community & Postsecondary partnerships...

Partnerships will be vital to sustain our S.T.E.M. initiative.  The key to establishing and building such relationships is to provide as many touch points as possible between the school and its community partners.  Mentoring and mutually beneficial exchanges also provide opportunities for our students to experience S.T.E.M. related careers and to personally reap the rewards of volunteerism and service.  


As the only public middle school that serves the City of Cleveland we have a wealth of expertise to call upon.  Our students are part of the larger community and it is through their parents and extended families that our reach is extended and strengthened.  



Community and Postsecondary Partnerships: Community and postsecondary STEM partnerships are established and provide connections between curriculum taught in the classroom and practical applications outside of school. These partnerships have created an environment in which students develop high-level STEM skills and knowledge inside and outside of the classroom and increase their readiness for college and careers. These attributes are essential in creating connections between what is taught and real-world settings in order to sustain a well-rounded STEM program. 


Direct experiences with STEM professionals, professional STEM work environments, and/or practical applications of STEM content, including experiences that incorporate innovative design and art immersion led by professionals within the arts community, during and/or outside school are available to students. 


For many of our latch-key students, having a safe place to go after school is so important.  The Boys and Girl's Club in our community offers snacks, tutoring, crafts, and games that encourage a sense of belonging.  Their Mission is simple, to help put young people on the path to great futures. Their vision is to provide a safe and encouraging place to go during out-of-school time.  With a warm and caring staff, they create a positive learning environment to encourage Academic Success; Good Character and Citizenship, and lessons on Healthy Lifestyles, fostering creativity and imagination!


Our CMS students experience a "Leadworthy Moment" a mini-lesson which helps develops critical, life-changing skills, such as taking personal responsibility, expressing themselves well and making good decisions when problems arise.  Powered by the Flippen Group, this research-based curriculum includes topics very relevant to the needs of our 21st century students. To foster a sense of community within our student body we have weekly "Leadworthy Moments" where quotes are discussed and students answer discussion questions based on reflecting how such sentiments affect how they deal with one another and look to their own promising futures.  LeadWorthy Moments provide short exercises designed to help incorporate character-based education into our classrooms. 

Themes such as "being part of the solution," and "working together to make something wonderful happen."


“If you have a child’s heart, you have their mind” is the core belief of Flip Flippen, founder and chairman of the Flippen Group, NY Times best-selling author, and nationally-recognized speaker.  For nearly a decade now our school district has embraced this approach, applying the behavioral skills and processes taught by the Flippen Group which has led to dramatic transformations in our relationships with our students.  Nearly 70 percent of our students qualify for free and reduce lunch.  So, when they arrive to school many are stressed from home, from hunger, abuse and loneliness.  At C.M.S. we have built a school culture that is relational and is sensitive to the social-emotional needs of our students, helping them feel valued and connected, so they are ready to learn.  Examples of how it is used daily at CMS include the following: 

Greet Students Daily.

Although we are not able due to COVID-19 concerns to shake hands at the door, we still greet students at the door. 

Asking a fun entrance question at the door like "Would you rather have chocolate candy or Sour Patch candy."
Using music to add energy to your classroom.
Using creative greetings like an elbow or foot "bumps" to greet.

Manage the Message.

At CMS we set a positive tone when helping everyone to understand the community health rules. Instead of "Wear your mask," try "Be empowered! Do your part to help keep yourself and others healthy. Wear your masks. We are better together!" This sends the same message but also emphasizes community, connection, and relationships.


Continue Positive Class Routines.

Start class with "Good Things" and end with a meaningful message to Launch. Intentionally incorporate affirmations and empower students to be classroom raters and affirmers.

Recognize and Celebrate Students Often.

Seek out frequent opportunities to affirm and celebrate student success inside and outside of school. An example would be our recent Kindness Coins Competition.

Listen more, Talk Less.

At CMS we engage our students in more conversation. Start by simply asking more open-ended questions and then celebrating and affirming their effort, thinking, and learning. We know that whoever does the talking does the learning!


This organization has been meeting with our students of color since 2001, every Friday morning.  Groups vary from 20 to 30 students who they take on field trips and if the student stays with the organization throughout their secondary school experience, they receive a free laptop and help with tuition to college.  Such a framework of successful community business leaders modeling behaviors of achievement, is essential for all students, especially youth of color, who traditionally have been marginalized in learning standards, school policies, and a classroom practices.  With guest speakers ranging from Bankers to C.E.O.s of certain local organizations, our students are inspired.  


All of our 8th grade students experienced what it is like to be 25 years old and budget monthly expenses during the Real Life Simulation “Reality Check” sponsored by Junior Achievement and the Cleveland/Bradley County Chamber of Commerce. This event brings together students and community volunteers. In the 2019/2020 school year, JA hosted 409 CMS students during Reality Check and JA Economics for Success. The volunteers spent 2,863 contact hours with our 8th graders in the theater. 


Once CMS students leave our school they continue their education at CHS [Cleveland High School] where there is a robust, cutting-edge, rigorous and relevant Career and Technical Education Program.  It consists of eleven nationally recognized career clusters whose ultimate goal is to prepare them for meaningful post-secondary college and/or career pathways.  In general, an important part of the development and ongoing support for CTE programs is the use of advisory committees. Advisory committees include representation from business and industry, secondary school/career center partners, adult education, postsecondary faculty and administration and four-year institutions. Business and industry are critical partners because they can review the curriculum and inform faculty about the current knowledge, skills and abilities that students need to be successful in the workplace. Development/changes to curriculum are substantiated through this critical form of feedback ensuring graduates can meet the needs of employers. In addition, members provide valuable input in areas such as student recruitment and placement, staff development, equipment and software recommendations. By working closely with the business and labor communities, we continue to provide high quality workforce training and education to our students so they will succeed in today's job market.