Deep Creek Middle School
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Template:Infobox school The Deep Creek Middle School (DCMS) is an independent middle school and community resource center located in the settlement of Deep Creek on the island of Eleuthera, The Bahamas. It is recognized by the Ministry of Education and teaches the national curriculum to local students, grades 7-9. DCMS teaches principles of leadership, citizenship and community service through methods grounded in place and experiential-based education. The school receives funding from private donors, including The Cape Eleuthera Foundation, a non-profit organization, that supports educational and research programming in The Bahamas.
DCMS focuses on academic growth, leadership, and responsible citizenship through innovative education. They approach the Bahamian National Curriculum through place and experiential-based learning strategies that engage their students in local, national, and global issues.
In order to reach these aims, curriculum is experiential and uses a combination of middle school appropriate pedagogy with place and problem-based learning. Highlights include an interdisciplinary place-based curriculum, frequent field trips, guest speakers, service learning classes and the integration of social and environmental issues throughout the curriculum.
Classroom without Walls
In the months of January and February, for a six-week period, each grade tackles a unique and pertinent issue confronting the surrounding community. This issue is explored in different core classes and through full-day fieldtrips once a week. Topics schedule for 2012 included: Grade 7 – an eco-system comparison of Jack’s Bay and the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park Grade 8 – understanding the problems of plastic waste in The Bahamas Grade 9 – youth activism and using Web 2.0 technology for local change
DCMS students partner with students from The Island School to develop, design, and conduct project-based initiatives that serve local communities. Projects focus on social and environmental issues that are meaningful and useful to the citizens of Eleuthera. The program also works cultivate mutual respect and cultural awareness through the development of positive bonds between Island School semester students and local Bahamians.
Community Resources and Support
The Deep Creek Middle School and Resource Center is open Monday through Friday from 7am to 6pm and Saturdays from 9am to 12pm during the school year. The resource center is open two days a week, after school, for any school-aged child who does not attend DCMS. On Tuesdays and Thursdays for one and a half hours they provide homework help, phonics instruction, computer skill work, and one-on-one reading assistance to the children of Deep Creek and surrounding communities in South Eleuthera. DCMS staff teachers offer art, sports, and reading activities for these same children each Saturday morning. For adults, they host Cancer Society gatherings and programs for professional development classes, such as Bahamahost. Bahamahost is a training program for community members to work in the tourist industry. Other classes scheduled for the 2011-12 year include college application workshops, Excel classes and “The Net and Networking.”
Clubs and Activities
In the spring of 2010, Grade Seven students established an Eco-Club under the mentorship of Island School Community Outreach students. The ongoing student-led club implemented an extensive recycling center at DCMS, educated the community about the benefits of recycling and applied for Eco-Certification. As a result, on October 18, 2010 DCMS was awarded the Green Flag award for its innovative environmental programs by the international agency, The Foundation for Environmental Education. DCMS is the first Green Flag certified school in The Bahamas and the whole Caribbean. The Eco-Club has created local initiatives to reduce plastic use in homes and is spreading its message of youth activism and sustainability to other schools throughout the nation. In the spring of 2011, they hosted their first Growing Regional Environmental ENthusiasts (G.R.E.E.N) Conference which held workshops and activities for the 50 students, representing 9 schools from 3 different islands. In the spring of 2012, the school was recognized by Prince Harry for outstanding leadership and dedication to issues of sustainability and conservation. Pupils were subsequently invited to meet Prince Harry to talk about the environmental movement in The Bahamas.
The school offers athletic programs in which students learn skills of teamwork and sportsmanship and compete with local schools in softball, basketball, track and field, cross country, and volleyball.
During the fall, communities throughout The Bahamas prepare for the Boxing Day or New Year's Day Junkanoo rush. The parade involved colorful costumes that follow traditional design and craft methods, choreographed dances, and musical performances. Students from DCMS compete in the all-island Junior Junkanoo rush in early December. They meet weekly after school to create the theme; choreograph the dance; make the cardboard, wire, and paper costumes; and practice for their performance.