Academic Village up and running
Last year, FIU’s ten-year lease with the Charter school ended. As the University left it’s classrooms behind three weeks ago, the charter system’s ideas for the building were set in motion. Over the course of the past two weeks, the Academic Village Middle School was put together. At its introduction the school will select 300 students—100 in each grade—from its own separate lottery to fill up the school. In the years following, 100 students will be chosen from the lottery to enter the 6th grade. Heading the school will be Mr. Bayer and Mrs. Diaz as principal and vice-principal, respectively, and eighteen teachers, three of which will also be teaching high school classes.
“I teach one class at the middle school, and so far I like it,” say Spanish teacher Mrs. Ferrer. “The kids were wonderful, they’re excited, and they’re eager to learn. Its a good combination. I treat them like high schoolers because they’re mature enough to begin to understand the concept of it being a high school course in middle school. It’s only been one day, but it’s very interesting.”
With the addition of the Academic Village, the campus will be considered at 6-12 grade school rather than at 9-12 grade school. This means that the middle school and high school will be connected in the eyes of the city. It may also have other benefits from the partnerships created between the two schools–high school students can work with the middle school students on things like yearbook, debate, and theater.
Despite being so close to each other, there will be little interaction between the middle school and the high school. The middle school will keep the same middle school uniform, with tucked in shirts, navy shorts and student IDs on a lanyard around their neck. The middle school students will also have a different lunch than the high school students. The high school students will go to both A and B lunch at regular times; however, after B lunch, the cafeteria will be cleaned and prepped for the middle school students to eat. Given the small amount of students in the middle school, unlike the West and Central campuses, all of the middle school students will eat lunch together. Another separation from the high school is the bell schedule. The Academic Village Campus will run on the same bell schedule as the other two middle school campuses. This means that they will begin classes at 8:45 am, roughly halfway through the high school second period, and end at 3:15 pm, over an hour after the high school’s final bell rings.
It’s only the beginning for the Academic Village Middle School, but teachers and administrators have high hopes of creating another well-established charter campus.
Reported by: Nick RIVERA and Looghermine CLAUDE
STAFF WRITER and NEWS EDITOR
Photo by: Jonathan HARRIS