Pride, Teamwork, and a Tradition of Excellence in all we do
About Twin Peaks Middle School ...
Principal Dr. Kelly Burke
Twin Peaks Middle School is in the City of Poway, California, a suburban community of approximately 53,000. Our student population is well integrated with respect to socioeconomic background, serving families in low-income housing, apartments, mobile homes, established upper income areas, and custom multi-million dollar homes. The ethnic distribution is approximately 13% Hispanic, 5% Asian, 2% African American, 3% Filipino, 72% Caucasian, and 5% other.
Twin Peaks has a modified rotating block schedule. Each student has a total of six (6) classes per semester, but attends only three classes per day. Each day classes rotate in their order resulting in “even” days and “odd” days. For example, on one day, a student may attend classes 1, 3, 5; the next day, 2, 4, and 6; and the subsequent day, 3, 5, 1, and so on. The modified block schedule allows teachers and students to really delve into topics by allowing more discussion time, lab time, and independent work time. Teaching and learning in a block schedule allows teachers flexibility in presentation and focus of materials and time for students to grasp larger concepts.
The Before and After School Program at Twin Peaks is a model for the District and enrolls an average of about 150 students per day. This is a program funded exclusively through grants from the State Department of Education. Our program provides a safe, supervised environment for Twin Peaks' students to receive academic support and participate in a variety of enriching activities. This program affords the opportunity for our teachers to continue to build rigor, relevance, and relationship into an extended day. This then comes back to support the classroom in a dynamic way.
Named an outstanding program in California, the physical education department has developed curriculum components which shift the physical education paradigm of teaching students sports to concentrating on student learning life-long health and fitness skills and concepts. To further expand the program, the school has an Exercise Science Laboratory to teach students how their bodies work and show them the effects of exercise on their bodies.
The English Language Learner program consists of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students in a self-contained classroom for our beginning and intermediate students. As students advance, they are carefully mainstreamed into general education classes. Mainstreamed students are carefully monitored and provided extra support when needed. Students in the self-contained class receive specific "sheltered" instruction in all content areas. A broad overview of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade subjects is presented to them to familiarize them to American curriculum. Major emphasis is given to them acquiring"academic" English quickly through the use of specially designed, state-adopted materials. The materials and lessons follow the ELL standards provided by the State of California. ELL students are also involved in cross-cultural activities in collaboration with general education classes. They share their culture and home language, as well as experience American culture with their peers. The activities include talking, singing, games, and dancing in Spanish and English plus field trips and guest speakers.
The campus of Twin Peaks consists of 54 classrooms, 32 are permanent and 22 are relocatable. Thanks to the donations from the Twin Peaks Foundation, three (3) computer labs have been outfitted with 35 high-end Dell computers. Twin Peaks now has 274 computers for instructional purposes. All 274 computers have network and Internet capabilities and classrooms have at least one network/Internet access computer. In addition, Twin Peaks also has approximately 18 DocuCams and 60 LCD projectors used for instructional purposes. Twin Peaks also has several conference rooms, a 105-seat little theater, an office complex, a multi-purpose center/gymnasium (joint use facility with the City of Poway), playing fields, and athletic fields. A rich variety of learning resources is available to classrooms that include over 29,500 textbooks, and an extensive core literature collection with 67 titles.
The Twin Peaks Library allows teachers to utilize over 800 curriculum-based videos/DVDs. The web-based library catalog system allows students and teachers to access library books, videos/DVDs, and professional materials from campus computers as well as from home. The library has 46 student research computers with Internet access, along with the entire Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, & Publisher). Online subscription databases include Gale Resources and World Book. Our online subscription to Noodle Tools provides students with an electronic bibliographic formatter. Students may also use the library computers to participate in Scholastic’s Reading Counts, an online reading incentive program. The library houses over 23,000 library books and 6,200 core lit novels for circulation. The library is open every morning before school and for 1-1/2 hours after school, four days per week. Our “Online Library” provides students with direct access to databases, instructions on how to do a bibliography, and other library-related information.
K-RAM, which stands for "Kids’ RAM", is a class designed for students who want to learn about computers, broadcasting and video editing. It provides students with real-life experiences to develop professional, and technical skills in the areas of media broadcasting and video editing. Students can then apply this acquired knowledge to obtain high-level careers later on in life. K-RAM also provides the ability to show multimedia information to the entire student body and campus at any given time. Students may see themselves on TV, providing them with another positive school experience. K-RAM brings different student organizations together into a more collective learning environment. For example, KRAM works closely with ASB to give the morning announcements. K-RAM also collaborates with the Yearbook students in creating the school CD-ROM yearbook. We hope K-RAM will eventually be an elective class that students take to learn about computers and video editing production. K-RAM has a wide range of usages, from promoting Veteran’s Day and our Too Good for Drugs campaign to conducting our Presidential Mock Election.
A faculty of 52 teachers serves the 1,232 students at Twin Peaks. We have one part time librarian, 22 classified staff including one part time computer aide, and one computer support technician. Our library resource center is operated by a part-time librarian and a full-time library tech. The administration at Twin Peaks consists of one principal, one assistant principal, one full-time counselor, a part-time counselor, and a Before and After School Activities Coordinator. An office staff of seven assists the administrators and counselors in the day-to-day management of tasks. Three pillars are the hallmarks of our continued success at Twin Peaks: Pride, Teamwork, and a Tradition of Excellence in all we do.
Opportunities for Parental Involvement
Twin Peaks Middle School is fortunate to have a strong partnership with our parent community. Parents are consistently included on school and district committees in advisory and decision making roles. Some of the areas where parents are involved include School/Library Site Council, PTSA, Foundation, and Band Boosters. Volunteer opportunities include classrooms, library, ASB activities, Book Fair, 6th Grade Olympics, Science Olympiad, field trip chaperons, and other school sponsored events. Parents also serve as Twin Peaks Middle School representatives on District Advisory Committees that includes SLIP, ELL, and GATE.
Full SARCs are available on the website at http://www.powayusd.com/schools/SARCs/TwinPeaks.pdf