Overview

Small Communities of Learning

Keene Middle School has a principal, one assistant principal, and their secretaries. The assistant principal shares supervising all six clusters. There are three guidance counselors who are assigned to each grade. These individuals remain with their group of students through the three years that the students attend KMS. The result is a more personal approach to education as students, teachers, and support staff all become familiar with each other as a rather large institution is broken down into small communities of learning. Most classes at KMS have enrollments of between 20 and 25 students.

The nearly 620 strong student body is broken down into three horizontal grade levels. Each of these is further reduced to two clusters of students and two different teams of teachers. Homeroom "advisories" average 20 students and meet every day. The goal is to give every student an adult advisor who knows them better than others, advocates for them, leads discussions in sometimes sensitive but necessary topics, promotes community service, and leads the group through a series of grade level themes.  An effective advisory program is an important cornerstone at KMS. As a result, every student has at least one adult he/she can turn to for any reason.


The Curriculum

Keene Middle School offers a challenging and enriching curriculum distinctive at each grade.  Students at each grade level (6th, 7th, and 8th) receive English, mathematics, science, reading, and social studies on a daily basis.  All students also receive physical education, art, technology education, family and consumer science, music, and health for each of the years they attend KMS.  In addition, French or Spanish instruction is a required offering in every grade.  Most students begin second language instruction at grade five and the instruction is continued through the middle school and further developed later on a continuum at Keene High School. 

Computer instruction is a part of each student's curriculum at KMS.  Industrial technology has evolved into Technology Education and consists of self-paced, cooperative learning modules taught in a state of the art room, the first of its kind in any New Hampshire middle school.  In Family and Consumer Science, food preparation and healthy eating habits are emphasized and this newly contructed classroom.

Academic excellence at KMS is recognized and rewarded. Close to 60% of KMS students attain honor roll status and are noted in school postings in the local newspapers. High honors are similarly recognized with an additional social function, school-wide assembly recognition, and awards at Achievement Day ceremonies. Traditionally, only about 10% of students are able to attain this rigorous academic standing each quarter.


Special Services

Special needs students have a variety of services available to assist in meeting the goals of Individual Educational Plans (I.E.P.s). At the top of this list is the commitment and focus of the entire staff to meet the needs of all students and to accomplish this, whenever possible, within the regular classroom setting.  Augmenting the classroom efforts are a resource room and a special educator in each cluster, support staff, and three distinct special education collaborative programs for students idetified with significant learning challenges.  Two school psychologists,  speech and language provider, social worker, and a full time Director of Special Services are also on staff.  In addition, occupational therapists, visual specialists, physical therapists, and adaptive physical education teachers are also available to students.  All special education programs are staffed with qualified teachers and other support personnel.  English Language Learners Program (ELL) is also available for students who have come to this country with a language other than English.


Fine Arts

Keene Middle School is particularly proud of its fine arts programs. The newly built, state of the art school features two art classrooms equipped with pottery wheels and two kilns, a module based technology education classroom, a spacious band room with eight small group practice studios, a specially constructed choral room, television studio, and the most technologically advanced auditorium in the greater Keene community.  Both chorus and band have performing groups at each grade level. KMS bands are well known for their level of performance and are cause for particular pride for the entire Keene community. A number of KMS students traditionally are annually selected to the All-State Chorus and Band groups.

Extra-curricula opportunities are available in many fine arts areas such as Art Club, Show Choir, Evolution Dance Team, and Jazz Band. The Drama Club draws an annual enrollment of as many as 120 interested students, producing two or three plays each year as well as a student talent show each spring.


Facilities

KMS is housed in a state of the art facility that opened in September 2011.  Each classroom has modern equipment to support the educational process.  Students have access to laptops and iPads for their daily instruction.  Clusters classes have easy access to each other and there are comfortable meeting areas for cluster activities.  The cafeteria is designed to be open and welcoming with round tables that encourage a positive lunch atmosphere.  KMS has a full size gym with bleachers to comfortably watch events.  As part of the fitness complex, KMS has a fitness/weight room, wrestling/dance room, and outside play areas.  The music portion of the building is comprised of an auditorium, chorus room, bandroom, MIDI lab, and practice rooms.  KMS' building is designed to be open, welcoming, and a warm atmosphere for students, their families, and guests.