The arts are thriving at Plantation Middle School.
In the world of middle school bands, the Patriots blast out a full, rich sound. We also watched students painting a mural of Anne Frank. The focus, though, is definitely on the classroom, as it should be.
“The academics at Plantation Middle are great, the teachers are passionate about their craft, and we have different innovative programs that really support our students academically and socially,” said the principal, Dr. Sherri Wilson.
The debate program, Wilson says, is a good example. Students learn valuable public speaking and research skills, as they do in all debate programs.
“Also increases their confidence just being able to share their thoughts with others,” said debate teacher Kamarya Carter-Martin.
Plantation Middle is an International Baccalaureate magnet school. The program here feeds into the senior version at Plantation High School. They also have something called IBELLA, the International Business Entrepreneurial Language Leadership Academy.
“So here they can get strong academics, because that’s what our focus is on, and they can also earn high school credits while they’re still in middle school, so it’s a unique program that would really benefit students that want to get into a good college,” said Pamela Van Horn, the school’s magnet coordinator.
You might see kids playing ping pong here and ask yourself, why? The sport is part of Chinese culture, so it fits with the school’s Chinese language program, and it also develop mental acuity.
“Those skills help with critical thinking skills and analyzing, much like what you have to do in the academic arena,” Wilson explained.
Now for the truly unique: walk into Plantation Middle’s Ujima Salon, where you will find volunteers from a hair braiding academy teaching kids the craft (or is it an art?) of hair braiding.
“You look good, you feel good, but you’re also learning a valuable trade,” Wilson said. “And they’re learning a skill while having fun.”
Educational experts will tell you that any time students are having fun in school, it increases their motivation to do well and attendance goes up. They’re banking on that formula at Plantation Middle School.
The deadline to sign up for Broward County Public Schools magnet programs is Wednesday, February 5th.