Consider Ricci Middle School an art studio. It’s where students are given a whole pallet of materials to get the wheels spinning in their creative minds when brainstorming new projects to create and abstract ideas to explore. Our art educator provides guidance during lessons and installations of projects around our school, but our students are the directors of their artwork and personal portfolios. The love students have for art here at Ricci goes beyond class time working on pieces. They love art so much, they’ve formed a “Recycled Art Club” in addition to the regular art group that meets after school. Our students understand and appreciate that art is everywhere, and see the endless potential they have to turn their passion for art and use it in any way they’d like – to create, to sculpt, to draw for a plethora of businesses, agencies, galleries, and for personal, non-commissioned art of their own.
Ricci Middle School students are tuned in to the best music education around, where they are empowered to take part in a musical journey that expands, evolves, and matures over their years at Ricci. Music appreciation is the foundation of our program, where students learn more than how to keep a beat, harmonize with others, and about the flow of songs. They use math when reading music and counting out songs, science when experimenting with different approaches to instruments, and literature when learning about the historical context about musical pieces, genres, and eras. We introduce students to a wide range of music, exposing them to different styles they might not otherwise hear. We build bridges through music, a language all its own, that brings people together through a communal bond.
Health & Physical Education
At Ricci Middle School, we know that health is about more than a keeping to a “good diet.” We teach our students the importance of mental health and overall wellness, healthy lifestyles, beneficial exercises, and maintaining smart meal choices. Our Health and Physical Education program, first and foremost, teaches self-respect and respect for others. Ricci students are not only part of the school family, but the Ricci Eagle team. That means we work together to achieve common goals, foster sportsmanship, and help students build the qualities that make champions in and outside the gym.
Whether students at Ricci Middle School are making healthy smoothies by using our school’s “blender bike,” which uses kinetic energy to produce electricity that powers a blender, building robots in our mechatronics program, or studying plants while they grow hydroponically, our students see science in action. Science literally comes alive in our classes, where students learn how to better examine, collect data, make observations, predict patterns, and analyze findings. Our educators show students that science can also be creative, and encourage them to use different trains of thought, dig deeper, inquire more, and try new methods during experimentation. We make sure science education isn’t merely reading through textbooks and memorizing chemical formulas. Science is about all the wonders of the world, and all the questions researchers haven’t been able to answer yet that our students will discover in this next generation. We’re proud to lead the next youth group into the future with confidence, analysis skills, and a yearning for more understanding.
At Ricci Middle School, we make “solving for X” exciting. We blend traditional learning with technology, and cater to the many varied learning styles of our students. To our students, math is more than a series of problems to work through on a piece of paper. Math helps our students view and navigate through the world around them, by measuring, keeping count, and developing precision skills. Our math lessons also show them the importance of double-checking and why detail matters, which translates to all subject areas and life outside school. Math is a constant, and we help students see the joy that comes with that. Our educators work tirelessly to ensure students have the support and encouragement they need when tackling math problems.
Students at Ricci Middle School are writing the next chapter of their stories as young adults. Through our literacy curriculum, students dive into self expression, learning more about themselves, while better understanding different viewpoints and perspectives. We accomplish this through exploring engaging, relevant, and enriching text, instilling communication and presentation skills in our students, and allowing them to get to know themselves better as creative thinkers and writers. While we instill the value of being creative into our students, we also show them how important writing effectively and proofreading are essential components of being a storyteller. We show them reading is a way to expand the mind, learn a plethora of information, see someone else’s story through their own eyes, and better understand those who think differently than them.
Students are learning more than how to conjugate verbs at Ricci Middle School. They’re learning the meaning behind language, an art form in itself. They’re learning the many ways language can be illustrative, and the power of speaking, understanding, reading, and writing in more than one language. In a world where multilingual skills are on the rise more than ever, we know how important it is to be an individual competent in several languages and multiculturalism. At a young age, we’re ensuring our students are prepared for careers where multilingual individuals are an asset to a team, and can converse with people of various backgrounds – a meaningful life skill.
The world is a big place. Ricci Middle School students know this, and use that as an opportunity to learn more about their global community. Students at Ricci know what it means to be civically engaged, and the importance of being tuned in to multiculturalism, world events, the lessons of the past, and how today impacts the future. Our educators ensure history classwork is fun, interactive, and relevant, and teach our students that context is key. Social Studies/Civics courses at Ricci combine hands-on projects with digital learning, engaging experiences, and applicable lessons. History classes are no longer about memorizing dates in a textbook – our courses go far beyond that, so students have an understanding and appreciation for Social Studies/Civics.
Students at Ricci Middle School are tech wizards. From a young age, our students are digitally competent, tech savvy, and pick up coding rapidly. They are efficient when using various computer programs, and also have plenty of ideas for how to upgrade and improve them. Our students act as detectives when competing in “CyberPatriot” competitions, where they navigate through computer systems to prevent “mock” hackers and viruses from compromising computer systems for “mock businesses.” You could call them the “anti-virus.” Ricci students have attained top spots in the state for their work for CyberPatriot, which serves as a testament to the classes here at our school where these essential skills are passionately taught.
Goal: To Improve Student Achievement in all Areas
- To continue the use of a schoolwide “Thinking Maps” program to increase our students’ ability to organize and communicate their thinking across disciplines. Teachers and students will complete a twelve-week rollout plan starting each September.
- Students and teachers will utilize Chromebooks on a daily basis in blended learning classrooms to increase student achievement through rigorous content specific lessons and activities.
- Students and teachers will use “Renaissance Accelerated Reader” and “Accelerated Math” to improve math and literacy skills across grade levels.
- Teachers will utilize content planning periods to analyze formative and summative assessment data in order to improve teaching and learning.
- To continue to implement our HOPS (Homework, Organization & Planning Skills) program to increase our students’ planning and organizational skills.
Goal: Ongoing Professional Development for Staff
- To provide professional development on blended/personalized learning and technology integration
- To provide professional development on “Thinking Maps.”
- To provide professional development on “Renaissance Accelerated Reader” and “Accelerated Mathematics.”
Goal: Forge Partnerships with Parents & Community
Communicate and partner with parents and other members of the community to prepare our students to be responsible and engaged citizens.
- Hold monthly parent council meetings
- Develop a PTO (Parent Teacher Organization)
- Foster relationships with local businesses that specialize in areas that would benefit our mechatronics program