To the casual observer, our campus looks and functions like any other school in the Bay area. Children play on the playground. They eat lunch. They try to throw out the healthy stuff. They carry backpacks that are way too big for their bodies. They beg teachers to bring pet lizards in for show-and-tell. Middle-school students, meanwhile, “hang out”, “chill out” and discuss what to wear to the next school dance. To put it simply, student life here is no different then it is anywhere else in California. Armstrong students are just typical children that happen to be dyslexic. Our campus culture reflects this. But if you’re looking for specifics, here are a few highlights:
After-School Sports Programs
Street hockey, cross-country, volleyball, basketball, flag football, wrestling, and soccer are all popular sports. Our teams compete with other schools in the San Mateo County area. Games take place after school. But because we know many students travel long distances to get here, practices take place during recess instead of after school. All teams are no cut. Because of our impressive pool of talent and stellar coaching, our athletes usually fair well in the local leagues.
Dyslexic students tend to thrive in experiential learning situations. So whenever feasible we integrate field trips into our lesson plans. Our students see plays, go to farms, visit tall ships, arts museums, science centers and marine rehabilitation centers. They even take a trip to NASA
In grades 5-8 our students begin participating in overnight outdoor education programs. This is another typical school experience. Trips include kayaking, white- water rafting, a ropes course, river and coastal ecology studies, marine science, geology and geography studies, whale-watching, native cultures study and American history tours. We visit exciting natural areas such as Tamales Bay, the American River, the Marin Headlands, Yosemite National Park and Monterey Bay.
At the beginning of each year, the middle school hosts a student council election. Middle school students can run for cabinet positions as well as class representatives. Prior to election day, candidates are encouraged to post campaign posters and prepare a speech compelling classmates to elect them to a specific post. Speeches are delivered at a special assembly. Although the lower school does not participate, the fifth grade comes to watch and learn about the election process. Following the assembly, middle-school students cast ballots for their favorite candidates. Elected council members then take on a variety of responsibilities , including planning spirit days organizing middle school dances, and running weekly assemblies.
A class trip to Washington DC is another rite of passage for most California middle- school students. Armstrong students are no exception. Our eighth grade class travels to Washing DC each spring.
Middle School Dances
One of the privileges of being a middle school student at Armstrong is attending middle school dances. The student decorations, live DJ, and dance floor make for a typical middle school mixer. Dances are held three times per year, culminating with a post-graduation dinner-dance event honoring the eighth grade class.
Annual Talent Show
Each year we host the Annual Talent Show in February where students can showcase their talents whether it be singing, dancing, comedy, gymnastics, or a skit. It’s a great way for students to showcase their passions and get comfortable performing for crowds.
Charles Armstrong School is magical because...
“ I have rilly nics techers that help me lern because they undere stamd my lerning needs. I use figet tools becase they help me lern and foces. ”
4th Grade Student
“ it helps me to unlock my talents in school. My teachers helped me to figure out what a good writer I am and my friends complement my writing now. It makes me feel happy to be a good writer. ”
4th Grade Student
“ my friends learn like me, the teachers are respectful of us, and there are no bullies. You can get to have gum because the gum helps you focus. ”
4th Grade Student