Thornton Academy News

  • Middle School
New Blog Post! The TAMS Difference

 

Register for Thornton Academy's next Virtual Open House at 7pm on February 3rd to hear about the 6-12 experience from TAMS faculty and parents.

Learn more and register

Prospective families are invited to schedule a personal 1:1 Zoom meeting with Principal Robert. Email TAMS@thorntonacademy.org or call 207-602-4408. 

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The TAMS Difference: Keeping Kids Connected During COVID
by 
TAMS Principal, Mrs.Tiffany Robert

At Thornton Academy Middle School (TAMS), we pride ourselves in the comprehensive offerings available to our students. From our academic extension courses and off-campus expeditions, to the many opportunities for support that are available; we bring innovative programs to our students. We also understand the critical need to support and prepare our 6th graders for the significant growth that occurs in middle school. We place particular emphasis on language arts and math in 6th grade—more than most middle school programs—because we know these skills will build students’ capacity to understand and integrate all other subjects. We see the difference in student confidence, willingness to engage with their teachers and peers, and in their scholastic successes. 

We have so much to offer academically, but I believe what really sets us apart is the connection and community created by our effort to ensure that each student knows that they belong. TAMS is a place where everyone knows your name and you are more than just a student in the classroom; you are seen and known. Research continues to tell us how critical the middle school years are, not just academically, but socially and emotionally. Our program tends to the minds of our learners, while also supporting their overall wellbeing; meaning, we care for their hearts too. 

As a small school, we are able to take a personalized approach toward recognizing the individual needs and accomplishments of each student. Our faculty and staff are committed to cultivating an environment where each student is valued as an integral member of our learning community, and where all different types of learners can find success. Our focus on helping students feel safe and seen has the intended consequence of helping them feel brave too. Middle school is a time for learning, exploration, and growth, but learners who feel disconnected, disengaged, unchallenged, and unseen are far less likely to connect with both course content and their peers. 

At TAMS, we listen to our students and learn about their individual interests, passions, and dreams. And we encourage them to take the time to explore these interests outside of academics—whether that means getting involved in a school club, participating in the performing arts, or joining one of our athletic teams. TAMS students are encouraged to take risks and explore new things. They are celebrated for trying to stretch their hearts and minds, and the lessons they learn are appreciated and valued, regardless of the outcome.  

“The TAMS difference” has never been more apparent than in the past year. COVID has transformed so many aspects of teaching and learning, but what hasn't changed is the tremendous care and commitment of TAMS faculty. In so many ways, big and small, TAMS teachers have used their talent and creativity to keep our kids connected—to course content and to one another. From nightly stories read by teachers on Facebook and virtual Spirit Week activities; to online lunch groups, Zoom special guests, and class show-and-tells, our students and their teachers benefit from ongoing opportunities to build community. We may not know exactly what the rest of 2021 has in store for us, but at TAMS, students know that they have one another, and they have the support of a whole team of teachers and staff who will meet them with enthusiasm and care—right where they are.