Posted: May 5, 2017

Middle school is both exciting and challenging for our students—increased responsibility and greater independence are two sides of the same coin. For some students, organizing their priorities, their time, and especially their binders is a daunting and unfamiliar task that can get in the way of learning the essential material and developing necessary skills. For other students, one-on-one mentoring and enrichment is needed to ensure they are confident in their abilities and progress. It is critical to address the needs of our students during the middle school years so that they are successful in high school.

In February of this year, Liberty Middle School began offering a study support program called Beyond the Bell. Students who need time, assistance, and resources to complete their class work or prepare for a test meet in Ms. Bryson’s classroom or a room adjacent to the Library. Beyond the Bell is regularly staffed by teachers Bobbi Bryson and Jackie Hofer, and Learning Center clerk Jen Heredia. Other teachers, school counselors, and volunteers also offer support to our students. Beyond the Bell operates Mondays through Thursdays from 2:50–3:45 and there is a school bus that leaves at 4:00 in the afternoon to take students to their normal neighborhood bus stops.

More than a work completion program, or after school study hall, students are provided with guidance on how to set goals, how to prioritize and manage their time, various study strategies, and individualized instruction. After visiting Beyond the Bell, school board member Connie Hennessey was “impressed with the engagement and motivation of the students and staff” and reflected that this program was able to meet the various needs of the students who attend.

What is the typical Beyond the Bell routine?

  • Students are dismissed from school at 2:50, and students attending Beyond the Bell report to Ms. Bryson’s classroom or The Learning Center adjacent to the Library.
  • Students may choose a snack before they begin their work.
  • Staff members go through student files for work added by course teachers.
  • Staff review Skyward, Google Classroom, and teacher websites for missing assignments or work requiring redress, and information about ongoing or upcoming projects.
  • Staff members and/or volunteers circulate the room working with students on an individual basis to offer direction and support.
  • At 3:50, students are released to catch the activity bus for their homes.

If you have any questions about Beyond the Bell, please contact the school counselors, Mrs. McEathron or Ms. Fitch at the following email addresses: billie.mceathron@camas.wednet.edu & emily.fitch@camas.wednet.edu.