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Vision 2018 Model for Middle School

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About the Instructional Program

Vision 2018: Fulfilling the Promise of Preparation was developed by capitalizing on the expertise of more than 2,400 stakeholders, including students, staff, families and community members. It defines an educational program that inspires and engages students and nurtures the intellectual, social, emotional and physical development of the whole child. Vision 2018 outlines a new era in teaching and learning in Howard County schools.

A new HCPSS model for middle school brings the principles of Vision 2018 to life for students in Grades 6 through 8 and offers a continuation of strengths development for many students coming from Elementary School Model schools. The new model empowers staff and students to focus on their strengths to promote higher levels of academic achievement, hope, engagement and well-being.

The Grow Strong Middle Schools model was piloted in Thomas Viaduct Middle School in the 2014-2015 school year and has been expanded to Wilde Lake Middle School, Bonnie Branch Middle School and Oakland Mills Middle School in the 2015-2016 school year. The Grow Strong Middle Schools model will be refined and expanded, based on the success of the program.

5 Principles of Grow Strong

  • Do what we do best every day
  • Start with the goal in mind
  • Celebrate effort and achievement
  • Engage in positive experiences each school day
  • Create excitement for the future

How parents can help nurture learning engagement

Students thrive when they are held to high expectations in a supportive environment. Parents can nurture their child’s engagement in learning by asking questions at home, such as:

  • How did your teacher encourage you to ask questions today?
  • How does your teacher make you feel important?
  • How did your teacher show you she/he cared for you today?
  • What did your teacher do to encourage you to do your best work?

Learn more about the middle school curriculum

Learn more about Vision 2018: Fulfilling the Promise of Preparation

View the Grow Strong Middle Schools →

Strengths Development

Vision 2018 Outcomes:

The new Grow Strong Middle Schools initiative incorporates strengths development into the academic experience and beyond, with applications to life skills and goal setting. Gallup research has identified 10 specific behaviors, or strengths, that are linked directly to a child’s cognitive ability and academic achievement: achieving, discoverer, caring, future thinker, competing, organizer, confidence, presence, dependability and relating.

All students possess all 10 talents, though one or more of these attributes come naturally to every child. Each child experiences success by using their strengths on a regular basis, and come to view hard work, motivation and persistence as the means to achievement and growth.

With the Grow Strong Middle Schools program, teachers are receiving training and parents will be educated on how to empower their students to apply life skills and talents in school and at home. Counselors offer several lessons with Naviance, a college and career readiness platform, to help align students’ interests with their goals. Students coming from Elementary School Model schools have leadership opportunities to serve as student ambassadors of the strengths development model.

World Language

Vision 2018 Outcomes

Research shows that learning a second language in the early grades gives students a boost in intellectual growth and academic achievement. Students learn to think more flexibly, sharpen their listening and memory skills, and appreciate other cultures as they gain fluency in a world language.

The Grow Strong Middle Schools program ensures all 6th grade students participate in world language classes.

Learn more about the Middle School World Language Program