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Middle school matters: Woodlawn Middle School
03/22/2016

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
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Principal: Rochelle Archelus (quoted below)
Feeder elementary schools: Featherbed Lane, Hebbville, Powhatan, and Woodmoor

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

Academic Achievements

“Last year, we showed the second highest growth in English and math MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) scores among BCPS middle schools.” 

“We are seeing more students achieve honor roll and high honor roll status.” Students who earn only A’s and B’s (high honor roll status) are called Very Important Student Achievers and receive “VISA” cards that give them access to special rewards and recognitions.

Recent Awards and Grants

For the last three years, Woodlawn Middle has received grants from Lockheed Martin Corporation to support the school’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) initiatives. The grants, totaling more than $20,000 have been used to support field trips, supplies, the school’s two STEM fairs each year, and afterschool programs like robotics. “One interesting benefit of our partnership with Lockheed Martin is that they invite some of our students to speak at their annual staff recognition program. Last year, one of our students gave the keynote address at this event.”

Woodlawn Middle has received multiple Gold Awards for its Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports initiative.

Science teacher Danielle Weyant, last year, was one of four Maryland science teachers selected to participate in the National Science Teachers Association’s New Science Teacher Academy.

Special Academic Programs


“The school’s AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program is growing.” Students in Grades 7 and 8 can participate. In addition to strengthening study skills and taking more challenging classes, participants receive additional support in getting college and career ready, including activities such as recent visits to Morgan State University and Towson University.

Woodlawn also offers Project Lead the Way, which introduces students to engineering concepts.

For the past three years, the school has hosted a summer bridge program for incoming Grade 6 students. Students from each feeder school are given specific days to spend at Woodlawn Middle participating in transitional activities – such as learning more about the school layout and procedures.

Extracurricular Activities

In addition to the sports offered at all BCPS middle schools, Woodlawn Middle hosts an afterschool program for reading and math support and enrichment.  

The school has a popular dance team and a robotics club.

“Two groups -- the Gentlemen Eagles and the Lady Eagles – focus on character and leadership development. The groups are led by Woodlawn Middle teachers and are active in the community. Their community service projects include assisting with Maryland Food Bank distributions each month.

“Our Forensics Club sometimes works with professionals from the Baltimore Crime Lab. Crime Lab staff come to the school to do projects with students and give them real world experiences and insights.”

Special School Traditions

“Every month, we choose two student artists to highlight. Their work is framed and hangs in the principal’s office for the month.” Some Woodlawn Middle students also have had artwork featured at The Walters Art Museum for Youth Arts Month.

“Last year, we started a Be More campaign, as in be more kind, be more respectful, be more loving.. And through this campaign, staff and students could recognize anyone they observed doing something nice – like helping someone pick up books or holding a door open or expressing concern. That has evolved into this year’s Get Your Smile On campaign that engages all of us in recognizing the many positive things that go on in the building.”

“Teachers here are more like a family than coworkers. They are very supportive of each other regarding their work but also enjoy participating in teambuilding activities like Teacher Olympics, paint night, and aerobics.”

Every September, a Grade 6 induction is held for students and their families. The event is designed to welcome students to Woodlawn Middle and support them with the transition from elementary to middle school. The induction features guest speakers and students taking a pledge to aspire to greatness.  

Bet you didn’t know…

That “Woodlawn Middle is a very loving place to be. Students are given room to learn and grow, supported by the relationships that students form with each other and staff throughout their middle school years. It is a warm and inviting place.”

That the school is really a square with a huge courtyard in the middle. This courtyard is home to a flower garden and a pond. Teachers use the courtyard to extend the classroom, engage students in outside activities, and teach about nature.

That “Woodlawn Middle was the first middle school in Baltimore County to be completely a uniform school. Students’ shirt colors identify their grade level.”

Woodlawn Middle School – A School Determined to be Great

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