Dear Families,

Greetings from Memorial Middle School!

Situated in picturesque Point Pleasant, New Jersey, Memorial Middle School is at the center of our high performing district. All students, staff members, and administration continue to focus on three core beliefs: 1). We have a right to a safe, secure and welcoming school environment, 2). We will challenge ourselves to grow and improve in our academics, the arts, and athletics on a continuous basis, and 3). By promoting engagement in a variety of activities, developing an infectious school spirit, and supporting community programs, we can establish a school climate and environment we can be proud of.

School safety and security has long been an area of focus here at Memorial Middle School, but never more so than in recent times. Over the course of the past year, Memorial Middle School administration and staff have worked closely with district officials, local law enforcement, security experts, and others to update and enhance our school security plans. This collaboration has led to facility upgrades, expanded video surveillance capability, new safety protocols, and revised emergency management procedures based on current research and best practices.

To promote a welcoming environment, Memorial Middle School is entering our third year of implementation in the Positive Behavior Support in Schools program (PBSIS). Known locally as “MMS Roars With Panther Pride!” this initiative emphasizes four key behavioral expectations selected by our students and staff: Respect, Responsibility, Kindness, and Character. Since the beginning of this comprehensive program, a noticeable improvement in school climate and student behavior has been evident. For example, all of our staff and students receive training and support in accordance with the Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying (HIB) statute. Since our involvement and participation in PBSIS, the number of reports related to HIB has dropped dramatically. In fact, the success of this program along with the enthusiasm in which it has been embraced led to our school being selected as a “Showcase School” by the state in the spring of 2013. Also, Memorial Middle School is now entering our second year as part of the “Heroes and Cool Kids” program. This program involves a relationship between student leaders at Point Pleasant High School (“Heroes”) and our sixth graders (“Cool Kids”). The program coordinator, former Princeton Tiger and New York Giant, Keith Elias, training high school students to lead character development sessions with our middle school students. Areas of emphasis include decision-making, healthy choices, and anti-bullying behaviors.

Ongoing and continuous improvement in academics, the arts, and athletics remains a daily priority at Memorial Middle School. Academically, our school community is organized into six teams (two at each grade level). Content area teachers and special education staff meet weekly in team meetings, grade level/content area Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s), and with their supervisors to evaluate, revise and enhance their instructional priorities. An on-going transition to the national Common Core Standards is promoting increased rigor and targeted assessments to support student achievement. The most recent New Jersey School Performance Report described Memorial Middle School as “high performing” academically when compared to schools across the state and within our peer group. Our district has targeted literacy skills in all content areas, with particular emphasis on non-fiction/informational text, argumentative/descriptive writing, and increasing lexile levels of all readers. Resources and programs such as the Scholastic Reading Inventory in English Language Arts, Achieve 3000 in Science and Social Studies, and the use of document-based questions (DBQ’s) in Social Studies are being utilized to promote student growth. Major support of these initiatives comes from a district-wide upgrade of educational technology. Specific examples include the purchase of hundreds of Google Chrome books, an overhaul of the wireless internet connectivity, and a focus on professional development for staff members related to Google products for use in the classroom.

In the arts and athletics, large numbers of students continue to participate and excel. Amazingly, nearly half of our school population performs in either a band and/or chorus program. Our comprehensive middle school sports program supports several hundred participants each year with outstanding results. Student health, wellness, and fitness is supported via our state-of-the-art “Panther Fitness Center” featuring over 30 pieces of fitness equipment such as treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bicycles.

The level of student involvement in a variety of school and community based activities continues to be a source of pride here at Memorial Middle School. Student groups such as Student Council, National Junior Honor Society, and the Panther Ambassadors offer our young people leadership opportunities on a regular basis. Staff and student participation in charitable causes such as Relay for Life, Holiday Hunger Food Drive, and the Saint Jude’s Math-a-Thon is noteworthy.

It is truly an honor to serve as the Principal of Memorial Middle School. Our students, staff, and the community continue to “Roar With Panther Pride” in all that they do. To learn more about our school, our initiatives and programs, please visit us often at www.pointpleasant.k12.nj.us.

Thank you for your continued support and Go Panthers!

Regards,

Gary A. Floyd David Kirk
Principal Assistant Principal

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