Greater Johnstown Middle School

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Principal's Message » Principal's Message

Principal's Message

Welcome to our school, the Greater Johnstown Middle School. We are glad you chose to visit us for more information. We value communication and appreciate your efforts in becoming more familiar with our offerings and values.

Greater Johnstown Middle School(GJMS) is located in the West End of the City of Johnstown. We are housed in the building many in the area refer to as Garfield. We serve students in grades 6, 7 and 8. We have revised our curriculum over the past three years to meet the PA Core Standards. We offer 9th grade credit keystone classes to qualified 8th grade students to challenge them. This year, 49 students are enrolled in the Literature 9 course and 19 students participating in Algebra I. Each 8th grade student participates in a semester of Career and Work Education class to begin the exploration of the variety of careers available when attending Greater Johnstown High School.

We at GJMS understand the emotional and educational development of our students in these transitional years can be difficult for some. Therefore, we offer human supports aimed towards the promotion of each student’s individual success. Administratively, JMS has an Academic Principal, an Operational Principal, and an Assistant Principal. Along with a Guidance Counselor, we also have a School Resource Officer, a Pupil Support Services facilitator, and 3 security officers for students to reach out and seek guidance and support.   The school is working on a curriculum that proves to be both rigorous and challenging, meeting students at their intellectual level, such as offering students Algebra I and Literature 9 classes to attain high school credits. Students who are academically able are also enrolled in accelerated classes. Each grade level is separated into one of 2 groups-Pride or Tradition. Each group has a core of teachers that can monitor and report out at weekly meetings what level of individual support each individual child has demonstrated a need.  During our daily advisement period, students will report in groups to their areas of determined need for support(tutoring, guidance, clubs, etc), which can change throughout the year.

We at GJMS understand the emotional and educational development of our students in these transitional years. With this is mind, one component of our Character and Social Skill Building Programs is Botvin training. Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) is a research-validated substance abuse prevention program proven to reduce the risks of alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse, and violence by targeting the major social and psychological factors that promote the initiation of substance use and other risky behaviors. This comprehensive and exciting program provides adolescents and young teens with the confidence and skills necessary to successfully handle challenging situations. Another component that we are refining for 2015-16 school year is School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports(PBIS). PBIS is an application of a behaviorally-based systems approach to enhance the capacity of schools, families, and communities to design effective environments that improve the link between research-validated practices and the environments in which teaching and learning occurs. Rewards are given to students who display positive solutions to common difficult pre-teen misconceptions and behaviors.

            As GJMS begins the 2016-17 school year, facility upgrades are in process to create a new academy for STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Manufacturing) opportunities for students in 2018. The ultimate goal of STEAM education is to encourage students to take an interest in STEAM subjects at an early age. The emphasis on the STEAM components will only benefit students as they enter the jobs market, and in turn it should benefit the greater economy. The other areas of construction that plan to be available soon include reconfiguring of the band and chorus rooms, as well as moving the alternative school to a more efficient environment.

            We are excited for 2016-17 school year to start so we can continue to evolve and offer more opportunities to ALL students in attendance.