DLS Middle School Model
The DLS middle school is modeled to continue our goal of bilingualism and biliteracy by 8th grade. In middle school years, DLS is a 50/50 immersion model - 50% of instruction is in the target language and the other 50% is in English.
Key guiding principles of our middle school include:
- Transfer students must meet target language grade level requirements to enter DLS in the middle school.
- Emphasis on inquiry/project-based learning.
- Team teaching approach with content-certified teachers for each subject area.
- Purposeful focus on vocabulary and social use of the target language.
- Students are taught 3 or more content areas in target language.
- Students are required to take a third language as an elective in the middle school.
In the DLS middle school program, students are required to study a target language (Mandarin Chinese or Spanish), plus English, social studies, science, mathematics, arts (visual arts and music), technology, and physical education. One of our goals is to arm students with the communication, linguistic, and analytical skills that can be adapted to interdisciplinary units with other core subjects: mathematics, social studies, and science. We at DLS believe in academic rigor in our target languages (Mandarin Chinese and Spanish) to prepare students for success in an increasingly global community. Technology is also integrated in both the target language and English learning content.
Language Use During a Typical Academic Day
Target Language Mandarin Chinese or Spanish:
- Language arts (Mandarin Chinese or Spanish) – 100%
- Mathematics – 100%
- Social studies – 100%
- English language arts – 100%
- Science – 100%
- Electives – 100%
Language skills are the key elements in education. Listening, speaking, reading, and writing are indispensable components in the subject of language arts, which is vital for all students. These components are integrated into student learning, and are used to build understanding and skills across all academic subjects.
The components of oral expression and listening, reading for all purposes, writing and composition, research and reasoning, cultures, and experiential learning projects are trans-disciplinary; they apply to all academic subjects and classes. They are inherently part of the target-language-acquisition goals.
DLS values an integrated math approach, combining principles of Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra II throughout the middle school years. These courses focus on grade level skills and state standards.
The DLS science program seeks to create students who can think critically and creatively. Key elements of the program include physical science, earth science, and life science.
- Physical Science: Students know and understand common properties, forms, and changes in matter and energy.
- Life Science: Students know and understand the characteristics and structure of living things, the processes of life, and how living things interact with each other and their environment.
- Earth Systems Science: Students know and understand the processes and interactions of Earth's systems and the structure and dynamics of Earth and other objects in space.
The goal of social studies is to encourage our students to respect and understand the world around them, which helps them develop a global awareness that relates to the challenges, conflicts and issues in modern society.
- History: History develops moral understanding, defines identity and creates an appreciation of how things change while building skills in judgment and decision-making. History enhances the ability to read varied sources and develop the skills to analyze, interpret and communicate.
- Geography (TL): Geography provides students with an understanding of spatial perspectives and technologies for spatial analysis, awareness of interdependence of world regions and resources and how places are connected at local, national and global scales.
- Economics (TL): Economics teaches how society manages its scarce resources, how people make decisions, how people interact in the domestic and international markets, and how forces and trends affect the economy as a whole. Personal financial literacy applies the economic way of thinking to help individuals understand how to manage their own scarce resources using a logical decision-making process of prioritization based on analysis of the costs and benefits of every choice.
- Civics: Civics teaches the complexity of the origins, structure, and functions of governments; the rights, roles and responsibilities of ethical citizenship; the importance of law; and the skills necessary to participate in all levels of government.
The Arts (Art & Music)
A key part of exploring, communicating, and shaping a sense of identity and perception of the world we live in involves learning through the arts. Objectives for this subject focus on: 1) knowledge and understanding, 2) application, 3) reflection and evaluation, and 4) personal engagement. By incorporating a variety of activities in whole and small group settings in class, DLS students develop self-confidence, resilience, and the ability to adapt in our ever-changing world.
Comprehensive Health and Physical Education
The DLS sixth grade physical education course is comprehensive and well balanced, involving a series of diverse and integral skills and concepts. Based on our current situation and resources, the DLS physical education class does its best to offer a maximum number of experiences for learning and educate students in the benefits of a healthy and physically fit lifestyle.