Pearl R. Miller School (PRM), which services students in grades 6-8, provides an educational experience that encourages the development of skills needed to meet the demands of a rapidly changing global landscape. Our staff is acutely aware of the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional growth children achieve during the middle school years. Within an ambitious yet nurturing scholastic climate, emphasis is placed on instructional delivery that allows all students to experience success. In addition, a commitment to athletics, the performing arts and community service makes our school a hub of activity for the residents of Kinnelon.
The scholastic program at PRM is multifaceted and rigorous. It is through exposure to a wide array of academic content that students reach their full potential; continuing to develop in their areas of strength, growing in areas where there is room for improvement and cultivating talents that have emerged as a result of new opportunities. Special projects and themes such as Science/Math Technology Expo, Career Day, and Celebrate Reading provide students with challenging, interactive and exploratory programs. Our teachers plan and implement learning activities that appeal to the diverse aptitude of our middle school population. The staff is committed to creating an environment that engages students in the pursuit of common objectives, while adapting instruction to compliment varying learning styles. The anticipated outcome is the continued refinement of critical thinking skills as demonstrated on the New Jersey ASK. During the 2011-2012 school year, 59% of eighth grade students achieved the advance proficient level in math, while more than 95% exceeded state standards of proficiency on assessment indicators. In language arts, 46% were advanced proficient and nearly 95% scored above the proficiency threshold. While in science, 64% of PRM students earned advanced proficient status and 97% were above the proficient level.
The concept of teaming is an essential component of our school and establishes the continuity essential for student achievement. Grade-level teams of educational professionals collaborate to meet the needs of our students within and beyond the walls of the classroom. Our teachers meet regularly for a variety of purposes, which include coordination of instruction, analysis of student trends and the development of assistive interventions. Team meetings also provide a venue through which parents and teachers share insights that can contribute to a child’s achievement.
At PRM there is a strong emphasis placed on character development. The Pillars of Character Recognition Board acknowledges students that have consistently demonstrated positive behavioral characteristics. The Full Value behavior management program partners students and teachers as they work within an established framework to express concerns and implement interventions that contribute to a healthy building climate. Student leadership groups participate in easing the transition to middle school, exemplify positive attributes and support an assortment of community causes. Guidance Counselors work with teachers, members of the Home and School Association and the Municipal Drug Alliance to promote anti-bullying programs along with substance abuse awareness initiatives. It is through all of these endeavors that character is reinforced and students can demonstrate compassion for others.
As the realm of school based responsibilities continues to evolve, the need for focused, broad-based cooperation and a constantly evolving curricular program remains paramount. The staff of Pearl R. Miller School, supported by a community that values quality services, remains committed to sustaining a sound academic and ethical foundation that can propel our children to far reaching accomplishments.
Mark P. Mongon