"It is the vision of Lake Oswego Junior High to inspire and empower every student to think, achieve, learn and care."
The administration at Lake Oswego junior High School is strongly committed to a middle school philosophy that includes providing challenging academics, a six-team configuration, flexible schedules for core classes, trimester rather than semester schedules, student-led parent portfolio conferences, a variety of elective courses from which to choose, and a strong "no cut" after school sports program.
The school is administrated through a collaborative process with teacher leaders. Three grade level leaders and six curriculum leaders share in the governance of the school through bi-monthly leadership meetings and weekly team and PLC meetings. Parents participate through Site Council, School Advisory Club, and Parent Club.
A student voice is heard through our leadership class and ASB Leaders. It is our belief that an open process of decision making with input from multiple sources makes for better decisions.
Academics: all students take a core set of classes that include language arts, social studies, mathematics (grade 6 math through geometry), integrated science, health, and physical education.
Staff and students are divided into six teams, two at the sixth grade, two at the seventh grade, and two at the eighth grade. Each team is made up of four core academic teachers plus several non-core teachers who share half the grade level, about 150 students. We believe that this smaller learning community allows teachers and students to opportunity to know one another, coordinate calendars, homework, tests, field trips and team activity days. Teams provide after school study hall for their students each week as another method of both academic support and a way to reach out to individuals or small groups in more informal ways. Team building activities are part of the team culture and take many forms; half day activities, full day field trips, special assemblies, award and recognition activities, team bulletin boards, etc. Each Wednesday, from 2-3:30 PM, teams of teachers meet to discuss supporting students, coordinating calendars, planning upcoming activities, building interdisciplinary teaching units and other planning that will benefit their students.
Flexible schedules: Within the normal seven-period school day, there is flexibility for language art and social studies to combine classes for 100 minute periods rather than the single 50 minutes allocated because these classes are scheduled back to back. This allows teachers to take advantage of time to support instruction.
Student-led portfolio conferences: These conferences occur over a day and a half in December of each year. Students collect work from all classes, their first trimester report card and a draft of their goals to share with their parents in 30-45 minute conferences. Students are in charge of the conference and are eager to share their collection with parents. Participation runs high for these important conferences with 96% participation this past year. During these student led conferences, parents are asked to help their student finalize goals for the remaining two trimesters and build an action plan to meet these goals.