Drawing on current national education research, the Sidney Gutierrez Middle School is resolved to:

  • Improving results for students by setting high standards;
  • Adopting clear accountability measures;
  • Building partnerships with parents, businesses and communities;
  • Involving teachers, students and parents in the decision-making process of the school;
  • Implementing content and performance-based standards and benchmarks; and
  • Engaging in applied, differentiated and authentic learning practices.

Key Approaches to Achieving Goals

The administration and staff of the SGMS continually work towards establishing effective learning experiences for its students.  Students in the school are provided opportunities to think creatively and explore their interests across disciplines by constructing knowledge and personal meaning from new experiences offered in the school. The administration and staff of the school support a common core of curricular, instructional and organizational practices that include:

A second component of the approach to achieving the school’s goals is the process of authentic assessment.  Students are assessed with authentic metrics and encouraged to achieve situational mastery of content at their level of competency before advancing.  Student demonstration, problem-based learning, projects, as well as teacher-, peer-, and self-evaluation all comprise the components of the school’s assessment process.  SGMS determines its set of standards for maintaining a connection to school goals for student achievement based in annual scrutiny of the school’s unique needs, strengths and vision while incorporating state and local mandates.


  • Language development across all curricular areas
  • Focus on higher-order thinking skills in learning applications
  • Dedication to experiential learning
  • Development of interdisciplinary/thematic approaches to delivery of instruction
  • Full access to all curricular offerings
  • Availability of exploratory coursework to meet individual needs


  • Provide active learning practices whereby instructional staff serve as facilitators of learning not imparters of knowledge
  • Employ various project-based learning strategies to complement learning styles
  • Employ various cooperative learning practices to enhance differentiated learning measures used to increase student achievement
  • Employ emerging educational technologies to prepare students with tangible skills used in the workplace
  • Provide alternative and authentic assessment practices to determine growth and exemplar indications of student learning
  • Establish flexible grouping of abilities and interests to utilize the diversity of student learning abilities and needs


  • Collaborative decision-making of staff and governing council to increase the professional practice of the school
  • Parents in partnerships for many aspects of school operations and planning
  • Flexible scheduling to accommodate for the variety of learning experiences the educational program offers it students
  • Principals and teachers as facilitators and participants in site-based planning
  • Articulation with other school levels to ensure that the school creates a seamless transition for its in-coming and out-going students