Middle school serves as a transitional time for students. As such, we strive to:
- Provide a nurturing environment for developing young adults through patience and understanding and promote self-value, cooperation, positive attitudes and tolerance.
- Foster the budding interests of our students by offering expanded elective choice and academic pacing options.
- Emphasize core knowledge by providing students with a solid academic base for future educational challenges in high school and beyond.
In grades 6-8, PALCS departmentalizes for content areas. We departmentalize language arts, math, science, social studies, and electives. The departmentalized groups allow teachers to work on student learning objective projects, align curriculum, and share best practices for their specific content area.
We also provide a self-contained advisory for middle school students to have an opportunity to build relationships with a small group. We believe that this helps students become more engaged in their courses and the school. The advisory is social in nature, but provides the students with some of the small community experiences that they encountered at the elementary level.
Departmentalizing at the middle school level prepares students for high school, assists in teaching students valuable time management skills, and gives our students the opportunity to interact with a larger number of students.
Virtual Lessons, Office Hours & Homework Help
Every middle school course offers at least one live virtual lesson each week. The lesson will be hosted by your teacher, using a headset and webcam, and is open to all students in the course. Many middle school virtual lessons have optional attendance, though students may be required to attend virtual lessons based on the course subject and student performance. Virtual lessons last 45 minutes to an hour and take place on a set weekly schedule.
Teachers also host Office Hours during standard business hours, where they will be present in a virtual classroom at a scheduled time and be available to assist students with any assignment questions on an as-needed basis. PALCS offers online Homework Help after standard business hours, Sunday through Thursday nights, from 6 pm to 8 pm. Students may log in as needed and speak with a PALCS teacher.
Middle school students can attend any of our open chats or online activities. In our offices, students are able to participate in the monthly Middle School Connect program that alternates themes around science, math, art and socialization games. Around the state, families are welcome to attend any of the numerous field trips hosted by our teachers and parent network coordinators. Further information on PALCS activities can be found at http://www.palcs.org/all-programs, and enrolled students should check the PALCS Network for up-to-date field trip end event listings and contact information for these activities.
The University Scholars Program and the Center for Performing and Fine Arts are available to PALCS students 6th grade and up. Information about all these programs can be found on their program
PALCS recognizes that every student has different academic needs and we will attempt to accommodate these as much as possible. Please contact the Guidance Department for additional information.
Within core classes, advanced options are available. These advanced options are designed to take students deeper into the content and will be designated as an Advanced Language Arts, Advanced Science or Advanced Social Studies class. Math classes may be designated as Advanced or specialized into a course such as Algebra I. To be eligible for advanced courses, students must have strong academics, strong test scores, and teacher recommendation.
Students who need additional, intensive practice in Reading and/or Math will be placed into the Voyages through Reading and/or Voyages through Math program. Students will be assigned to these programs based on multiple measures of classroom performance. These programs will provide additional live, small group virtual lesson instruction tailored to the student’s needs.
Special Education services are available for PALCS students. Accommodations are highly individualized on a student-by-student basis. More information is available on the PALCS Special Education