Dr. George Johnson Middle School offers all of the regularly prescribed programs in Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Music, Health, and Physical Education. These programs follow the curriculum guides developed by Manitoba Education. We follow a six-day cycle consisting of 8, 35-40 minute periods daily.
In addition to the regular programs, we offer a number of special programs and infrastructure.
~ Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Technology is a tool not an educational end. Technology can enable powerful learning opportunbites for staff and students but in itself does not an education make. Our school is fortunate to have an excellent array of tools to support teachers and students in learning. Garde 5 & 6 students have access to Apple iPads at a ratio of 2 - 1 and 50 in total. Similar ratios exists in grades 7 & 8 where students have access to 75 laptops. We have internet access via a high speed fibre network and wireless access is available throughout the building. Additional learning stations (desktop computers) are availible in the library and multi purpose room. Finally, additional iPads (20) are availble in the library for individual or small group work.
The school has a variety of software / apps featured on these devices but most prominently has site license access to Renaissance Learning products including Accelerated Math and Accelerated Reader. These products contain both an instructional and assessment function to supplement classroom instruction.
All teachers have been provided with a laptop computer and iPad, with ongoing training in the integration of information technologies into the curriculum. To support this each classroom has a high-resolution projector, document camera and SmartBoard. Teachers enter attendance and student marks electronically as well.
The school also has a number of video and digital cameras to enable students to capture images for various assignments. Evergreen School Division also maintains a similar supply of imaging capturing hardware to support schools in the development of ICT skills.
~ Basic French
A French specialist provides grades 5 to 8 with French language instruction as per provincial requirements. Students also attend various French cultural events during the school year. French is compulsory for all students from K-8 unless indicated otherwise in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
Students in grades 5 and 6 receive 105 minutes of music each cycle. The program consists of choral work as well as a major instrumental component following the Orff approach. There is an annual Holiday Concert in December.
Grade 7 and 8 students receive 120 minutes of instruction per cycle. This is an optional course, taken only by those students who are signed up by their parents. Students buy or rent their instrument. Participation in our program is necessary preparation for joining the award winning Band Program at Gimli High School.
~ Physical Education/Health
Students in grades 5/6 & 7/8 receive 198 and 162 minutes of instruction per cycle respectively. The program includes clusters of study including; Movement, Fitness Management, Safety, Personal/Social Management, and Healthy Lifestyle Practices. Additionally, Grade 7 and 8 students take part in various inter-school competitions in such sports as basketball, volleyball, badminton as well as track and field. This competition includes other schools in Evergreen School Division, as well as those from other school divisions. Noon hour intramurals are also offered for all students. The Canadian Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, has twice recognized our school for excellence in Physical Education Programming with a Gold and Platinum award.
A school counselor is assigned to our school. Their main focus is to work with students, staff and parents on preventative, developmental and crisis issues in addition to academic support. The counselor will work with students as individuals, in small groups, and whole classes.
~ Resource Program
A wide range of differences in abilities and interests exist in children. The resource teacher helps classroom teachers to develop appropriate learning opportunities so that all students are taught in a way that allows them to be successful and interested in learning. Individual education plans (I.E.P.s) are developed for children with special needs. Our special needs students are mainstreamed and integrated into regular classrooms. In addition the resource teacher coordinates other forms of interventions for learning both in the classroom as well in small groups or as individually.
~ Clinical Services
Our school also has access to a Speech and Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Psychologist, and other visiting clinicians who work collaboratively with teachers and parents in providing essential supports to our student population.
~ Academic Advisory Program
Students in grades 7 and 8 who are experiencing academic difficulty can be assigned to an Academic Advisor by their teacher(s). The role of the advisors is to meet regularly with the student and to collaboratively develop a plan for improvement.
~ Response to Intervention
Our school has a Tiered system of supports for students who are struggling as learners in our priority areas (reading, numeracy, behaviour). The classroom teacher and student services team (resource teacher, counsellor, prinicipal) meet regualrily to monitor all students achievement and when necessary put in place addition supports and instruction for students who are struggling. Students who require accelerated learning can also be serviced in this way.
~ Advanced Placement
Student's in grade 8 who are excelling in all subjects by mid-year can be nominated by their teacher to be enrolled in a high school course. The courses are delivered through Independt Study and all cost are covered by the school.
