SOUTH AMHERST, Ohio-- South Amherst Middle School may be in a 103-year-old building, but the teaching style is new. It’s based on student-centered, interactive learning. It has been named this week’s FOX 8 ‘Cool School.’
In Darla Baumbick’s language arts class, students learn vocabulary words in an interesting way. "So, jumping to the syllables may sound silly, but to an athlete, who has trouble with vocabulary, they're jumping and they get it," Baumbick said.
And, the students find it does make a difference. "A lot of things are interactive. It really sticks in your head,” 8th grader, Corey Jones, said.
Once one of the poorest-performing schools in the Firelands School District, South Amherst Middle has been rated Excellent with Distinction for the past three years.
“Once we do projects and other activities, it helps get the children involved in more than just reading out of a textbook. It's more for like learning for fun,” 8th grader, Faith Rico, said.
The students excel in Project Lead the Way, where the emphasis is put on science, technology and math. "It's basically an introduction to engineering. We get to learn steps of the design process and how to create new inventions," 8th grader, Mike Durdack, said.
Students have their reasons why South Amherst Middle is such a 'Cool School.'
"South Amherst Middle School is a cool school that's c - o- o- l, because I feel at home here,” Faith Rico said.