed learners are not just persistent but also realize when they are heading towards a dead end or getting frustrated and when it is time to shift strategies even if it means starting the problem from scratch.
Self-directed learners don’t just feel comfortable asking for help from peers and teachers, they also do it in a way that will help sustain their learning. Self-directed learners are not satisfied with the answer or the next step in the process but want to know why their current strategy isn’t working and why other strategies might work better.
Self-directed learners learn from failure. They fail as often, and usually more often, than anyone else. They don’t get discouraged by these failures but realize that these failures are opportunities to learn and shift strategies if necessary.