The middle school years are a crucial time in which students gain the skills, habits, and knowledge needed for future academic and personal success. Gateway Middle School offers a rigorous academic program that is complemented by enriching co-curricular activities and opportunities for academic support, all within an intentionally small and close-knit community.
The Learning Center
The Learning Center reflects Gateway’s philosophy that all students learn differently and the commitment to help a diverse body of students realize their full learning potential. Often described as “the academic engine of the school,” the Learning Center is available to all students who need additional support, whether they receive formal special education services or not. Our vision is that of a learning community where all learners have access to the resources they need to thrive without shame or stigma.
Existing somewhere between a study hall, social psychology class and a social club, Advisory is a concept so foundational to Gateway’s theory of educational excellence that it is mandatory for all students at both the middle and high school levels. Advisory is a vital component of the middle school program and is designed to offer students a safe environment in which they can develop and strengthen their social-emotional learning (SEL) skills and build a sense of community. Advisory also provides students with a trusted adult who they can seek when needing academic and social assistance all three years of middle school.
The Advisory class meets regularly and incorporates community building and academic advising. One of the primary purposes of Advisory is to make time in the school day to focus explicitly on SEL skills, which refers to the tools we all use in social interactions and to manage our emotional responses to everyday challenges. Skills like social awareness, goal-setting, and taking responsibility for oneself are crucial in order to thrive in the classroom, in the workplace, and when navigating relationships.
Gateway Middle School's curriculum ensures students are challenged, engaged in their learning, and prepared for a rigorous high school experience. All academic courses at Gateway are standards-based and emphasize the process of learning, commitment to community, and integrity.
Advisory offers students a safe environment in which they can develop and strengthen their social-emotional skills and build a sense of community within our school. Each advisory is made up of 15-18 students in the same grade. The student's advisor provides academic and social support and also serves as the primary contact for families.
Physical and Health Education
Gateway’s physical and health education class fosters healthy minds and healthy bodies by teaching students about nutrition, exercise, and healthy habits. This class also promotes teamwork and communications skills through physical activities. Gateway’s Physical and Health education class meets California Content Standards in Physical Education and Health.
Visual and Performing Arts
Gateway recognizes the importance of developing students' skills in a range of areas and offers visual and performing to develop students' artistic perception, creative expression, and aesthetic appreciation for a variety of visual and performing arts.
The Humanities program is an integrated study of English-Language Arts and History-Social Studies at each grade level. Gateway’s Humanities program meets the California Common Core State Standards in both subject areas. The Humanities courses follow the sequence below.
Humanities 6: World Literature, History, and Geography: Ancient Civilizations
Humanities 7: World Literature, History, and Geography: Medieval and Early Modern Times
Humanities 8: U.S. Literature, History, and Geography
Gateway Middle School's Learning Seminar is a centerpiece of the overall academic program. Through this class, all students develop self-awareness as college-bound learners and acquire the reading and learning strategies necessary for success in high school and college. Learning Seminar is tailored to meet each student at her/his individual reading level, so that all students are supported and challenged. Students learn about their learning style and form an understanding for all kinds of learning styles. The content and skills taught in Learning Seminar are complemented, applied, and reinforced across all subject areas.
Mathematics: Procedural & Conceptual
Gateway Middle School offers students extended work in mathematics each day to meet all aspects of the California Common Core State Standards for Mathematics. The mathematics curriculum emphasizes the learning of both procedural as well as conceptual elements of mathematical understanding. Students learn to apply Common Core Math Practices by creating multiple representations of mathematical problems (visual, symbolic, words), sharing strategies for problem solving, and explaining their mathematical thinking orally and in writing.
Students engage deeply with the "why" of math using math manipulatives, hands-on activities, and real-world examples, and they delve into investigative activities to understand and extend mathematical ideas to the world around them. At the end of the 8th grade year, all students will have completed the California Common Core Middle School Math courses so that they are ready for a college preparatory mathematics program in high school.
The science program prepares students for college preparatory high school science by providing them with a rigorous program based on the California Content Standards for Science and the Next Generation Science Standards. A hands-on laboratory component allows for both student-centered and more teacher-directed learning opportunities.
Gateway's mission-specific goals to develop students' reading, writing, and reflection skills across the curriculum are incorporated. Daily science classes allow students to learn the fundamentals of scientific inquiry as they practice these learning and communication skills.