Student Handbook

O’Rourke Middle School Student Handbook

To Parents/Guardians:

This handbook has been prepared to explain and clarify the procedures, policies, and regulations at O’Rourke Middle School. Please familiarize yourself with its contents and refer to it as needed throughout the year. If you have any questions, please contact one of our administrators.

To Students:

The faculty and staff welcome you to a new year at O’Rourke Middle School! We are looking forward to assisting you in fulfilling your educational goals. O’Rourke has established a tradition of fine academic and extracurricular standards that we expect you to pursue and achieve. We are here to help make your middle school years as successful as possible.

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VISION – To create a more child-centered Middle School which emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving in the context of the unique developmental problems of pre-adolescents with less emphasis on content oriented curriculum and more emphasis on process. (Adopted May 1991)

SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY – The O’Rourke Middle School is, as the name suggests, a transitional school between the elementary and the high school. Because of the vast developmental changes and the wide range of intellectual capabilities characteristic of children during this period, our Middle School possesses a special kind of uniqueness which requires an educational program especially designed for the pre-adolescent youngster.

At O’Rourke Middle School, the curriculum is more exploratory in nature than the elementary school and less specialized than the high school. Realizing that the uniqueness of individual subject disciplines must be recognized, an emphasis on interdisciplinary curriculum development will be stressed. Curriculum programs should emphasize the natural relationship among academic disciplines that facilitate cohesive learning experiences for middle school students through integrative themes, topics, and units.

The three major components of our middle school curricula are 1) subject content, 2) personal development, and 3) essential skills. Education does not begin and end with the curriculum. It must be a shared responsibility, with the student’s family and the community at large, in order to enhance each student’s intellectual, social, emotional, and physical growth. Exploratory opportunities are provided through well defined and structured club and activity programs, thereby creating opportunities for students to interact socially, to learn to respect the value and dignity of individual differences, and to develop and practice responsible behavior. (Adopted January 1987)

It is the intent of the staff to lead students toward being disciplined, productive, informed, independent and fulfilled individuals. To achieve these ideals, mutual respect and understanding must be present in the learning process on the part of all participants – the staff, students, and community.