Guiding Principles

SEMS Crest

Guiding Principles

  • Grade Configuration: 6-8
  • Daily Schedule: 7 Period Day

The Guiding Principles of San Elijo Middle School’s program are rooted in the commitment to establish an educational program that seeks to meet the needs of youth in transition from the self-contained classroom of elementary school to the departmentalized setting of high school. Middle school instruction emphasizes academic integrity while making an emotional connection with students. The tenets of Caught in the Middle and Taking Center Stage permeate all facets of San Elijo Middle School, from the design of the educational specifications that drove the construction of the school, to the current implementation of the master schedule, programs and staffing. SEMS is committed to continually seeking ways to insure an intellectually stimulating learning environment where all learners experience the meaning of high standards. San Elijo also strives to provide a sensitive and consistent environment that promotes healthy physical, social and personal growth. By meeting these challenges, San Elijo Middle School students become independent critical thinkers who are prepared to meet the many diverse challenges of responsible citizenship in the 21st century.

Distinctive Characteristics

Academic Excellence

  • Every aspect of the school is organized by the school’s team structure.
  • Standards-based Curriculum guarantees a deep implementation of essential standards. 
  • Student success in meeting standards is actively monitored by faculty, counselors, and administration - no child is allowed to fall behind. Teachers are actively involved to ensure each student’s progress. 'SUCCESS FOR ALL -WHATEVER IT TAKES"
  • Multiple benchmark assessments (differing in mode and approach) ensure that each student learns to the level expected in the standards.

Developmental Responsiveness

  • School focuses on making students feel like they “belong to a community.” In designing our school, board and administrative staff actively used the principals of Caught in the Middle and Taking Center Stage.
  • Master schedule is designed to meet student-learning needs.
  • Counseling program supports all students and teachers.
  • School supports students through after school programs, clubs, athletic teams, and rich program of activities.

Social Equity

  • School heterogeneously groups all students to create the maximum level of diversity.
  • All students are expected to meet the most rigorous standards - no excuses; no failure.
  • School actively uses a positive discipline policy to prevent student misbehavior and to encourage character development.

Organizational Support

  • School has strong support from Superintendent and Board.
  • Collaborative decision-making is the school-wide norm.
  • Monthly and weekly professional development is geared to the needs of individual teams.
  • School implements data-driven decision-making in all aspects of program design and in developing budgets.
  • Articulation with feeder elementary schools and destination high school is strong and focused on seamless transitions.
  • Community actively views the school as a resource 24-hours a day, seven days a week.