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School Profile

School/Community - Troy Howard Middle School, is located in Belfast, Maine- a picturesque community in Maine’s mid-coast region. Part of Regional School Unit #71, THMS serves the developmental and educational needs of early adolescent learners from the communities of Belfast, Belmont, Morrill, Searsmont, and Swanville. Four elementary schools in the district feed into THMS, which houses approximately 350 students in grades 6-8. The student population is 94% Caucasian. Close to 57% of the students qualify for the free or reduced lunch program.

Academy Teaming Structure - Students are organized in one of three learning academies: Ecology Academy, International Academy, and Innovation Academy. Each Academy is an interdisciplinary team made up of four 7th and 8th grade and two 6th grade teachers, and one special education teacher who work collaboratively to organize instruction under an overarching theme. While each academy might at times approach teaching and learning a little bit differently, the content teachers (math for example) work from the same standards and collaborate frequently to offer similar instructional activities and opportunities.

6th graders are in classes of their own with one teacher covering math and science standards and the other English/language arts and social studies. 7th and 8th graders are mixed together for social studies, science and language arts classes. Math is slightly less mixed, but does allow for students to progress through the standard banks at their individual pace, so technically students are ability grouped in math. THMS math programming consists of grade 6&7 learning standards, pre-algebra learning standards, algebra learning standards and geometry learning standards.

Schedule- We use a three day rotating schedule - A, B, & C days. Each day includes six instructional blocks approximately 50 minutes in length.  Students attend an Intervention period between 7:35 and 8:20 each day. This is an opportunity to receive intervention help along with instructional remediation and enhancement. Band and chorus for our 7th and 8th graders also happen during that time.

Restorative Practices- Our restorative practices come from the philosophy that when something harmful occurs , relationships between people are affected. It focuses less on the rules that are broken and more on the relationships that are damaged. A restorative circle is a chance for the person who caused harm to take responsibility for what they did and to try to make things right. Each restorative conference can look different, depending on the needs of those involved.