Northern Middle School

August 17, 2007

701 Northern Ave.

Principal: Peggy Pugh

Phone: 301-766-8258

Fax: 301-797-5887

Web site:

Start time: 7:35 a.m.

Dismissal: 2:20 p.m.

Grades: 6-8

Date of construction: 1980

Age of building: 27 years


Latest renovation: 2004, new heating system completed; 2005, new roof

Size of building: 102,782 square feet

State-rated capacity: 775

Projected 2007-08 enrollment: 700

From the principal

Q. What are your goals for the school year?

A. By providing a safe, supportive and academically challenging daily environment for students, Northern Middle School fosters well-rounded, critical thinkers who are academically and socially prepared for high school. We strive to develop independent readers, writers and creative problem-solvers who are resilient and prepared for tomorrow's opportunities. Our overarching goal this year is to ensure high academic achievement for all students through the development of a shared culture focused on learning for all students and staff members.

We believe all children learn when taught well and held to high expectations. Students and teachers will develop personal learning goals for the year, and then work together to meet those goals. Teachers will monitor the performance data of students and make instructional changes as necessary to meet the specific needs of the students. Families are vital in helping each student develop his or her full potential, and we work to provide accurate and timely communication to enhance that partnership. We will provide numerous opportunities for the Northern Middle School community to celebrate the achievements of the students.

Q. What will help ensure a successful school year?

A. In order to take advantage of the learning opportunities, it is vital that students and staff attend school regularly throughout the year. Students in the upper grades will have an additional opportunity to develop leadership skills by mentoring our new sixth-grade students through the Where Everyone Belongs (WEB) program. This program helps students adjust to the new environment through an orientation program and assists them in developing social responsibility for their actions and interactions at school during monthly engaging and interactive meetings with WEB leaders. Teachers will engage in weekly professional development to enhance instruction through the classroom-focused improvement process, and some teachers will continue to enhance individual leadership skills through participation in the Teacher Leadership Cadre (TLC). Families can help us celebrate our successes by visiting for more specific information regarding student performance on the Maryland State Assessment program.

Q. Can students and staff expect any changes this school year?

A. We welcome 10 new staff members, both new and experienced, to our team this year. For seventh-grade students, we are pleased to offer Italian I for the first time. Students may also now earn high school credit for both Italian and Spanish, along with algebra and geometry. We have installed a new communications system that will maximize instructional time by reducing the number of interruptions by the public address system.

We are exploring a variety of clubs and activities that will help students develop a sense of responsibility and belonging to our school community. The PTA is again sponsoring the Positive Behavior Intervention System of rewards for students who exhibit respect, responsibility and preparedness.

Q. What message would you like to send as the school year begins?

A. Enjoy summer reading and spending time with your families as you look forward to the new school year. Students, be prepared to actively participate in the learning opportunities provided to you as a Northern Middle School Knight. Parents, please consider joining the PTA and remaining involved in your child's education. The faculty and staff is busily preparing for a great 2007-08 school year, and we are looking forward to seeing you in August.

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