Relationships are foundational to the collaborative efforts between families and the faculty at Steffen Middle School. Research demonstrates that other than birth to three, adolescents between the ages of 10-14 grow at an accelerated pace intellectually, socially and emotionally. Ensuring all students have opportunities to refine and nurture their interpersonal skills, engage in intellectual discourse, and experience challenging coursework in order to see the world from a larger perspective than their own is our lives passion.
Cultivating a student-centered environment is a collective commitment made each and every day by the professional educators at Steffen Middle School. Social and emotional learning (SEL) focuses on processes through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions (CASEL, 2015). These skills are explicitly taught through our developmental guidance program, and practiced with all classroom settings and extra-curricular activities so that the aforementioned transferable skills for life are refined in an authentic manner through real world application.
The breadth of elective opportunities provides students with choice in the following areas: Fine Arts, to include: band, chorus and orchestra; Related Arts, to include: Art, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), Computer Science, Family & Computer Science (FACS), Financial Literacy, Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and Wellness; and World Language, to include: French, Latin or Spanish. Sixth grade students enter into middle school participating in an exploratory elective wheel, as students transition into grades seven and eight they prioritize their elective choices.
Faculty members at Steffen Middle School are committed to the Mequon-Thiensville School District’s equity non-negotiables which define critical practices and guiding beliefs across the school district. The MTSD equity non-negotiables guide our daily efforts to ensure engaging learning experiences for all students through the instructional framework developed by the building leadership team.
At Steffen we all feel and act on a commitment to continuous improvement with the goal of developing all students academically, socially, and emotionally. To that end, the faculty at Steffen Middle School upholds the following guiding principles for teaching and learning:
- As part of our commitment to equity, we hold high expectations for ourselves and our students providing rigor and acceleration opportunities for all.
- As we interact with students, we develop a growth mindset disposition by using asset based language to help students build on their strengths in an atmosphere of support and encouragement.
- As communities of learners, we encourage student active engagement and interaction through use of WICOR (writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and/or reading) strategies.
- In the classroom and throughout the school, we cultivate positive relationships between teachers and students and between the students themselves in order to provide an environment where academic discourse and mutual respect is valued as part of the learning process.
At Steffen, every student is a valued member of our learning community and we do everything possible to support the growth of each of our students in a collaborative manner.
We look forward to this collaborative journey with families!
Deborah Anderson, Ph.D.