Middle School Academy

Middle School AcademyThe Academy is a learning environment housed within each middle school in Mehlville School District. Academy classes present students with blended learning opportunities, including project-based learning, inquiry-based learning, personalized learning and guided teacher expertise. Students in the Academy are empowered to shape how they learn the curriculum throughout the school year.

Academy courses cover the same Mehlville School District Board-approved curriculum as their traditional counterparts, just in a new and engaging way.

Watch an overview of the Academy concept

Who can participate in the Academy?

Students entering sixth-grade in the 2019-2020 school year can enroll in the Academy. Academy locations will include Bernard, Buerkle, Oakville Middle and Washington. In future years, the district’s plan is to grow the Academy model into the 7th and 8th grades.

How is the Academy different from other middle school course offerings?

The Academy courses will be a combination of two classes. For example, an Academy course may be a two-hour class that blends math and science. Or an Academy course may be a three-hour class that blends English language arts and social studies. Any combination of classes may occur, but each Academy will offer two courses that combine two content areas. Combining content areas allows students to develop and demonstrate higher-level thinking. 

Traditional middle school instruction relies on the teacher to lead students through the content curriculum and to determine how learning will be assessed. Students participating in the Academy will be given the ability to personalize how they acquire and represent their mastery of curriculum while being guided by the teacher to ensure quality. While many of our traditional middle school courses incorporate personalized learning, in the Academy, personalized learning is concentrated and sustained throughout the school year. Collaborative work within the Academy setting emulates real-world career experiences.

Are there any prerequisites for enrolling in the Academy?

No. Any Mehlville School District student entering sixth grade may enroll in the Academy.

Do students have to enroll in both Academy courses?

Students will be able to choose one or both courses available within their middle school’s Academy.

What if the Academy is not the right fit for my child?  

We anticipate that all students will thrive in Academy courses. MOSAIC Elementary has taught us that there is no one student or type of student who thrives in this setting.

That said, any requests for mid-year schedule changes should go through your student’s middle school counselor.  A student who enrolls in the sixth-grade Academy course may switch back to traditional courses in seventh-grade.

Who will teach Academy courses?

The teachers selected to teach Academy classes will be certified in both subjects taught and will be committed to the Academy teaching methodology. Teachers of Academy courses will receive additional training on student-centered learning prior to the 2019-2020 school year and ongoing training throughout the year.

Will Academy courses be available to students in STRETCH?

STRETCH classes will be offered at each middle school. Academy courses will also be offered at each middle school. Efforts will be made to accomodate STRETCH students who would like to take Academy courses. However, there may be some limitation for students who want to take both, due to scheduling conflicts. For example, students who choose to take STRETCH will only be able to take one Academy course that blends math and science, or math and social studies. If you have further questions, please talk to your middle school building principal.

How will math be taught in Academy courses?

The Academy course that blends math with another subject will be based on the Math 6 curriculum. However, opportunities will be provided for students in the Academy to explore Challenge Math curriculum. As is the case for all students, qualifying Academy students will be eligible to enroll in Algebra I in eighth-grade.

Can students with IEPs enroll in Academy courses?

Yes, Academy courses are available to students who have IEPs.

How many students can the Academy accommodate?

In the 2019-2020 school year, the Academy program can accommodate up to 200 students district-wide. If more than 50 students express interest in the Academy per building, a lottery will be held. Students currently enrolled in MOSAIC who express interest in the Academy will be guaranteed a seat in at least one Academy course. Parents will be notified if their child has been selected for the Academy in May.

How do I register for the Academy?

You will see Academy courses listed on your middle school's course request form. If you have any questions, please contact your middle school.

How can I find out more information about the Academy?

Please call your child's middle school if you have questions about the Academy. While all Academy courses throughout the district must meet the same standards and use the same teaching and learning strategies, each middle school is tasked with implementing the Academy program with their scheduling and student needs in mind.

Learn more at Parent Information Nights

Fifth-grade families should plan to attend parent night's at their child's middle school in February and March.

Washington Middle School Fifth-Grade Parent Night
Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 6 p.m.

Bernard Middle School Fifth-Grade Parent Night
Thursday, Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m.

Buerkle Middle School Fifth-Grade Parent Night
Thursday, Feb. 28 at 5:30 p.m.

Oakville Middle School Fifth-Grade Parent Night
Thursday, March 7 at 6:30 p.m.

Academy Contact Information

Patriot Academy at Bernard Middle School
Principal: Lori Sullivan
314-467-6600

Bobcat Academy at Margaret Buerkle Middle School
Principal: Jim Kern
314-467-6800

Spartan Academy at Oakville Middle School
Principal: Mike Salsman
314-467-7400

Eagle Academy at Washington Middle School
Principal: Dr. Justin Reynolds
314-467-7600
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