MCHS – not a traditional high school
By Cat Dush, Middle College High School Senior
Middle College High School
Today if you walk onto the old BGA campus, now Middle College High School (MCHS), you’ll find pink hair, tattoos, and unique attire, far from the traditionally anticipated garb of collared shirts, plaid skirts, and khakis. Approximately 150 unique and creative students attend Middle College High School, because they weren’t happy with their previous learning experiences.
MCHS consists of sophomores, juniors, and seniors and offers on more of a relaxed and individual learning environment. Unlike a traditional high school, the school operates on a block schedule – there are four classes a day each for an hour and a half. Unlike most traditional students, MCHS attendees enjoy a 50-minute off campus lunch break. Additionally, students may partake in programs that are exclusive to MCHS like dance and audio tech.
Before students may enroll in the school, they must fill out an application and write an essay on why they should be chosen to attend MCHS.
Students come to MCHS for various reasons including a quicker accumulation of credits, taking college classes, arts-based programs, one-on-one help from teachers who have a small student to teacher ratio, and to express their individuality.
At MCHS students have a greater appreciation for accepting their peers because of their own backgrounds. Students consider MCHS as their safe place.
“A teacher at my previous school saw me struggling and said that I needed a family instead of a school. She suggested Middle College. Since I’ve been here I’ve been able to open up and come out of my shell. Everyone’s family here and I feel more comfortable than anywhere else. Middle College is my home,” said senior Abbie Gross.
For many, MCHS is home. Students understand that everyone has a story, and everyone has a past – they support each other. Students at MCHS come from all different kinds of backgrounds. Students see teachers as mentors and have a great appreciation for the assistance offered because of the more personalized attention they receive.
MCHS is also a family-based school. There is a zero tolerance for bullying and students are more accepting of their peers. Being such a small school, students are closer with each other and are grateful for having personal friendships and empathy with almost all classmates.
In any high school many students have felt that awkward moment when others are talking about them. Some realize they just don’t fit in. There’s a time in your high school experience when you realize you are not going to find your “clique.” One MCHS students spoke about the point when she felt alone. “Like hanging off the edge of a cliff, one moment away from letting yourself fall, but someone pulled me away and told me I didn’t have to. Middle College was the light at the end of my tunnel. Middle College saved me,” said student McKenzie Creswell.
Newly-appointed principal and former Fairview Middle School principal Brian Bass has always an appreciation for the underdogs. He takes a new approach this year – his first year at MCHS – to unlock potential in students. His goal is to help students engage in themselves and their possibilities for the future, embrace identity, have meaningful learning experiences, and help launch students in careers that fit their gifts and talents.
“I had no preconceived notions about MCHS. All the students are different and they come for various reasons, MCHS is a school for kids that feel invisible and that are looking for a place of individuality. The mission of Middle College High School is to ignite students’ purpose and foster personal growth through authentic learning experiences,” said Bass.
Next time you’re cruising down Everbright Avenue in Franklin remember that MCHS is a family that touched scholars hearts and has made an impact of many students lives. “Middle College changed me into a better person and saved my life,” said student Rob Miller.
Cat Dush is a senior at Williamson County’s Middle College High School. As part of her participation in the Capstone Service and Internship Program she is interning at the Williamson Herald.
Posted on: 11/9/2012