GP Middle School and Its Advisory Program

PORTLAND — The Gregory Portland Independent School District recognized teachers as heroes Wednesday during the annual teacher of the year ceremony. Six winners were picked from each campus and one elementary and secondary winner represented the district.

GP middle school is back in session but students and staff say it’s a different kind of day. For example, in Robert Levensailor’s science class, face masks are optional but students are socially distanced three feet to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The History of GP Middle School

A new school year has begun at GP Middle School and students are getting used to the new normal. For many of them, this is the first year since the return to in-person learning, which means fewer interactions with their teachers and classmates.

In 1963, scholars in the field began discussing middle schools and creating blueprints for practice. This was the emergence of the modern middle school movement and it was a product of President Johnson’s Great Society programs which sought equal access to education, high standards, and accountability.

GPISD Communications Officer Crystal Matern says the district has kept its COVID-19 case count low by catching people who show symptoms at school and pulling them aside to be tested. She says that despite the rules, some people are still breaking them and putting their students at risk. Read our Yellow Jacket Parent Newsletter – November Edition for more information.

The GP Middle School Advisory Program

A strong advisory program provides a safe and supportive environment where students can work through the many academic and social challenges that middle school can bring. Unlike a guidance counselor who can be called upon after a crisis occurs, an advisor can offer proactive support and help students get back on track before problems escalate.

Students and advisors alike described a variety of ways in which they worked together in their advisory groups. One sixth grade student shared that his advisor helped him work through a fight between his parents. Another sixth grader said that she and her advisor talked about relationships with friends and classmates.

In addition to these interpersonal conversations, some schools use their advisory programs to help students work through cross-grade issues. In this way, advisories serve as a bridge between middle and high school. They also encourage a sense of community among all students in the school. (Galassi, Gulledge, & Cox, 1997).

The GP Middle School Athletic Program

The school recently celebrated the completion of one of the largest projects funded by the voter approved bond package, the John Kline Stadium and Athletics Complex. This facility is a multi-use field for Middle School soccer and field hockey as well as sub-varsity baseball and softball practice and games.

The GP Middle School strength and conditioning program was suspended after a student athlete tested positive for COVID-19. The district announced that the athlete has been removed from the program and will not return until all protocols are met including social distancing, face masks being worn in facilities and temperature checks upon arrival at practice.

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