This September, Berner Middle School shifted operations to a “house structure” to make class scheduling more flexible and to increase continuity between students, staff and the curriculum on each grade level.
Picture it as a “school within a school,” according to district officials. Currently, students are placed on one of 6 ½ teams and are instructed by a set of teachers assigned to each team. In a house structure, the teams are divided into thirds or about two teams per house. In each house there are two sets of teachers for each core subject, providing greater flexibility for scheduling to meet the specific needs of the students.
Another advantage to a house structure is the guidance and support students will get. Rather than guidance counselors and other staff members, such as social workers or psychologists, being assigned students alphabetically, they’ll be assigned to students in a house. They will also travel with those students as they move from seventh to eighth grade.