The ambassador program is a select group of students chosen each school year by the homeroom teachers. These students assist newcomers at the Olson Middle School. Ambassadors help acclimate new students to the building by giving tours of the facilities and showing them around during the first few weeks of school. The ambassadors are also on hand at Back to School Night to guide parents to their child's classroom. This program helps new students transition more easily to their new surroundings.
Students in grades 5-8 are invited to participate in the OMS instrumental program. Instruction is offered on traditional band instruments (woodwinds, brass, percussion) as well as guitar and bass instruction. Participants attend a weekly like-instrument lesson at which fundamentals and skill development are fostered. In addition performance music is introduced and rehearsed at lessons.
Fifth and Sixth grade participants make up the Silver Band, which rehearses after school on Tuesdays; Seventh and Eighth Graders make up the Gold Band, which rehearses after school on Mondays. In addition, middle school instrumental music students are eligible to participate in smaller ensembles such as the Percussion and Jazz Ensembles. These groups rehearse during school hours during non-academic periods such as homeroom and lunch/SPA.
Battle of the Books
Battle of the Books participants compete to earn a place on one of the OMS teams that will compete against other schools in the Burlington County Battle of the Books Championship. There are two levels of competition: one for 5th and 6th graders, and another for 7th and 8th graders. School and County battles are held in the spring. Teams earn points by correctly answering questions from a selection of 15 books chosen each year by the librarians of participating schools. The current list of Battle of the Books titles can be found on the OMS Media Center’s website.
OMS Birdwatchers are Citizen Scientists who collect and submit data about local bird populations to the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology. We participate in two seasonal projects. Feeder watch participants observe and identify common feeder birds at our OMS feeding station as part of the Ornithology Lab’s winter bird count. In the spring, we turn our attention to our schoolyard’s nest boxes to collect data on cavity nesting birds such as Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows. All grade levels may participate.
The Olson Middle School Chorus, Drama, and Musical Programs are open to students in grades 5-8. There are no prerequisites to join any of these groups and everyone is welcome. The chorus performs at the Winter Concert in December as well as competitions in the Spring, they meet 1-2 times per week. Drama auditions occur in the beginning of December and the show is performed in early March. This activity meets three times a week. Every student is welcome to audition and we also welcome those interested in Stage Crew.
Students in Grades five through eight may elect to participate in this performing ensemble. It is not a prerequisite to have played in fourth grade; new comers are invited to join. The OMS chimes rehears twice a week after school and participate in the winter and spring concerts.
The Multi-Media Club is an ongoing technology-based club that offers a variety of activities throughout the year. Students have the opportunity to get a hands-on experience by taking digital photos and videos, creating movies for school assemblies, using robotics and web design activities. They also give back to the school community by helping tape concerts and performances. The Multi-Media Club is a great way for students to use and share their tech skills throughout the year.
Program for Enrichment, Reasoning and Creativity (PERC)
The Tabernacle Program for Enrichment, Reasoning and Creativity (PERC) is a gifted and talented program designed to meet the varied needs of the more capable students in a small rural school district. All students are assessed for inclusion in PERC annually. The program involves a subject oriented pull-out in the elementary school (K-4), and enrichment classes that are subject- specific in the middle school. (5-8). Students are identified based on standardized testing scores, grades, teacher assessment with the Renzuli scale, and IQ scores. All programming is intended to satisfy educational code requirements for the exceptionally able student in grades K-8.