Principal’s Corner: A commitment to students at Alder Creek Middle School |

Principal’s Corner: A commitment to students at Alder Creek Middle School

Hien Larson
Principal’s Corner

Alder Creek, home of the Cougars, is the place for middle-schoolers.

We build relationships so that every student feels welcome and connected to others, as they face the crucial years of early adolescence. We personalize learning to engage and challenge every scholar, and they thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.

We are proud that Alder Creek Middle School was named a 2017 Gold Ribbon School by the state of California. This award builds on last year's recognition as a California Schools to Watch – Taking Center State model middle school. As we start the new school year, we will continue to build on our successes, and continue to find ways that we can improve and provide more opportunities for our students.

The staff at ACMS understands the power of connections with students. We create a learning environment that instills a sense of belonging, so students feel safe, valued, and respected as both individuals and contributing members of the school community.

We believe in the "Cougar" way: community, respect, and open-mindedness. Our school community provides the framework for individual and school success, and our culture promotes strong, supportive relationships between teachers and students.

At ACMS, we provide rich educational experiences to prepare our students for college and career. Every student sets goals, and we maximize this crucial stage of their lives by providing them with a focus and voice in their learning.

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Our 21st-century classroom technology and design, as well as resources, such as our one-to-one technology program and collaborative Google Apps, help us personalize learning. Differentiation allows teachers to adapt and personalize curriculum specific to student needs.

Common Core and the Next Generation Science standards drive our rigorous curriculum. Our students also have the opportunity to participate in tutoring, homework club, mentoring, after-school Advanced Learner/GATE classes, theatre, Spanish for Spanish speakers, leadership, clubs, electives, sports, and outdoor education.

Alder Creek offers students multiple opportunities for meaningful participation, both at school and in the community. Students can participate in the arts through our music, photography, and art programs.

Club opportunities include Leadership/Student Council, Yearbook, Peer Helpers, Safe School Ambassadors, Sources of Strength, Club Live, Chess Club, Coding Club, Writing Club, Book Club, Friday Night Live Mentoring, Envirolutions, and SkiDUCK.

We have a wide variety of athletic programs for students to choose from, including basketball, cross-country running, soccer volleyball, wrestling, Nordic skiing, and track and field.

ACMS fosters a school characterized by positive relationships with families, engaged learning, and a sense of purpose. Our shareholders are a critical part of personalizing learning for the whole middle school student.

Relationships are the key to bringing our school community together. Families have a powerful and positive influence on their scholar's achievement in school and throughout life; we value the role you play in your child's education.

When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and enjoy school more. We host student-led conferences, and parents play a critical role throughout the year by supporting our goal-setting process.

Parents are encouraged to attend our focus nights, which cover topics such as internet safety, adolescence, sexuality education, and talking to your kids about drugs and alcohol. Other ways parents get involved in our school include participating in Math Night, PTO, Site Council, and our English Language Advisory Council.

We encourage all families to embrace the "Cougar" way. We value your input, and look forward to a quality collaborative relationship.

We also look forward to another exciting and productive school year. We will continue to create and personalize a culture of learning where all students can experience academic, social, and emotional success.

Through our commitment to our students, we know and believe that this will be a special year of growth, development, and achievement for your child.

Hien Larson is principal of Alder Creek Middle School.