I’ve been a middle level educator for thirteen years. I’ve worked in Canadian public schools, International private schools in Asia, the Middle East, and South America. I think I have the experience to have a thought on this question.
I recently read the 16 Charactaristics of successful middle schools according to the Association for Middle Level Education. You can read them here. I believe in truncating – here are the ones that stand out to me;
1. Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
2. Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices
3. The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all.