• Character Education

    At the South Allegheny Middle School, we believe in working on areas of weakness to make positive changes that will impact the students on a personal and academic level.  Previously, at the end of the school day, the assigned teacher proctored the students for what was considered “PM Homeroom”.  The students had to be dismissed a few at a time due to a staggered bus schedule.  This was 30-40 minutes of unstructured and inefficient time in terms of encouraging and fostering learning opportunities even until dismissal. 


    As a result, teachers began to meet and brainstorm ideas to decide what the best use of the time at the end of the day would be.  The teachers decided that they had to make a change based on the need for student growth and further development.  Focusing on the middle grades (in this case seventh and eighth), the teachers adapted what was done previously and used resources to develop a Character Education program.  The elimination of approximately 40 minutes of unstructured time was the first step in the process.  The bus schedule was revised so that students could depart at the end of the school day at the same time.  The school schedule was changed so that students would remain in classrooms for 20 minutes. 


    After conducting research, resources that would be utilized were developed and placed in a binder.  The areas that would be considered as the criteria or necessary curriculum for the program were identified as advisor/advisee, BELIEVE, interest groups, monthly themed activities, and intramurals.  This curriculum fosters the opportunity for the students to interact socially and physically while they are learning.


    The number of teachers was increased by adding specialty area teachers, which, in turn, created small groups to improve the teacher to student ratio.  This created a safe environment that is conducive to learning.  The goal was to cause the students to participate by sharing information including their thoughts and ideas and participate readily in all discussions, written work, and activities.  The newly adopted curriculum has improved the social equity of the staff and students at South Allegheny.