The upper school consists of grade 5 through 8. We strive to keep our class size around 20 students, which allows the teacher to tailor and the student to receive individualized attention to maximize that student’s potential.
The BJAMS curriculum at its core is challenging. Upon entering the upper school, students take a math placement exam as well as receive a language screening. This allows us to assess a student’s knowledge base. We offer Algebra I, Advanced Science, and French I to students. Differential instruction is a principle we hold dear to our hearts. Not every student is the same, not every student learns the same way, and not every student will benefit from the same homework. Therefore, each teacher works to meet the student at his or her learning level and challenge them appropriately. We like to start and build upon the last point of success as opposed to the first point of failure. Core common principles are taught, and then tasks are assigned accordingly to the student’s ability.
When those different tasks are handed in, the teacher is looking for those core common principles and assesses how well the student incorporated them into the required task. This approach promotes self-esteem and confidence in the student. Teachers are available and willing to assist the students outside the dedicated period should a student fall behind. Our Stanford Achievement Test (SAT 10) shows that our students performed one to three grade levels above their current grade. This means our fifth-graders are at the grade level of 6.3, our sixth-graders were at the grade level of 9.4, our seventh-graders were at the grade level of 10.3, and our eighth-graders were at the grade level of 9.4.
At BJAMS we realize that a well-rounded child is the best citizen we can offer the world. BJAMS offers other classes to help supplement the core elements of the academic world. BJAMS offers art, music, band, and physical education on a weekly basis. In the near future, we will be bringing technology into the classrooms and are very excited about that. Our band performs in the local Memorial Day and Fourth of July parades. Have you heard us? Our students sound great!
Our band is but one example of BJAMS’ expansion into the community. Just because our school is small, that doesn’t mean that our students are not exposed to different environments. Our learning is not limited to the classrooms. Our students traveled to and competed in the “Lyndon Institute Middle School Bridge Building Competition” at Lyndonville State College. We are represented in the Vermont Geography Bee and explored the French-speaking community of Quebec City. Social Studies leads us to trips to Boston as well as other local areas in Vermont to see, to experience, and to be immersed in the world outside of BJAMS.
Thank you for looking into the Bishop Marshall community for your child. We hope for the chance to meet you soon!