Middle School 101 FAQ’s

  • What are the homework expectations?

    In the 2017-18 school year, the WCASD revised the homework guidelines to emphasize the delivery of meaningful assignments and teacher feedback to support student learning. Students can expect daily homework assignments in their core area classes. On average, our students report that they complete about an hour and fifteen minutes during their 6th-grade year.

    How involved should I be in my child’s homework?

    Our 6th-grade teachers recommend for parents to support students with homework through a gradual release process. For example, at the start of the school year parents can assist their 6th graders by helping them establish an environment that is optimal for studying and complete homework (no cellphones, YouTube or video games). 

    How does grading work?

    Our middle schools report grades on a quarterly system as compared to trimesters at the elementary level. Parents can also view grades in progress by logging onto the Parent Portal at any time. Please expect to see frequent grade updates for your student’s classes. At the start of the school year, students and parents will also receive course expectations that detail how grading requirements for each class. 

    What is teaming?

    Middle school teams are groups of five core area teachers that share the same students. “Teaming” allows teachers the regular opportunity to collaborate regarding student progress, interdisciplinary planning, and parent communications.  “Teaming” provides a smaller and more personalized approach to middle-level education in West Chester.

    How do I know about co-curricular activities?

    Our middle school websites provide information about the various clubs and activities available to middle school students. At the parent meetings in May, the school will review a number of activities that are specific to incoming 6th graders. Once the school year starts, the school newsletters, school websites, and school announcements are just a few of the ways that we keep parents and students informed about upcoming activities. 

    How does leveling work, and which courses are leveled?

    Math and English Language Arts (ELA) are the two core classes that provide different instructional levels for 6th-grade students. These levels are designed to best support the individual learning needs for each student. For more information regarding our level please access the descriptors in our course selection guide.  

    What are the 5th-grade teacher's criteria for leveling?

    Placement of students into appropriate courses is an important factor that contributes to student success. To make appropriate decisions, middle school principals will consider multiple data points in the decision-making process. These data points will include student performance in class as evidenced by their report card grades, student performance on PSSA assessments, and their current teacher’s recommendation. In addition, local assessment data may be considered should any be available for individual students.

    Will a teacher respond to my email request about a curricular area?

    Yes, teachers will respond to emails within 24 hours.

    What is Schoology?

    Schoology is a Learning Management System used by teachers and students to create, manage, and share academic content. Parents can also log in and view what is happening in the student’s courses. Visit www.wcasd/technology for more information.

    What is the average class size?

    Core classes average between 24-26 students.

    How do you communicate, not every road leads to college?

    Middle schools use Career Pathways in conjunction with the Unified Arts classes.

    Do 6th-grade students take the PSSA’s?

    Yes, 6th-grade students will take Math and ELA tests in the spring.

    Will, my child receive a Course Expectation/Syllabus?

    Yes, in the first days of school, your child will receive a Course Expectation. Typically, both the parents and students have to sign it.

    Will the district issued laptop have filters on it so my child can’t access all internet sites at home?

    Yes, your child will have the same internet restrictions on the laptop at home as they do at school.

    Where can I find a list of Activities, Clubs, and Sports being offered?

    Visit your child’s school website, and click on the Activities and Athletic tabs for information.