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Spotlight School Award

Essex Middle School

Essex Junction, VT

Principal: Kevin Briggs


school pictureBuilding a community where individuals are respected and where learning is valued is the mission of Essex Middle School (EMS). This mission has been a guiding force throughout our recent school renovation and our literacy initiative. We strive to meet students' unique and individual needs on a daily basis. This commitment to the individual student is also part of the district's vision as described in the Essex Design for Learning.

At EMS we embody the recommendations and best practices outlined in Turning Points 2000, This We Believe, The Middle Still Matters and Breaking Ranks in the Middle. We support student learning by organizing students and teachers into teams, most of who loop together for two years. The teams deliver all core academic subjects. Schedules are determined by the individual teams in order to maximize the learning of their students. Teams also have one planning period per day to coordinate and develop their instruction together. Many teams use student-led parent conferences and portfolio assessment to measure and share student growth. We believe that this student-centered approach makes our middle school uniqe.