School Narrative

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    Samuel E. Shull Middle School exemplifies our district’s mission to provide all students with a solid academic foundation. Through the efforts of all staff coupled with parental support, Shull School provides the resources, support services, and fiscal management that focus on students achieving or exceeding the New Jersey Student Learning Standards. The 2019-2020 goals of the Samuel E. Shull Middle School are to ensure that all students read on grade level, improve their math proficiency levels beyond expected growth rates, and to continue to provide distributed leadership opportunities to foster greater communication, coordination, and partnership between educators, administrators and parents.

    Recently, the New Jersey Department of Education, in partnership with the Consortium for School Networking (COSN), selected the Samuel E. Shull Middle School as an “InnovateNJ Initiative” School.  This distinction recognizes the school as a leader in the State of New Jersey for its use of technology in providing instructional support.  This distinction was earned through the innovative, creative and effective uses of educational technology by the highly qualified staff employed by the Samuel E. Shull Middle School, and enabled by the extensive and accessible professional development opportunities for all staff members.  The staff participates in this professional development in Professional Learning Communities where administrators, teachers, support staff, and other selected outside experts provide facilitated learning opportunities in order to improve the quality of classroom instruction and introduce practitioners to the practical applications of research-validated strategies.

    Samuel E. Shull Middle School has nearly 1500 students in grades 5 - 8, organized in four “Houses” of approximately 370 students each. This house model ensures small learning communities that create a personalized environment for teaching and learning and is a key contributor to the success of our students and enhances the continuity of our academic and support programs. The goal of our New Jersey Student Learning Standards aligned curriculum is to promote a collaborative, student-directed learning environment that provides a unique learning experience for all learning styles.  Our core curriculum subjects of Language Arts, Mathematics, Pre-Algebra, Social Studies, Science, Physical Education, and Health are supplemented with electives in Technology Education, Art, TV Production and Music.   Our Mathematics program provides a comprehensive instructional framework. Our Science offerings include a Physics class that is taken in conjunction with Algebra for our advanced students.  There are advanced level classes in Language Arts and Mathematics in Grades 6-8, as well as a Gifted and Talented program in Grade 5.  In order to support an increase in the number of students that qualify for advanced classes, we have implemented an elective AVID class in sixth and seventh grade that provides academic instruction, support, study skills, and a variety of motivational activities.   Students with disabilities have an Individualized Education Plan, which ensures that they are given the extra support needed, while supporting the student’s education within the least restrictive environment.  Shull School also provides Bilingual Education and English as a Second Language (ESL) as well as an ESL Bridge Program to support students transitioning from the Bilingual Education setting.

    Each year, the faculty at Shull School is committed to the study of longitudinal data to analyze students’ progress. The 2015 and 2016 PAARC results revealed an increase in student proficiency by an average of 8-10 percent in School-wide Academic Performance in ELA.  For school-wide Academic Performance in Mathematics, there has been an increase in student proficiency by 4% since 2014.

    For the 2019-2020 school year, we have a focus on improving literacy to ensure that all students read on grade level.   We offer a robust reading intervention program that is used to address the needs of students reading below grade level.   Our literacy block uses the Three Tiered Model of Instruction which provides a structure for student improvement in knowledge and skill in regards to using reading strategies that improve understanding and the ability to think and reason about the information and concepts in the text. In order to infuse literacy instruction across all content areas, all teachers craft an annual Student Growth Objective (SGO) based on a literacy standard.  This year we are also integrating Writer’s Workshop into the literacy block to help us become more proficient in the area of writing.

    Since our curricula are rigorous and challenging, we have an Academic Learning Center Program that offers academic support in language arts and mathematics before and after school. Additionally, we offer a variety of co-curricular activities including sports and clubs. Interscholastic sports include girls and boys’ soccer, wrestling, girls and boys’ basketball, girls cheerleading, softball, and baseball. Clubs offered include Art, Band, Yearbook, Odyssey of the Mind, and House Student Councils. 

    Shull School provides support programs to all students throughout the day.  Shull School has an interactive character building program called SWAG (Seven Ways to Achieve Greatness) in which students are instructed on how to build seven essential character traits throughout the school year, as well as decrease incidents of Harassment, Intimidation & Bullying (HIB). Shull School has also collaborated with Rutgers University to implement a Social Decision Making and Problem Solving curriculum in an elective class for sixth and seventh grade students where our students learn evidence-based social and emotional skills in the classroom and practice the skills in the community through a variety of service projects.  Student support personnel include a child study team, four school counselors, a student assistance counselor, crisis intervention counselors, a home school liaison, and school nurses. 

    An active Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) supports the school program. We also strive to further engage our families into the school community through the House System. Our ultimate goal is to promote the academic, personal and social development of students in a safe, inclusive learning environment.