~ Education for Sustainable Development
Manitoba Education Citizenship and Youth requires each school division to have a commitment to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) based upon the 1992 Rio Declaration. Broadly speaking ESD means “students will become informed and responsible decision-makers, playing active roles as citizens of Canada and the world, and will contribute to social, environmental, and economic well-being, and an equitable quality of life for all, now and in the future”. In support of ESD, our school offers the following programs and initiatives:
• Peer Mediation
Peer mediation is both a program and a process where students trained in mediation facilitate resolving disputes between other students. This process has proven effective in schools around the world, changing the way students understand and resolve conflict in their lives. Changes include improved self-esteem, listening and critical thinking skills, and school climate for learning, as well as reduced disciplinary actions and less fights. The Peaceful Schools movement provides resources for our Peer Mediation Program.
• Student Leadership
Through a partnership initiated with the local Kiwanis Club our school formed K-Kids (Gr. 5) and Builders Club (Gr. 8). The aim of these clubs is to create meaningful ways for students to get involved with, and contribute to their school, community, province and world. Students also attend Leadership Conferences and Camps.
• Community Service
During the school year students spend time volunteering and fundraising for local organizations including, local seniors groups, pre-school programs, the Gimli Animal Shelter, Evergreen Basic Needs, Daycare, etc. They have also raised money for provincial and national charities (Children’s Wish Foundation, Cancer Research, Leukemia, etc) charities. On a global level our school holds activities for Earth Day, World Hunger Day and supports a foster child in Zambia (coordinated by gr. 7’s).
• Student Assistants
Students at our school are encouraged to develop a sense of ownership and responsibility for their school. In this capacity students perform many duties around the school. These include Recycling Squad, Student Secretaries, Canteen Management, Peer Assisted Learning, school clean up, etc.
• International Students
Our school is fortunate to take part in an International Students Program offered through Evergreen School Division. We have hosted students from Korea and Mexico. While international students expand their English skills, our students get to expand their appreciation and understanding of the world, become global citizens, and of course make new friends.
~ Student Clubs
Various student clubs take place during the year, usually at noon hour. They change yearly but some have included: Book Club, Computer Games Club, Minecraft, Running, Drawing, Climbing, Drama, Student Newspaper, Lego, etc. Students are encouraged to form their own clubs based upon their interests and then find a staff advisor to help them organize.
~ Explorations (Gr. 8)
Based upon best practices in middle school the grade eight students of our school have been provided a program specifically tailored to the transformation to adulthood that occurs in middle school – called Explorations. Program components have included the following:
1. Technology Education (at Gimli High School)
Disciplines of study:
- Power and Energy
- Home Economics
2. Visual Arts
3. Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers
4. Peer Mediation
5. Community Service
6. Kiwanis Builders Club (Leadership)
7. Making Healthy Lifestyle choices (Guest speakers)
-Drug & Alcohol Abuse Awareness
-Anxiety / Depression
8. Entrepreneurship Workshops
~ Art Lives Here
Our school has developed a unique program supported by a partnership with local artists to provide high quality arts programming to our students. Artists are contracted to work with students for 5 to 6 days a month in various mediums. Artists have been hired to work in the following areas - portrait painting (water and charcoal), quilting, drama, photo editing, horticulture, carving. Funding for this program is being provided in part by a grant from Manitoba Education Citizenship and Youth.
~ Student Awards
Dr. George Johnson School has a scheduled Awards Day Assembly each year at the end of June. The School presents awards in the following categories:
◆ Dr. George Johnson Award
For most well rounded student (academics, athletics, school activities) in Grade 8. There is one award for each class.
◆ Kiwanis Award
Student Leadership Award for Gr. 8 in Builders Club
◆ Young Humanitarian Award
Given to a Gr. 8 student who best exemplifies a sense of caring, compassion, and concern for others
◆ Kiwanis Kids
Given to a Gr. 5 student in Kiwanis Kids who provided the best example of leadership throughout the year
◆ Top Academic
Highest overall achievement in each classroom
◆ Most Improved
Given to a student in each class who has shown the most improvement over the year in a variety of areas
◆ Honor Roll Awards
Given to students in each class for highest achievement in Math, ELA, French, Social Studies, Science, Phys. Ed. and Music/Band.
◆ Citizenship Award
One award per class for student who exemplifies the virtues of a good citizen of the school and world
Top male and female athlete in the school
◆ Morale Booster
Awarded to the student in each class who demonstrates the best school spirit and contributes to a positive classroom environment
◆ Special Awards (Gr. 6 & 7 students)
Each year chosen students receive funding to attend the Royal Canadian Legion Sports Camp; Rotary International Leadership Camp; and a Drama Camp at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People
All grade 5 students are required to take part in a ten-week swimming safety course. It is provided at no cost to parents and a qualified instructor delivers the program.