SILVER LAKE INTERMEDIATE SCHOOL
Where kids in the middle come first!
From Principal Helberg’s desk…
There is not a more exciting place to learn and work than Silver Lake Intermediate School – Home of the SLI Cyclones! It is a young adolescent’s world filled with their work, their ideas, their activities and their fun! Students at SLI become collaborative workers, complex thinkers, and self-directed learners. Highly trained staff, yearly initiatives, goals, special activities and a strong standards based curriculum help our students find a sense of belong in the ever-changing world around them and fosters a positive attitude to learning at Silver Lake School.
Silver Lake Intermediate School instructs students in grades 5-8 serving students from Park Lawn and Summit Elementary Schools. Our enrollment over our 6 years has increased from 540 students to 750 students and we strive to be a developmentally responsive intermediate school for all students. The following components are in place at SLI to make this happen.
Cyclone Circle – Introduced this past school year, our Cyclone Circle responsive classroom has become a powerful way to increase the connectedness of our young adolescents by creating a strong community with clear expectations in a non-punitive atmosphere that is interactive and engaging. Our students connect with their school, get to know themselves, staff and peers, build social skills and warm up their thinking selves in a wide variety of mentally challenging discussions and games. A meta-analysis of 207 studies of social-emotional learning programs found that students who participated in school-based social-emotional learning programs improve significantly in:
- Social and emotional skills
- Attitudes about themselves, others, and school
- Social and classroom behavior
- Achievement-test scores and school grades
Exploratory Programming – Silver Lake Intermediate is a place for artists, scholars, leaders, scientists, musicians – you name it! At SLI it is a time to discover and develop individual interests and lifelong talents. In addition to 90 minute block time in Math, Reading/Writing, and Social Studies/Science, SLI exploratory classes and clubs include world languages (Mandarin/German/Spanish), intramural and interscholastic sports, student council, art, technology education, drama, health, orchestra, chorus, band, pre-engineering – Project Lead the Way, and leadership opportunities (to name a few). Our WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) 8th grade mentors serve as a catalyst for change by modeling positive behavior to their peers, thus reducing incidences of bullying and help to make Silver Lake Intermediate School a place where everyone belongs.
Varied and appropriate instruction – Teachers work collaboratively to plan instruction to provide adequate challenge for students while making learning engaging and fun. For example, student-centered classrooms, collaboration, hands-on activities, student choice, personalized learning, and authentic assessments promote meaningful participation in the learning process. Teachers share students, working together to respond quickly to students who need help, to develop team activities, and to communicate expectations in a uniform way.
Shared Vision Among Staff – Teachers and staff are committed to developing well-rounded young adolescents and enjoy teaching at SLI. This past year our staff affirmed their commitment to learning to lead for equity and social justice. Staff engaged in and equity analysis of our school and an action plan and next steps to increase achievement of all students regardless of race, ability, language, income, or gender. We are continuing our efforts to move from a deficit-based system to one that is based on proactive, integrated, and comprehensive services using data to raise student achievement and transform service delivery for all students.
Healthy Transitions – Elementary to intermediate school and intermediate school to high school are substantial changes for students. We work hard to ensure that both students and their families are well-prepared as they enter a new school experience. For example, the following are some of the activities that assisted the transition into intermediate school this year:
- Principal and counselor visit 4th grade classrooms
- 4th grades visit SLI for an orientation and scavenger hunt night
- Parents are invited to an information night
- We provide “Movin In’” for new 5th grade students in August
Healthy Parental Involvement – SlI reaches out to parents because we believe that parents are crucial to student success. Our student-led conferences and student celebration of learning allows students to take charge of their learning, take the responsibility to share their progress with their families, and celebrate their learning successes. Our PTO and volunteering in the classrooms provides an opportunity for parents to continue to be in the school and make connections. Even though your child many not admit it, it is true that adolescents need their parents around them more than ever!
The 2014-2015 school year promises to be wonderful. Silver Lake…a great place to be!