STMS Open House & the New Highly Capable Program

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year! It looks like we won’t be able to get off this pandemic rollercoaster anytime soon, so our family is trying to learn how to roll with it. I attended the virtual open house for Summit Trail Middle School last week, where my 8th grade son is enrolled in the new highly capable program. Here are a few of my takeaways from that brief open house and our first two weeks of school:

-They’re not trying to hide the new program. Both teachers (social studies and English) introduced the classes as highly capable classes.

-Challenge. Both teachers called out that their classes will be stepping it up from the general education course. One teacher even specifically called out that more challenge doesn’t mean more work—it just means taking it deeper.

-Experience. My son’s social studies teacher mentioned that he’s taught a highly capable class before, for 10 years in Tahoma’s old junior high model. He expressed excitement to be in this position again, and we’re excited to have him!

-Friends. My son and I both recognized many classmates from his elementary Discovery class, some of whom he hasn’t seen at all in a classroom in middle school. It felt great to have so many familiar faces.

We’re obviously still getting ramped up for this school year, but I’m encouraged by what I’m seeing in this program so far. Here’s to a great year of learning and growth!

-Michelle Smart, PATH president