R. Kenneth Buck, Jr.,
CW Middle School Principal
Welcome to the 2019-20 school year. Our country is entering a new era of education, and Conrad Weiser Middle School is leading the change.Over 10% of the school districts in Pennsylvania have visited (or been to a workshop presentation regarding) us to see Hybrid Rotational Leaning in action. Many of our teachers are presenting at workshops about the positive effects of Hybrid Rotational Learning. We are looking forward to a renewed passion for helping our 800 middle level learners grow into adults while mastering more concepts than they would think possible.
We have made several improvements to the building. Many of our community members remember the renovations of the building and the creation of the middle school as the “big kids” moved across the parking lot into the new High School. Hard to believe that was a short nineteen years ago. In that short time, safety and security have unfortunately become common words in school buildings across the country. Although we are not going to publicly list them, there have been several strategic improvements to CWMS to help make the building as safe as possible. We have also replaced both chillers for the HVAC system this past summer, even though a hailstorm in Colorado delayed the installation by over 6-weeks.
We will continue our focus on some old concepts. The concepts of character education, bully prevention, and the benefits of a model middle school are not new in our middle school building. These concepts have been around as long as middle schools have existed.
What does it mean to be a true model middle school? In 1994, the National Middle School Association (now known as the Association of Middle Level Education) identified fourteen characteristics of a model middle school. While the AMLE has revised the list over time, those initial fourteen characteristics are the easiest to understand and implement on a daily basis. In short, the main concepts include having middle level learners take control of their educational path, and building a team of adults around each middle level learner to ensure their success. Teachers, parents, counselors, administrators, community members, and the student all need to work together with one positive goal: a successful future for each middle level learner.
Bully prevention has been around the Conrad Weiser Middle School for almost a decade. Years ago, grant monies were available to initiate an international program called the Olweus Bully Prevention Program (OBPP). Conrad Weiser Middle School worked through that grant and implemented OBPP. The term “OBPP” was not used with the students, but the steps of the program were taught and students had a clear understanding of how to handle bullying situations. When the grant expired, the general concepts remained but the focus dwindled. Middle level learners want to make adult decisions, and sometimes they make mistakes as they learn. Social interactions are awkward for middle level learners, and sometimes the results are unintentional harassment or bullying. We are going to re-focus on the OBPP throughout the school and throughout the year.
Our final focal concept will revolve around The Six Pillars of Character. Created by the Josephson Institute, the Six Pillars are not an instructional program, rather, they are a focus on making positive ethical life choices. Before making any decisions, middle level learners (and all of us for that matter) need to consider the results of our decisions based on the Pillars of Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. Again, not one of these Pillars are new to the community on their own, but combined they are a driving force to making ethical life decisions. Guiding positive ethical decision making in the formative middle years will have lifelong effects on a person’s character, leading to lifelong ethical success.
Conrad Weiser Middle School continues to lead many changes, including the Hybrid Rotational Learning model of teaching, implementing new methodologies of teaching reading-and-writing in fifth grade, researching new math resources throughout the middle school, and a focus on individual student progress. But none of these are as important as the three main concepts of character education, bully prevention, and becoming a true model middle level educational facility.
I look forward to working with the Conrad Weiser community to help our middle level learners grow into successful adults and leaders. Mr. R. Kenneth Buck, Jr., Principal
Conrad Weiser Middle School
Middle School Office: 610-693-8514