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Overview of Colonel Smith Middle School
Colonel Smith Middle school is beautifully situated at the base of the Huachuca Mountains on the Army installation of Fort Huachuca, located in southeastern Arizona. While Smith is an Arizona public school, the students who attend are primarily military dependents of U.S. Army personnel stationed at the Fort. We serve students in grades six through eight, with an approximate enrollment of 345 students.
The unique features of our school are that we have a richly diverse student population and these students come to us from schools around the globe. Because our typical student is only in our school district for three years, we have developed our instructional strategies to take students from widely divergent ability levels and to have them all demonstrate significant academic achievement. We have come to the clear realization that solutions to issues precipitated by high student mobility rates are based on genuine collective focus, and collective flexibility to the dynamics of change related to the realities of life on a U.S. Army installation. To this end, our goal is to create a true family of learners, where parental and community partnerships are strongly affirmed. Each and every child is valued, cared for and genuinely supported to sustain high levels of academic achievement and to become more self actualized and confident in his or her own abilities to make valuable contributions to our global society. This philosophy emanates from our defined mission: to create literate and responsible citizens who find joy in learning in an environment where every child has the opportunity to be successful.
Smith Middle School serves a student body, which is richly diverse. Caucasian students make up fifty to sixty percent. While African American students comprise fifteen to thirty percent of our population in any given school year. Approximately twenty percent of our students are Hispanic, and approximately three to five percent of our students are of Asian descent. Smaller percentages of Native American and Pacific Islander students make up the remainder of our student population.
We have been fortunate in the last few years to bring a number of improvement to our school facility and we well continue to do so. Although we are an Arizona public school, the majority of our funding comes from federal sources, and our actual building is the property of the U.S. Department of Education.
Safety data taken from Smith’s School Report Card clearly indicates a safe and orderly school environment. Over the past years the number of discipline infractions and safety violations has steadily and markedly decreased. Visitors and substitute teachers frequently comment on the orderly environment and mature citizenship of our students. A very proactive counseling program involving mediations, peer leadership and alternatives to traditional discipline measures, are all contributing factors to our positive school climate.
High student mobility rates and lower socioeconomic conditions are typically seen as causal factors to below average achievement levels. At Smith, our data speaks strongly to a very clear exception to this phenomenon. In the areas of reading, language, and mathematics, Smith students have consistently performed above both state and national averages on norm referenced assessments, and have typically outperformed all other middle school in Cochise County. Though our students come to unfamiliar with Arizona’s State Standards, we have also performed above demonstrated means on the AIMS assessment. Using internal assessment methods, Smith Middle School students have consistently demonstrated strong academic gains in core subject areas. We attribute our success to a committed, highly experienced faculty with very low turnover, precise internal monitoring of curriculum and instruction alignment with state standards and a school mission that continually seeks to support a true community of learners, strongly supports parental and community partnerships, and most importantly, values each and every student.Colonel Smith Middle School hasadopted both Inquiry- and Project-based approaches in all courses. Students will be engaged in completed multiple projects related tocross-curricular themes as they master knowledge and skills in the StateStandards and Common Core Standards. One project may include Reading,Language Arts, Science and the Arts and the next may include Science, Math, andMusic.At CSMS, students attend a coreblock of instruction that incorporates Language Arts, Reading, Math, Science,and Social Studies. Each student will also have two classes that areElective/Exploratory. The Elective/Exploratory courses offered include; PhysicalEducation, Ceramic Arts, 2-D Art, 3-D Art, Architectural Art, Music, Band,Digital Music, Chorus, Tech Foundations, Video Editing, Video Projections,TechnoKids, Digital Tools, Spanish, Digital Communications, Current Events,Research Foundations, Study Skills, Sociology, and Career Ed.