Battle Creek Schools REACH Program Gives Middle Schoolers the Jump on High School
The REACH program at Springfield Middle School is an option for students and families that want to get a leg up on Math and English studies before they get to High School. Luke Perry, Director of the Battle Creek Math and Science Center, was a guest on the 95.3 WBCK Morning Show with Tim Collins. The REACH program is available to anyone enrolled in Battle Creek Public Schools.
Tell us what the REACH Program is.
“REACH is a really exciting program. It's an advanced and accelerated pathway for middle school students to earn some early high school credit and to eventually get students into early college credit and beyond.” Perry said the program uses the AP College Board springboard curriculum, which is designed to help students tackle advanced concepts and subject matter that will get them prepared for high school much quicker than a normal middle school curriculum would do.
What subjects are studied?
“The math curriculum starts basically at sixth-grade math, but it puts kids at Algebra I by the time that they leave eighth grade with high school credit from it. The English program also begins right in middle school, but it brings them right through ninth grade English, which allows them to qualify for high school credit in English as well.”
We hear there’s a special side-benefit to the REACH Program.
“One of the great aspects of the program is that students will be in smaller groups in their regular middle school. They’ll have the same teachers for Math and English through middle school and be able to develop really tight relationships with their teachers. The curriculum then gets individualized to the actual student, which doesn't always get to happen when you have a larger class and when students jump from teacher to teacher.”
How is it different from the STEM program?
“The REACH program allows students to focus on an advanced English and Math curriculum, but it also puts students right in the general school with their other classmates. So it isn't a pullout program, like the STEM program. It's kind of like a program within a school, within a school. “
What about the younger kids?
Perry said they also have an elementary school REACH program and the middle school program builds on what the fourth and fifth-grade program puts into place. “It is a very well-structured program that kind of wraps its arms around students and helps them to excel beyond what they normally would be able to do. “
And how many reach program students are in each grade?
“We have a total of 80 students in sixth through eighth grade. We try and keep the actual classroom sizes to between 20 and 25. Some years it's smaller and some years its larger.” He said the program can expand, based on student and parental interest.
So who can get into the REACH program?
“The coolest thing about REACH is that you don't have to be the most successful elementary student to get into it. You just have to have a desire to learn. And then it's a conversation between the parent, the student, and the teacher.” He said one big factor is a family commitment.
How can students and parents apply for the REACH Program?
Perry says they’re accepting applications right now and interested parents and students can go to the www.battlecreekpublicschools.org/reach “There is an interest survey right there. They just fill it out, and within a couple of days, one of the teachers will get in touch with the parent to talk about all of the other materials that need to be found for us to qualify a student.”
Join BCPS for a virtual information session to learn more about how your middle school student can benefit from the REACH experience and how to apply. Information sessions will be streamed Live on Facebook or available to watch after on the BCPS and REACH Facebook Pages.
- March 11th, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. RSVP and set a reminder to attend here.
- March 16th, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. RSVP and set a reminder to attend here.