Arts Middle School Family Update

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Hello Arts Middle Families,

Today was an incredible first day! The students were amazing! Check out the interviews below.

Changes in 2018 at Arts Middle

This year we have 1 English Language Arts block everyday to focus on reading and writing instead of having the classes on an A/B rotation. In addition we have a focus on Instructional Standards of Excellence - see below.

Literacy Instructional Standards of Excellence

Volume Reading

•50+ minutes daily combined across grade level

•Tracking pages or words read per week

•Create a standard number of books, poems, and magazine articles read per year in each genre

Writing about the reading

•Write daily in all classrooms – especially argument writing

•Surface Learning- Notetaking, charts, graphic organizers

•Deep Learning- Constructed responses and organizing and transforming notes

•Transfer Learning- extended writing, synthesizing information, and performance tasks

•Editing and revising authentic student writing

•Reading and sharing of common rubrics, success criteria, and exemplars across all literacy classrooms

Discussion (and Questioning) about the reading

•Formal discussions about the reading: pairs, small groups, book clubs, debates (generating and defending claims), and socratic seminars

•Common norms, expectations, and rubrics for discussions

•Questioning- planned, targeted, and to advance thinking

•Accountable Talk and listening expectations

Math Instructional Standards of Excellence

Quality of Tasks

•Do-Now focused on prior knowledge, prerequisite skills, and progression of learning

•Solving and discussing tasks that promote mathematical reasoning and problem solving

•Support productive struggle and perseverance

•Low level and high level cognitive demand tasks (requires complex reasoning, planning, and explanations of thinking)

Communicate Mathematically

•Questioning- planned, targeted, and purposeful used to assess and advance thinking

•Reading, writing, listening, and representing visually

•Common norms, expectations, and rubrics for discussions

•Accountable Talk

•Academic vocabulary as part of instruction

•Whole and small group discussion balance

•Explain, justify, and elaborate thinking on mathematical ideas

•Make sense of problems and solutions, construct viable arguments, listen carefully, and critique reasoning of others

Evidence of Learning Targets

•Daily in-class formative checks for understanding and evidence during closure

•Common formative assessments used to measure learning over a 3 week span

•Student self-grading, charting progress, and identifying areas for growth

Arts Instructional Standards of Excellence

Promotion of the Arts

•Find ways to celebrate and highlight the arts

•Discuss work to highlight on a monthly basis

•Promote, review, analyze, and discuss Share Days, Evening of the Arts, Concerts, and Plays

•Create more performance opportunities for a wide variety of students

Presentation Skills

•Students sharing their work to class

•Common norms, expectations, and rubrics for presentations and audience members

•Accountable Talk

•Listening skills during presentations

School Hours

The school hours have changed for the upcoming school year.

  • Student Drop-Off is 7:25 - 7:30
  • Student Pick-Up is 2:35

Important Dates

Monday, September 3rd - No school - Labor Day

Tuesday, September 11th - Back to School Night from 6 - 8

Wednesday, September 12th - Half day - dismissal at 12:00

Parent Drop off and Pick

Parent drop off and pick up is at the front of Arts High School at 160 Huyshope Ave. Please use the round about to drop off and pick up. See the video below for more info.
Do Not Drop Off or Pick Up on Van Dyke

Phone Policy

Big picture

Dress Code

All students are expected to dress appropriately and to maintain personal appearance reflecting the high standards of Arts Middle. In order to maintain an environment conducive to the learning process the items listed below from being worn during the school day.

— Headphones and ear buds are not allowed in classrooms, the hallway, or bathrooms

— Cell phones are not allowed in classrooms, the hallway, or bathrooms

— Hats, hoods, wave caps, headbands, kerchiefs, bandanas, curlers (unless headwear is part of a student’s religious practice) should be placed in the student’s locker upon arriving to school

— Shirts need to be lock enough to cover the abdomen; No bare midriffs

— Any clothing that reveals any part of an individual’s undergarments or is transparent

— Any clothing marked with obscene, suggestive language, or indecent pictures, writing, inappropriate slogans, sexually suggestive and/or drug/alcohol advertisements

— Any item that may be used as a weapon or which may present a safety hazard to the student, other students or staff

— Flip-flops and sandals are a safety concern – It is recommended that students wear footwear with a closed toe

Students in violation of the dress code must correct the violation or remain out of the student population until a parent is able to bring in suitable clothing.

News from the office

Parents, please be sure to complete your online Power School registration. If you did not receive it, please contact our office at 860-724-0685.

Please see below for information on Food Services and free/reduced meals.

Free/Reduced Online Application:

Information on Food Services:



The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Middle School

ALL students will achieve at high levels both artistically and academically. ALL means ALL!