Coastal Middle School

Schools of Distinction Profile

Coastal Middle School was recognized as an inaugural AMLE School of Distinction in 2022. One of the goals of the program is to foster a network of schools that share promising practices positively impacting young adolescents. The below profile provides highlights of a few of Sample Middle’s Schools exemplary practices aligned with the 18 Characteristics of Successful Middle Schools.

Connect with Coastal Leadership Team

Demographic Information

Location: Savannah, Georgia
School Setting: Suburban
Grade Configuration: 6-8
School Enrollment: 578


Allison Shuster-Jones, Principal
Monica James, Assistant Principal
Sarah Downey, 8th Grade
Brian Chadwick, 7th Grade
Jeff Irwin, 6th Grade
Ryann Carter, Social Studies
Olivia Printup, Science
Hailey Black, ELA
Math Heather, Hall
Lauren Greene, Connections
Molly Axelsson, Connections
Jennifer Fell, Counseling
Jessica Prosper, Media Technology
Jan Harrison, RTI Coordinator
Amy Povie, Special Education
Gillian Riley, Academic Coach

Key Practices

  • Weekly advisement
  • Student-led conferences
  • School Wide Book Study – 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens
  • Springboard (Pre-AP) Curriculum ELA classes 6th-8th
  • Pre-AP Algebra, English 1, and Visual Arts
  • Student run news program
  • Peer Leadership Program “Sources of Strength”
  • Collaborative Planning & Assessments
  • New teacher mentoring years 1-3
  • Interest-based clubs during the school day
  • Professional Communities of Practice
  • 1:1 Technology
  • 3 counselors
  • FBLA & TSA
  • After school clubs including DEEP Writing, Odyssey of the Mind, Dance, Coastal Cares

Highlights of Exemplary Practices Aligned with the 18 Characteristics of Successful Middle Schools

Characteristic #3: Every student’s academic and personal development is guided by an adult advocate

Every Wednesday morning students meet for 50 minutes to learn skills to manage academics and their well-being.

Student-Led Conferences
Students are responsible for tracking their grades weekly using a digital reflection form that asks them to list their grades for each class and indicate if they have raised any grades since last week’s reflection. An adult acting as their academic advisor tracks this progress and helps them develop strategies to improve or maintain satisfactory academic performance.

Book Study
In addition to tracking academics, all students participate in a book study of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens” by Sean Covey.

Characteristic #18: Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships.

Practice Common Assessments
Teachers use common assessments to gauge student progress toward learning goals, evaluate instructional strategies and design instruction in collaborative planning.

Practice Habits of Discussion
Teachers use Teach Like a Champion Strategies to help students’ build habits of discussion and use academic discourse.

Characteristic #8: Educators are specifically prepared to teach young adolescents and possess a depth of understanding in the content areas they teach
Characteristic #17: Professional learning for all staff is relevant, long term, and job embedded

Practice Professional Communities of Practice
Adult learning is built into our PLCs where we analyze students work, compare instructional strategies, design action research projects, and reflect on our teaching.

Characteristic #9: Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and diverse.

Practice Pre-AP Curriculum for All
All students participate in a Pre-Aps rigorous ELA curriculum, Springboard, in 6th-8th grade. Pre-AP is also offered in Visual Arts, English 1, and Algebra.

Characteristic #5: Comprehensive counseling and support services meet the needs of young adolescents

Practice: Counseling
Counselors make themselves known to students by regularly offering an overview of their services for students and parents, conducting needs assessments, doing class lessons monthly, leading small groups, and leading a peer mentoring group called Sources of Strength.