Carver Middle School : an exemplary model of excellence
e-Toile : Shelley Stroleny, you are the Principal of GW Carver Middle School whose part of the program is recognized by the French Ministry of Education from 6th to 8th grades. Could you introduce yourself and describe one of your typical day at work?
Ms. Shelley Stroleny: It is with much pride and joy that I can state that I am the newly appointed principal at G.W. Carver Middle School. Although I am new to the position of principal, I have worked at G. W. Carver Middle School in different capacities since 1999 and understand the school’s mission and programs deeply. My typical day, starts early and often ends late. I check my e-mails before I come to work. I arrive at about 8:00 a.m. and participate in a department meeting, rotating by subject areas so that I am knowledgeable about all ongoings in each department. Once the students are in class, I meet with my secretary and address the business concerns of the day.
By 10:00 a.m. I am walking about the school, popping in and out of classrooms and examining the facilities addressing issues before they become problems. Lunch is a working lunch, updating/debriefing with members of the administrative team. In the afternoon, I conduct formal classroom observations. At dismissal time, parents see me directing traffic and ensuring that students get home safely.
Late afternoon, I complete reports, review student performance data, read and answer e-mails, make phone calls and address issues that came up during the day. In the evening I often have events such as workshops for parents or student performances at the school. My typical day is purposeful and highly fulfilling.
e-Toile: Could you present your school and give us data about your school’s students with a focus on the ones attending the French Program?
Ms. Shelley Stroleny: G. W. Carver Middle is a very high performing school which has consistently earned recognition and high honors at the local, state, and national level for 20+ years. The school is an all magnet school that combines intensive language instruction with advanced academics.
All classes are delivered at an accelerated level, advanced or honors. The classes taught at the honors level are for high school credit. The student enrollment remains under 1000 and is equally divided by grades six, seven, and eight. Every student at G.W. Carver Middle School studies their selected language (at least 2 courses each year), either at an advanced level or beginning level. Students in the French International Studies Program take language arts in French, humanities in French, and mathematics in French; social studies, science, English or English for Speakers of Other Languages, and an elective are taught in English.
Students that are learning English, are enrolled in two English courses to enhance English language acquisition.
e-Toile: As a Magnet School For International Studies and Education, GW Carver Middle School offers four different programs dedicated to foreign languages (French, German, Italian and Spanish). How do you organize and manage these programs and articulate them with the "American studies"?
Ms. Shelley Stroleny: All students at G.W. Carver Middle School take seven classes and homeroom. (homeroom is for school attendance, morning announcements, reading or tutoring)
Every student is scheduled for their specific needs individually. This means that a student in the French International Studies program will be with only French IS students in French language arts, humanities and mathematics. In all the other classes the student will be with students from other programs.
e-Toile: What type of advices do you give to parents in general and to French parents who are just settling in?
Ms. Shelley Stroleny: If you child is admitted to the school, they have the necessary skills and knowledge to do well. We are experts at helping new arrivals acclimate to their new school and set them up for success. It is a complex, multi-tiered process that works. My final advice is for parents to relax; and if they see their child is having difficulties, notify us immediately and we will help.
Shelley Stroleny, Principal
G.W. Carver Middle School
4901 Lincoln Drive
Miami, FL 33133
305 529-5148 (Fax)
Article published on Feb. 14, 2013.