Principal Jim Parker has more than a new administrative team at Stevenson Middle School. The school now has a new Life Skills Program called STRIDE. STRIDE, which stands for Structured Teaching Reinforced in a Differentiated Environment, is a Life Skills Program which uses a multi-modality approach to learning that teaches generalization across environments, material, and people. Students in this program are students who typically would have been outplaced in the past to specialized learning schools and environments.

New Assistant Principal Mariah Madson says, “A focus of the program will be on instructional strategies and life skills to create an effective learning environment for students who are differently-abled.” New Dean of Students Mary Carbonari notes that, Nicole Pieranunzi-Baluan, the lead teacher of the STRIDE program, is “…excited to work with her students,” and recognizes that, “…this is a wonderful opportunity for ALL students in our district because D89 can teach our STRIDE students to be productive and independent members of our society, while teaching our general education students important lessons about accepting differences in others.”

Specialists from inside and outside the district connect with STRIDE to support the students and their learning. Michael Cox, also a Dean of Students at Stevenson, relates that, “We are looking forward to the contributions students in the STRIDE program will make at our school.” In addition to the STRIDE program Stevenson Middle School is also very excited about the extra-curricular activities provided to students this year. Athletes, artists, musicians and academics will find something to stretch their curiosity at Stevenson Middle School.

This fall we are offering Boys Soccer for seventh and eighth grade students, Girls Basketball for seventh and eighth grade girls, Cross Country for all sixth, seventh, and eighth grade boys and girls, and a new version of the Girls on the Run program to empower our girls of all grades. An intramural program will be offered to all students three days a week starting in Mid-September. Art club, Band and Orchestra, Drama along with Homework Club and Chess Club will challenge the creative and strategic thinking of our students. And finally, the well-established Stevenson Middle School Safety Patrol will provide leadership opportunities for students of all grades. More clubs and opportunities will be available throughout the year. When students are connected to their school; academics, achievement, and school climate all improve as a result.