As winning streaks go, Falcon Cove Middle School’s is pretty impressive. The school opened in Weston in 2000, and it has earned an “A” grade every single year. That’s 19 years in a row.
Hoe does Falcon Cove do it? Quality teaching, extremely involved parents with a strong PTSA, and a strategy of motivating students with 50 different elective choices. That’s more than many high schools offer.
One of the electives is dance, a program the principal added after the kids asked for it.
“One of the most important things that we try to do is figure out what all of our students really enjoy because they’re so different, and so many different things that they like to do both academically and socially, we try to give every student the opportunity to participate in something they enjoy,” said Dr. Mark Kaplan, the principal for the last 15 years.
That’s one advantage of going to a school with 2,300 students. There are simply more opportunities at the state’s largest middle school, including a thriving drama program.
“They’re getting poise, they’re getting public speaking skills, they’re getting team-building skills that you just don’t get sitting in a classroom,” explained drama director Daniel Slowik, describing the program’s benefits to students
We’ve only scratched the surface, there are many more avenues for students to explore at Falcon Cove, such as chess, robotics, art, and sports.
“There’s so many different things that we offer here, we have law classes for those who want to take them, many of the 8th grade kids look to take high school level classes that we also offer,” Kaplan said.
Falcon Cove also has technology that would be envied at most colleges. The media center, which they named The Nest, has interactive tables and computer areas designed to foster an exchange of ideas among students.
“Collaboration among students and problem and project-based activities really get kids’ minds and their juices flowing to learn,” said Kaplan.
The heart of The Nest is the augmented reality area. 30 computer stations equipped with startling 3D imaging, at which kids can explore the human body interactively. You have to see it and try it to understand it.
“It engages the students, and students that are engaged are learning more, they’re paying attention more,” said Stacey Farmer, the media specialist.
From high-tech learning to hitting the high notes in the revitalized band program -- if you can’t find it at Falcon Cove, it probably doesn’t exist anywhere.