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How do we increase student engagement?

In Project Based Learning (PBL), students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. While allowing for some degree of student "voice and choice," rigorous projects are carefully planned, managed, and assessed to help students learn key academic content, practice 21st Century Skills (such as creativity, collaboration, communication & critical thinking), and create high-quality, authentic products & presentations.

What is PBL?

Rigorous, meaningful and effective Project Based Learning is intended to teach significant content. Goals for student learning are explicitly derived from content standards and key concepts at the heart of academic disciplines.  PBL requires critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and various forms of communication. To answer a Driving Question and create high-quality work, students need to do much more than remember information. They need to use higher-order thinking skills and learn to work as a team. They must listen to others and make their own ideas clear when speaking, be able to read a variety of material, write or otherwise express themselves in various modes, and make effective presentations. These skills, competencies and habits of mind are often known as “21st century skills,” because they are prerequisite for success in the 21st century workplace. PBL also involves a public audience. Students present their work to other people, beyond their classmates and teacher – in person or online. This “ups the stakes,” increasing students’ motivation to do high-quality work, and adds to the authenticity of the project.

Why use PBL?

Students gain a deeper understanding of the concepts and standards at the heart of a project. Projects also build vital workplace skills and lifelong habits of learning. Projects can allow students to address community issues, explore careers, interact with adult mentors, use technology, and present their work to audiences beyond the classroom. PBL can motivate students who might otherwise find school boring or meaningless.

See an example of PBL from Edutopia.org


School Supply List - This list is not comprehensive. There will be content-specific additions once school starts; however, we wanted parents to have access to the general needs of all students.








A group of Bear Creek Middle School students recently read the book "The Fat Boy Chronicles"co-authored by Mr. Michael Buchanan. Bullying, obesity, friendship and self-empowerment are the predominant themes present in the book. Mr. Buchanan engaged the students about a variety of concepts presented in his book. One poignant quote from Mr. Buchanan is "You have to decide to make a change. Until then, nothing will happen. Once you do, you will take control of your life." Mr. Buchanan also allowed our students to view the movie made from his book. Our students were challenged to consider how reading the book and seeing the movie would make them see their classmates/schoolmates differently. Would they now be motivated to step in and do something.



Last year, Bear Creek Middle School was featured recently on CNN for its involvement with “The Power of Half,” a book written by an Atlanta family that showed how ordinary people can make an extraordinary difference by giving back. A fan of the book and its ideals, school social worker Dr. Ed Morris contacted the Salwen family and last year brought the Power of Half’s concepts to Bear Creek Middle School. He soon saw a change in culture as students began looking beyond themselves and began looking at how they could make an impact in their world. This led to a powerful climate change in the school, where the majority of students’ families qualify for free/reduced meals and often cope with other societal problems – all of which have affected student learning. Many of the students who discussed "The Power of Half" as Bear Creek students are now freshman at nearby Creekside High School and are carrying on their transformation there. Watch the story on CNN.


Bear Creek Wins Bronze Award from Alliance for a Healthy Generation


The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, awarded Bear Creek its Bronze Award. To earn this award, Bear Creek, led by Coach Tasha Downing-Hill and in conjunction with FCS Nutrition department, revamped its meals service and physical activity programs to meet or exceeded stringent standards. The goal of the Alliance is to reduce the nationwide prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015, and to empower kids nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices. Bear Creek and The Alliance works to positively affect the places that can make a difference to a child’s health: homes, schools, restaurants, doctor’s offices and communities. The National Recognition Award winners join 274 other schools that are receiving this honor for their healthy achievements.


New Learning Communities
Bear Creek is a part of the                           South Learning Community
Donald Fennoy, Area Superintendent
Dara Wilson, Executive Director

State of the School Address 9.11.12


Progress and Report Card Dates 





 11-12 Writing Data

11-12 ITBS Data

 School Profile 2012-13