It’s an “A” school for a reason, and it goes beyond test scores at Glades Middle School in Miramar.
The school has a major commitment to the arts, with a comprehensive music program giving students opportunities to perform in the concert band, jazz band, and chorus. The visual arts offered include painting, drawing, and computer illustration.
It’s all part of the school’s culture.
“The research is clear, once students find what they’re passionate about, above and beyond just the core curriculum, they begin to integrate themselves into the school a lot more and ultimately that’s where they find their purpose,” said Ricardo Santana, the school’s principal.
Glades Middle has the Cambridge Academy, which coordinates with the Cambridge program at Everglades High School next-door to prepare kids for the highest levels of academics.
“We want our students to be well-rounded citizens, we want to focus on the academic rigor we offer here at Glades Middle School with the Cougar Path Academy but also to be able to be global citizens and expand their horizons outside the classroom as well,” said assistant principal Mark Henderson.
The school has a huge classroom space called the 21st Century Village. It’s like STEM paradise, full of drones whizzing by and computer whiz kids coding and robots doing robotic stuff.
The chess club at Glades is one of the best. The team just won a big tournament last week and finished third at the state championships.
“One of the things that’s very important to me as a principal is having an inclusive school where all students have an opportunity to be integrated to our vision,” Santana said.
That vision includes special needs kids. The school has a unique classroom set up just for peer counseling, in which students mentor their special needs classmates and help teach them basic life skills.
“Mentors learn compassion, patience, also socially, how to talk to other people who may not be just like them,” said Melissa Whitley, the teacher who runs the peer counseling program.
They have a mantra: pride, passion, and purpose, and we’ll add a fourth “P”, praises, as we sing the praises of Glades Middle School.