East Grand Middle School works to make students ‘inspired, empowered, grand’

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East Grand Middle School participating in extracurricular activities during the school day
Annika Stuart/Courtesy Photo

“Inspired. Empowered. Grand.” The new motto for the East Grand Middle School has ignited many changes. Not only was the school redesigned a few years ago, but the possibilities for students to pursue a passion is becoming unlimited. Staff and volunteers have diligently worked hard to provide a variety of clubs for seventh and eighth grade students including AV Club, Photography Club, Bike Shop Club and more. These clubs meet for 45 minutes three days a week during the school-day so that more students can participate and discover lifelong passions as well as possible career interests.  

East Grand’s goal includes creating a more student-focused environment with new opportunities. The data from a survey disclosed that most student involvement occurs during extracurricular activities. Unfortunately, transportation and finances prevent participation for a percentage of the student population. Students are required to be in passing status in all of their classes in order to miss school to participate in extracurricular activities. A majority of students who are not interested in school itself have the highest grades when their extracurricular activity is occurring — they want to be able to participate. Once the data exposed this circumstance, the staff immediately started collaborating to discover a solution for students to stay engaged during school.

 “We are hoping to have a more student-centered school by increasing student participation,” Zach Boor, seventh grade science teacher, said. Ross Kalsow, the seventh grade social studies teacher added, “Academic performance comes first. But, I think a lot of kids will continue to do well academically if they know they get to go to a club every single day.”  Together, staff members resolved to offer clubs during the school day free of cost to improve the educational atmosphere for the whole student body. 

When asked about the expectations of the students, Principal Jenny Rothboeck replied, “The main expectations are that they’re active participants, they’re eager to learn, willing to ask questions, and able to try something new.” 

Not to worry, students can still choose to have time during the day to work on homework, but these clubs are also offered for the students who are interested. Overall, East Grand Middle School is striving to make school a more appealing setting for its students. In the future they hope to include student-led clubs, more clubs in general, and eventually bring community members into the school to help with clubs as well. 

List of Clubs Offered: AV Club, Photography/Yearbook Club, Creative Writing and Newspaper Club, The Claw Club (student leadership), Bike Shop Club, Graphic Design, + Project, Fitness Club, Beginner Martial Arts Club, Music Club, HFC (Hunt, Fish, and Camp) Club, Art Studio, and Study Hall.