World-Class Knowledge and Skills:
Blacksburg Middle School serves a population of 378 students. During the 2021-2022 school year, BMS remained focused on developing world class knowledge, skills, and life/career characteristics of the Profile of the SC Graduate by implementing initiatives to produce higher levels of academic achievement, as well as increasing communication methods between school and home. Staff provided students with opportunities for rigorous academic experiences through intentional instruction in AVID WICOR strategies. During the 2021-2022 school year, teachers were provided monthly professional development opportunities with a focus on WICOR (Writing, Reading, Collaboration, Organization, Reading) strategies. WICOR is the framework for learning strategies in all classes. Each of these learning strategies is a component that assists all students in developing the Profile of the SC graduate. The AVID site team, BMS administration, and the Coordinator of Teacher Quality and Professional Development have planned, prepared, and provided professional development opportunities to address each component of the AVID site team plan for BMS, including instructional strategies, organizational skills, and activities to meet the learning needs of the students. Blacksburg Middle implemented the fourth year of AVID for three elective classes and AVID instructional strategies in all classes. Certified staff provide opportunities for student success through the implementation of organizational skills including the use of student agendas and AVID binders for all students. Students participate in a homeroom time each day. This is an enrichment period to provide small group tutoring sessions tailored to the individual learning needs of students using data from multiple data sets, including iReady, benchmarks, exit slips, etc.
South Carolina standardized assessments, iReady, benchmarks, and classroom assessment data were used as the basis for informing and creating instructional plans using SC College-and Career-Ready Academic Standards. District instructional initiatives and Multi-Tiered Systems and Supports (MTSS) research-based strategies are utilized to improve academic areas of weakness and to accelerate strengths.
Students at BMS continue to develop skills, using chromebooks and other technology in classes to conduct research, create presentations, and extend learning utilizing the 1 to 1 initiative that provides all students with a device. This school year, teachers received professional development training from the technology integrator. Students and staff all used Google Drive to collaborate and share knowledge. With the emphasis on learning and the implementation of AVID strategies, students will be better prepared to take more rigorous credit courses at the middle and high school level. Currently, BMS offers English 1, Algebra 1, Geometry, and Fundamentals of Computing for high school credit to 8th grade students and Algebra 1 and Fundamentals of Computing to 7th grade students. The 21-22 school year also saw a focused effort to improve world-class knowledge and student engagement as teachers offered instruction in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through Project Lead the Way (PLTW).
Life and Character Skills:
Our mission statement states that working together with parents, community members, and stakeholders, we will strive to prepare all students to be successful members of society. All students participated in staff-led clubs based on a student selected area of interest. Student clubs met periodically throughout the year, providing opportunities for students to develop relationships with students in other grade levels as well as staff members that they may not have encountered on a day-to-day basis. Many of our students participate in extracurricular leadership opportunities through Beta Club, Student Council, Chorus, Band, Robotics, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), or athletics. Student leadership clubs at BMS encourage participation in service projects in our school and in the community. Service, work ethic, and improving interpersonal skills are important at BMS. For a local service project, students and staff volunteered with the Christmas on the Square event in partnership with the Town of Blacksburg, collected canned goods for a local food ministry, and FCA students participated internationally in Operation Christmas Child by collecting and packing shoebox items. These initiatives are woven together by the faculty and staff of BMS in a purposeful effort to assist students’ growth in service to others and their community.
Positive Behavior Incentives and Supports (PBIS) was continued for the 2021-2022 school year. Throughout the year, students had an opportunity to earn positive office referrals from school staff for positive behavior. Teachers were provided instructional materials each month pertaining to our monthly character traits to share with students. Each month, a student from each class was recognized and a school representative was recognized as the “Wildcat of the Month” for exemplifying the monthly character trait. The PBIS Committee also organized two events during the year to reward academic, attendance, and behavioral growth.
In addition to the SC Standards based curriculum, BMS students participated in various activities geared toward enhancing their self-management and interpersonal skills. Group lessons were provided by our counselors to help students develop soft skills and provide opportunities for career awareness. In addition, students were able to increase their global perspective by participating in field trips that strengthened and supported curriculum connections. Eighth grade students were given the opportunity to participate in job shadowing activities with local businesses, and all eighth grade students met one-on-one with a counselor to develop their individual graduation plan. BMS students were identified and participated in TRIO (sponsored by Spartanburg Community College). These students will have opportunities to work with the TRIO counselor to develop college readiness skills, visit college campuses, receive tutoring and many other opportunities. The TRIO program will assist these students throughout their time at BMS.
BMS celebrates student accomplishments and recognizes one Junior Scholar, artists, and athletes. Sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students participated in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), and the Lego Robotics Team represented BMS well at the local district challenges. The seventh and eighth grade honors chorus received a Superior Rating at the Carowinds Choral Festival of Music. The Winter Color Guard received third place in the state championship. The Marching Band was awarded second place at SCBDA Upper State and third place at SCBDA state. Many students from BMS were recognized at the Young Writer’s Gala, as well as the Districts Fine Arts night. One seventh grade student was recognized as a district spelling bee qualifier.
Blacksburg Middle School maintains and communicates a purpose and direction that commits to high expectations for learning as well as shared values and beliefs about teaching and learning which is demonstrated through school-wide Professional Learning Community groups. These groups continually evaluate our program offerings and expectations for students to ensure that our purpose and direction are implemented with fidelity and expressed with integrity. As we move into the future, we will work cooperatively with all stakeholders to create opportunities and overcome challenges set forth by the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate that include World Class Knowledge, World Class Skills, and Life and Career Characteristics. In addition to academics, we strive to teach our students the importance of philanthropy through volunteering and service work.
Miranda Grigg, Principal
Kayla Gaut, SIC Chair