The mission of Brookside School is to nurture the social, emotional, physical and academic development of all its students so that they may experience success and develop self-confidence. Through the dedication of the professionals in the building, our curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, and a long history of success, we are poised not only to achieve this vision now, but also for the future.
Our primary mechanism to meet our vision is our curriculum. As with all successful academic institutions, our curriculum is constantly reviewed with respect to the Core Standards, to internal assessments, and to the needs of our student body. Through internal staff development, work with administrators, professional development opportunities, mentoring opportunities, workshops, and articulation with teachers from other districts, our teachers continue to evaluate and extend our curriculum to challenge and prepare the children of Allendale for both the present and the future.
Certain core beliefs underlie and support our curricular development. First, we at Brookside firmly believe that all students can succeed, and we are committed to working with each individual student to help him/her reach their potential. Regular and special education teachers meet with administrators and student service personnel regularly to discuss student progress and to cooperatively develop strategies for student development. In addition, special education teachers and the Child Study Team work with each middle school grade-level team and provide support for students with identified special needs, implementing each child's IEP and providing support for the regular education teachers for mainstream education. Additional support is available for all students through extra help with regular classroom teachers, through focused groups with the school counselor, and with our Study Skills class. The school counselors and the principal work with students frequently to insure comprehension of assignments and concepts and for the development of positive work habits.
Application of learning is another core belief underlying our instruction at Brookside. In addition to searching for ways to integrate concepts in the core subjects of language arts, math, science, and social studies, we are consciously integrating technology throughout student learning. This mirrors expectations of adults in the real world. Presentation skills, especially utilizing multi-media modalities, are also emphasized as these are vital to the any professional skill set. BTV, our daily television show created, produced and performed entirely by the students, illustrates this concept, and these skills are also utilized consistently within the classroom and through our elective options, Finally, a focus on STEM rounds out our student's experiences. In the area of engineering, younger students explore engineering utilizing the LEGO Robotics program. Middle school students extend these experiences in our innovation lab, where they use engineering skills to design and build devices that address human needs. Within this venue, we focus heavily on the character trait of empathy so that students understand how they can design solutions to make their world a better place. In addition to engineering, students also experience a curriculum designed to develop computational thinking/programming/computer science through our computer lab.
Development of the whole child, including self-esteem, is the last stalwart of our curriculum development. In addition to the core academic courses, electives and cycles provide students not only the chance to learn life skills, but also provide a place for all students to explore their strengths and interests. Currently, over 70% of our students actively participate in our instrumental and vocal music programs at Brookside. School wide concerts, sing-a-longs, a school play and a school musical all provide opportunities for students to perform, and in doing so, develop skills, self-esteem and confidence. Students may also participate on our school sports teams. Boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, volleyball, wrestling, softball and baseball provide students the opportunity to develop their athletic abilities in a supportive environment, and also provide a social event for students and parents to meet and support the school.
Extra curricular activities also play an important role in a student's tenure at Brookside. Clubs and inter mural sports allow students a chance to participate further in the school culture and to develop additional interests and social connections. As students grow in maturity, greater opportunities for involvement and responsibility enable students to develop life-long interests and hobbies.
With the increasing globalization of economy and society, the role of education in preparing the knowledge and skill base for our emerging citizenry is both vital and evolving. We at Brookside are committed to helping our students prepare themselves for their adult lives by providing the structure, opportunity and expectations for success. In this way, we will continue to meet the social, emotional, physical and academic needs of all of our students, and in doing so, enable them enter adulthood as well-rounded and productive citizens.