School is in full swing at B. McDaniel Intermediate School, where 471 in-person students and 173 online learners work hard each day to achieve academic and personal excellence. Other than masks, social distancing and the virtual presence of zoom classmates, Principal Alvis Dunlap says the look and feel at B. Mac continues to reflect the school’s time-honored mantra of “doing whatever it takes” to facilitate success for each and every student.
“High expectations, a strong work ethic and honor system, timely completion of assignments, organization and time management, mutual respect, kindness and tolerance…these are just a few of the things that set B. McDaniel apart from the masses,” said Dunlap. “We’re a very diverse campus that’s rich in culture, respectful for ourselves and others, and 100% devoted to ensuring the academic and personal success of all students. As B. Mac educators, we work closely and collaboratively in teams to make sure that struggling students are identified early and receive the tutoring, counseling and individual instruction they need to get back on track and progress with their classmates. In short, we are totally committed to ‘doing whatever it takes’ to prepare our kids for success throughout their educational careers. That’s been our B. Mac mantra for many years, and we believe it will continue to serve us well as we work our way through this pandemic. If we all stay focused and on task, our students will be where they need to be when things return to normal.”
In addition to a variety of interactive projects hosted through community learning partnerships, B. Mac also finds time each year to honor and salute local and national heroes. “We honor our veterans in November, our Presidents in February, our National Heroes in May, and our founding fathers and other heroes at other times during the year,” said Dunlap. “It gives our students a chance to learn first-hand what it was like to fight for America’s many freedoms…or what life was like before we had electricity and running water and other modern conveniences. These are important academic and personal lessons that keep our kids grounded and grateful and eager to learn.”
Last but not least, Dunlap says building strong educational and personal foundations at intermediate school are critical to success in high school, college and careers. “We are here to build on what the students have learned in elementary school, take them to the next levels, prepare them for the complex learning that must take place in high school in order for them to succeed in college and beyond.
“As educators, we collaborate constantly in our evaluations and assessments of how all our students are learning. We involve our parents, and we talk with our students to determine where they are academically and personally…in comparison to where they need to be. SMART Boards, computers, iPads, laptops and other digital devices all help us do our jobs, as do classroom and individual projects and interactive exercises. But we still need to learn to communicate effectively and to think critically, which requires practice and constant reinforcement. All of these things are critical to how our students learn in today’s global world…and ultimately succeed in life.”
B. McDaniel 6th graders in Mallory Aday’s classroom sharpen math skills and solve problems utilizing their laptops. “We are here to build on what the students have learned in elementary school…and prepare them for the complex learning that must take place in middle school and high school in order for them to succeed in college and beyond,” said B. Mac Principal Alvis Dunlap.
English Language Arts students in Courtney Johnson’s classrooms at B. McDaniel Intermediate School began the week strengthening vocabulary and writing skills.
Homeroom time each morning in Jocelyn Patterson’s B. Mac classroom gives students time to enjoy and improve reading and comprehension skills.
All B. McDaniel students begin each day with a homeroom period that allows time for enrichment learning as well as intervention and tutoring. “As B. Mac educators, we work closely and collaboratively in teams to make sure that students receive the tutoring and individual instruction they need to learn and succeed,” said Principal Alvis Dunlap.
A rainy Monday morning gave B. McDaniel teacher Wanda Odom the perfect opportunity to share a good book with her students.