The William C. McGinnis Middle School Staff, with the continued cooperation of parents, will help students develop an appreciation for excellence, education and leadership. We strive to provide a rigorous curriculum aligned with the New Jersey Student Learning Standards to ascertain that all children learn in a stimulating academic environment that students find both challenging and interesting. We nurture a sense of curiosity, connection, and love of learning that extends beyond the middle school years. This process will include skills for independent decision-making, self-esteem, self-discipline, and responsibility for themselves, their school, the environment and the world. Our efforts will result in students who understand and live the true meaning of the words RESPECT AND LEADERSHIP.
The William C. McGinnis Middle School is comprised of two historic buildings. The main building was built in 1898 with renovations made in 1995. The school is outfitted with the latest technology. This technology includes SMART Boards, Bright Link 450Wi high-performance projectors + pen combination, laptops, I Pads and Chromebooks. Directly across the street is the historic Thomas M. Peterson School, named in honor of the first African-American to vote under the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It was built in 1871 and was the first public school in Perth Amboy. The building, which has received a historical marker that is prominently displayed in the front of the building, thanks to the efforts of the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission, serves as the William C. McGinnis School Annex. Both buildings house a total of 1522 students comprised of fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth graders. The William C. McGinnis Middle School also has Bilingual / ESL and Special Education Programs in Grades 5 – 8.
The William C. McGinnis School has participated with AVID (Achievement Via Individual Determination) which is a college and career based program that focuses on students organizational and study skills. These skills prepare our students for post secondary school and work. Through this program, students are also exposed to college trips, guest speakers and special projects that make college and career readiness a reality. Students are also given the opportunity to participate in the New Jersey Institute of Technology Early College Preparatory Summer Programs. In addition, to promote leadership qualities, self-esteem and discipline we have established a Cadet Leadership Program that is now in its sixth year. In the area of performing arts, our award-winning band participates every year in the St. Patrick’s Parade in Washington, D.C. The band also marches in both the Perth Amboy and Woodbridge Holiday Parades.
After reviewing the 2016-2017 data, based on the STAR, NJACCESS, and the school’s benchmark assessments, we strive to continue to bring the best education possible to our students and create an environment conducive to learning. To that end, we feel confident that the implementation of the following initiatives in the 2017-2018 school year will result in increased academic achievement and a positive overall climate at the William C. McGinnis Middle School:
- The continuation of the placement of fifth graders, sixth graders and seventh graders in the William C. McGinnis Gifted and Talented program.
- Intervention Program, which was established to address specific instructional needs during the school day. This year the program will provide a full additional 47-minute block of language arts or mathematics on a weekly basis.
- Learning Centers in the Media Room in the morning and afternoon: Serve as an option for students in need of daily assistance with tutoring in the content areas, the ability to retake assessments, homework, assistance with projects or just providing a place to study.
- Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) will be continued. This past year, staff members collaborated to identify best practices, revised planning guides and curriculum, conducted curriculum mapping according to the Common Core Standards, and formulated common assessments in order to improve teaching / learning. The work in PLCs has resulted in improving test scores this past school year.
- A one to one initiative in all grades has been initiated using Chrome Books.
- We will continue to provide classes in the Arts: Musical, Theatre, Chorus, Band and Television Production.
- School Wide House Model initiative that focuses on positive behaviors and celebrating good behaviors and relationships throughout the school.
- Implementation of S. W. A. G. (Seven Ways to Achieve Greatness): A middle school-wide initiative to improve school climate and to enhance teaching / learning.
- Student Clubs: Clubs are offered during recess to provide students the opportunity to interact with other students in an area of common interests including Service Learning, Theater, Chorus, Chess, and the Director’s Society.
- A Parent Room: A place within the school where parents can seek information, work on computers or school related activities and speak to our home / school liaison.
- Parent Workshops: Healthy Cooking, PARCC informational session, March into Fitness, Family Math, Languages Arts and Science, Covered Dish, and Gingerbread House Extravaganza.