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Middle school matters: Loch Raven Technical Academy
03/10/2016

In honor of national Middle Level Education Month, this March we are taking a closer look at Baltimore County Public Schools’ wonderful middle schools. Every day during March, one or two more school profiles will be posted. To see all that have been posted, please click here.

Spotlight
<< More photos >>

Principal: Stacey Johnson (quoted below)
Feeder elementary schools: primarily Cromwell Valley, Halstead Academy, Hampton, Oakleigh, Pleasant Plains, and Villa Cresta

School website: http://lochraventech.bcps.org/

Academic achievements

“Our focus this year has been on increasing student engagement through the use of student-led discussions and tiered instruction. Our teachers who have really worked on these strategies in their classes have noticed not only an increase in student engagement but in academic achievement.”

“We have a school-wide assessment system, Progress Toward State Standards, or PTSS. With this system, every content assesses students once per month to ensure that they have acquired the skills and information taught.”

Recent awards or grants

This year student Zoe Yarbrough was selected as an essay winner for the Champions of Courage contest.

“Our band and strings students won first and second place at the Hershey Park Music in the Parks Competition.”

Teacher Jennifer Illiano was recognized as a Math Hero by Raytheon.

“For the last few years, we have received a Chesapeake Bay Grant, which has helped our students attend NorthBay Adventure Camp.”

“We also were recognized as a School of the Year by the Maryland Center for Character Education for our Mentoring New Leaders program.”

Loch Raven Technical Academy is the only Baltimore County middle school ever to earn Maryland Demonstration School Status for its physical education program from the MAHPERD (Maryland Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance).

Special academic programs

“We have four magnet programs in addition to our general education program: Conservation Science, Law and Finance, Visual Arts, and Performing Arts.”

Popular/unique extracurricular activities

“Our Homework Club provides a place for our students to do their homework and to get tutoring with one of our community partners, the students of Calvert Hall.”

“We have a variety of mentoring programs at Loch Raven so that we can meet the needs of the whole child. Our schoolwide mentoring program, “Mentoring New Leaders,” is in its third year. Almost every staff member of the school has a mentoring group, and we meet once per month to work on various character education topics. We also have specialized mentoring programs sponsored by our community members. There is the E.V.O.L.V.E program for boys and the L.O.V.E. program for girls. We also have a group of students, led by Mr. James, one of our teachers, called the Rising Ravens. This group of leaders have to maintain a standard of behavior and academics and then attend field trips as rewards and perform community service activities.

LRTA is a green school and we have a green school club for the first time this year that is working on preserving the natural environment around LRTA.
“For the last few years we’ve hosted a Class Free Day at the end of the year for students in the grade level that earned the most points for effort during testing. This day is full of games and activities that promote teamwork and physical fitness.”

Special school traditions

“We have an appreciation week for every staff member at Loch Raven throughout the school year. During our appreciation weeks, staff members recognize their colleagues for their hard work and the administrative team gives out tokens of their appreciation as well. The administrative team also shows appreciation for the staff with our annual Holiday Dinner Party funded by the administrative team.”

“Recently we have started having a Schoolwide Amazing Race Challenge, organized by two of our teachers, Ms. Powell and Ms. Magsamen. Students ‘race’ around the school to complete academic challenges in all content areas.”

“Every spring, we have Career Exploration Day. This is a day when we invite professionals from a variety of fields into our building to present to our students. They present information about what they do, why they got into the profession, and what our students would need to do to get into that profession.”

“Ms. Trader, our library media specialist, hosts a unique Strive for 25 Mystery Event each year. The theme changes each year, and the students who achieve the goal of reading 25 books get to experience this event at the end of the school year.”

“Our Wishing Star Theater puts on two productions each school year starring our talented students. This spring, they will be performing ‘The Lion King.’”

The Visual Art Magnet fashion show is an annual event which produces original student-created fashions with an original theme each year.

Bet you didn’t know…

That “we have a few teachers at the school who were students here during their middle school years. We also have two past Baltimore County Teachers of the Year on staff.”

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