Hughes Middle School (Long Beach, California)
|Charles Evans Hughes Middle School|
|Long Beach, California, United States|
|Motto||“Where Honors are Earned, Not Sought”|
|Head teacher||Dr Sally Gregory|
|Number of students||1600 (approx.)|
Hughes is widely recognized for its diversity of student cultural backgrounds with near even balances of African American, Hispanic, Filipino and White populations and a smaller representation of Asian and Pacific Islander populations. The economic status of families with students attending Hughes is one of the most diverse in the region with students coming the lowest to the highest socioeconomic status and every range in between.
Hughes offers three different programs in which students may excel. This helps students learn in an environment that is most suited to their learning needs.
The advanced academic program at Hughes is the Talent Achievement Program (TAP), this program is designed to address the needs of advanced students through the implementation of a GATE (gifted and talented education) curriculum. The TAP/GATE program utilizes many of the latest strategies and tools developed for the education of gifted children and teachers in this program regularly attend district wide training and workshops to maintain superior standards in the instruction of GATE students. Currently the TAP/GATE program is offered at all grade levels in three subject areas, English/Language Arts, Science and History. Mathematics maintains a separate curriculum that is outside of, but complements, the TAP/GATE program. The TAP staff is composed of 14 teachers, more than half of whom have a masters degree and most hold GATE certification as a supplement to their teaching credential. Hughes began TAP in the mid-1970s when Long Beach Unified School District chose Hughes to pioneer its GATE program for middle school students.
The second level of learning is the Honors level. This level is for those students who exceed the needs of the regular curriculum but have not been identified as requiring the full complement of GATE instruction. The Honors program tends to offer a pacing that is more accelerated than that of the regular curriculum with an emphasis on subject area content. The curriculum of the Honors program sometimes parallels the TAP/GATE curriculum and at other times will branch out to address the needs of its own core of students. In past years many individual students enrolled in the Honors program have equaled and even surpassed the standardized test scores of their TAP/GATE peers. These same students also compete successfully with their TAP/GATE peers for admission to the LBUSD's elite high school programs and Honors students from Hughes have gone on to outstanding academic careers at the high school and college levels.
Since 2002 the Hughes Honors program has incorporated a group of students utilizing the academic strategies of the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program. These students have been identified as individuals coming from communities traditionally under-represented in college and university programs. They demonstrate an aptitude for an accelerated academic program but require extra support and guidance to prepare them for and place them on a college oriented academic track due to issues with second languages, socioeconomic status, parental education, family background, etc. Students in the AVID program are provided with extra support through an elective class and summer tutorials. Currently the Honors program is offered at all grade levels in three subject ares,English/Language Arts, Science and History. AVID is offered in the 7th and 8th grade only. Mathematics maintains a separate curriculum that is outside of, but complements, the Honors/AVID program.
The General Education program is the third academic level. The regular level of classes is challenging in itself, but does not offer the extra growth opportunities that students in the previously mentioned programs require. The General Education classes place their emphasis on students acquiring and expanding their basic "academic tool set". In this program the curriculum is balanced between the learning of content knowledge in each of the subject areas and the mastery of academic skills such as note taking, outlines, graphic organizers, summarization, the writing process, etc. Emphasis is also placed on basic literacy skills and reading comprehension (reading for an understanding of knowledge). Many of the teachers in this program have extensive career experience in and out of education and are some of the best rated teachers in LBUSD.
Hughes also offers a special education program of sheltered classes for students with severe developmental, emotional or physical disabilities. This program is staffed by teachers with credentials authorizing them to work with special needs students with moderate to severe disabilities.
Results of the 2011 CST set API for Hughes Middle School at 825. Current Student to Teacher Ratio is 27:1. As of the 2011-12 School year 51% of the 1590 students at Hughes qualified for free or reduced lunch.
Hughes' school uniform consists of dark blue, light blue, or white collared tops with no designs or logos any bigger than a u.s. quarter or a Hughes t-shirt with navy blue bottoms or jeans. Only white undershirts may be visible, and must pass the length test. Girls skirt or shorts hems must reach the tips of their fingers when their arms are straight at their sides. Students must also wear close-toed shoes. If a student is found to be out of compliance with the uniform guidelines, then he or she is sent to the office to get a "loaner" uniform.
Long Beach Unified School District School Uniform Policy, adopted on January 18, 1994, suggests students wear uniforms. Uniforms at Hughes Middle School are mandatory as Hughes has adopted an "Academy" status and as a requirement for attendance does not allow exemptions to the uniform policy.
Teams from Hughes regularly place in the top tier of finalists for all sports in the highly competitive Long Beach City League for Middle and K8 schools. For the past decade Hughes has consistently produced semi-finalist or championship teams in Flag Football, Girls Volleyball, Boys and Girls Basketball, Girls Soccer, Track and Field and Cross Country. Hughes has also been singled out and noted for the high standards of sportsmanship demonstrated by its teams. In 2012 long time Physical Education teacher and coach, John Tokeshi was profiled by the Press-Telegram sports section for his outstanding achievements as a teacher and coach. These achievements include a three-peat as coach of the all-city boys basketball champions (2010–12). As a result of the efforts of the Physical Education and coaching staff many Hughes students go on to compete in all sports at the high school level in both public and private/diocesan schools with a number continuing on into college athletics.
Hughes is also noted for the excellence of its music program in orchestra and chorus. Under the direction of long time teacher and conductor, Naomi Norwick and Chorale teacher Steven Clausen, the Hughes orchestra and chorus performs a schedule of concerts both in and out of the school. The orchestra, chorus, and its individual members have been recognized in festival competitions across southern California and are regularly invited to perform as guest performers at regional venues, including Disneyland. The Chorale program has also received regional recognition for excellence in performance and competitions.
Hughes, as well, offers a Young Gifted and Talented program. This is a performing arts program as well as an African-American History class. It never fails to please and has performed at Knott's Berry Farm as well as regional schools. Hughes also sponsors a Pacific Islanders club. in which students learn traditional dance from the various Pacific Islands.
Hughes also offers elective courses in Art, Computer Tech., Spanish, Home Economics, and has one of the few remaining Vocational Tech./Wood Shop programs offered at the middle school level in southern California. All these classes are offered as part of an elective wheel to 6th grade students. 7th and 8th grade students may enroll in more advanced courses in these subjects or elect to stay on the elective wheel in their time at Hughes.
The school also offers 7th and 8th grade students the opportunity to assist teachers and office staff as student aides. This program provides students with the opportunity to interact and build mentoring relationships with adults. This in turn has helped those students demonstrate growth in their sense of self-worth, responsibility and trustworthiness as well as in leadership skills. A number of the student aides from Hughes have gone on to assume leadership positions in school government upon entering High School.
In 2008-09, under the leadership of long-time counselor and special education teacher, Bobbi Clark, Hughes achieved a Best in the West rating for counseling services from the American Counseling Association. This is an honor only awarded to two other middle schools in the past thirty years and is usually reserved for high school or other advanced academic programs.
Notes and references
- "Distinguished School Awards-California School Recognition Program". CADE. Retrieved 2007-10-10.[dead link]