Welcome to the ARMS and EXCEL Academies
Future MMS ARMS & EXCEL Academy Scholars and Parents:
First and foremost I want you all to know how excited I am that you will be joining or returning to the Morningside family. Personally, I am overjoyed that I will have the opportunity to work with children from the greater North Charleston Communities. I would like for you to know that I too am a product of Charleston County Schools, specifically schools in the North Charleston area. I attended Park Circle Elementary now Hursey Elementary, Norman C. Toole Middle School now Military Magnet and I am a proud graduate of North Charleston High School. I tell all of you this because I want you to know how passionate I am about educating the children of North Charleston because of the ties I have with the community. For new scholars, I know this is a difficult time for you, transitioning to a new grade and having to digest the fact that the genders will be separated, but I know that the ARMS & EXCEL Academies will become your new home in no time at all. In order to help relieve some of your doubts or answer some of the questions you may have, I wanted to tell you about some of the wonderful things we have in place to serve your needs.
The ARMS & EXCEL Academies at Morningside Middle School will strive to ensure that scholars receive the best education possible. We truly follow the superintendent’s motto “Excellence is our Standard”. We understand the needs of the middle school scholar, so we have implemented many programs to help scholars experience success whole preparing them for high school and the world beyond. Our teachers hold high expectations for all scholars, which is why we expect gains by all of them in the areas of academics, behaviors and social skills. We will constantly monitor scholars’ progress, put interventions in place and make changes when necessary. There area number of school wide strategies that we will utilize to teach organization,study skills, and the use of higher thinking skills. They include Cornell notes, use of binders and “extra support” academic referrals. These things along with others are the key to empowering all of our scholars and getting them to perform at levels of proficiency.
In addition to academic support, we have a number of other programs that will support scholars in making positive decisions. This can be a difficult task for adolescents, so our program incorporates tools to help assist you with this. Our current Positive Behavioral Intervention System (PBIS) has been revamped for both academies. We believe in addressing issues and involving scholars and parents in this process so their can be a sense of ownership. We also have in place programs to teach young ladies and men social skills while providing exposure to things that they would not experience at the middle school level. Some of these things include extensive community service and exposure to college and universities through campus visits.
In both cases, we recognize scholars for achievement in the fields of academics and behavior. We hold award ceremonies at the end of each nine week period as well as monthly behavior celebrations for those who have earned this honor. I know that I speak for the entire staff when I say that we do everything in our power to ensure that the environment is safe and conducive to learning. We expect nothing but the best from you, and want you all to know that we are here to assist you with any of your personal or educational needs. Once you become a scholar at Morningside Middle School, we consider you one of our children, so keep this in mind once you arrive.
In closing, I would like to tell all of you WELCOME, and I look foreword to meeting you and serving your needs as an educator. Have a great summer and I will see you on AUGUST 21st!!!!
Dr. Joseph L. Williams