INDEPENDENCE, Ohio- Attitude + Ambition = Achievement is a simple concept that is the foundation to forming lifelong learners at one Cuyahoga County school. The secret to its success is what helps make Independence Middle deserving to be named a FOX 8 Cool School.
It is a small school with big goals for its students in the fifth through eighth grade. This achieving school has high expectations. "We focus on academic growth, on academic achievement, on academic excellence. We want to make sure that our students know how to learn," Principal Ben Hegedish said.
It starts with a rigorous curriculum that has a strong focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. "We learn how to build things and we learn how to do orthographic projection drawings, which is just like mechanical drawings. And, we made these magnetic levitation vehicles. They are cars that float on magnets and they use DC power and have the propellers move,” said eighth grader, Hannah Fleming.
The plan is to create lifelong learners. There is an emphasis on computer science. "We're learning basic skills of coding and programming,” eighth grader, Nikki Zimon, said. “You basically start with a battery and you just build off that on the computer and then you build the program,” she added.
Independence Middle School has become a one-to-one iPad Academy. It begins with putting iPads in the hands of all fifth graders. "We do projects on social studies, science, and we do reports for our teachers and we do some fun activities on these. It's easier because we can do it way faster than with paper and pencil," fifth grader, Robby Somrak, said.
Being a lifelong learner at Independence Middle School includes academic excellence and physical well-being. A unique program promotes physical education. "It's called Fit for Life. And, you go a bunch of different activities that can help you with lifelong fitness,” eighth grader Andrea Klima said. And, Yoga Club is an extra-curricular not likely found at most middle schools.
Excelling in academics and physical wellness makes Independence Middle worthy of being named a FOX 8 Cool School.
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