The Middle School course offerings are characterized by a special elective activity program, age-appropriate methodology, and schedules, faculty, and facilities exclusively designated for the Middle School. Sixth grade is traditionally considered the culminating year of primary school in Honduras and, therefore, concludes with a sixth-grade graduation ceremony. The seventh and eighth grade school years fulfill requirements established by the Honduran Ministry of Education “Ciclo Común” Curriculum. Additionally, the school-wide (N-12) curriculum of the American School is aligned with and fulfills U.S. national standards in all academic areas.
Cooperative Learning is encouraged in the middle school as studies show positive results in student engagement and motivation when learning activities are presented in small groups (student teams, games and tournaments, simulations, and group investigation). Differentiated teaching methods have been set as a school-wide initiative as these techniques encourage learners to receive instruction according to their individual needs. Student accommodations and individual educational plans are used to support students in achieving the learning goals. Teachers design units of study based on program enduring understandings and essential questions. Student performance is evidenced by classroom and standardized assessments which are aligned with the established goals.
Technology is integrated into the curriculum offering students engaging learning activities. A typical middle school classroom has an electronic board and overhead projector ready to display videos, images and websites to support instruction. Teachers participate in professional development sessions and share lessons to further enhance technology integration. Google Applications for Education are used by students and staff to communicate and collaborate.
Students’ academic and social behavior needs are supported by a Counseling Office, Special Services and the Character Education Program. Students perform skits and use role-play to target positive behavior. An anti-bullying program is in place to prevent bullying and negative behaviors.
A myriad of extra-curricular activities are available to students in order to foster leadership skills, social awareness and interpersonal skills. Clubs and organizations include: Student Council, Knowledge Bowl, Math Olympics, Operation Smile, and Jóvenes en Acción to name a few. The middle school curriculum at AST supports the students’ overall well-being in a safe and disciplined learning environment.