Our middle school is named for Carter G. Woodson, a son of former slaves, who was born in Buckingham County, Virginia in 1875. He served as an educator in numerous capacities and in 1912 became the second African-American to earn a doctorate from Harvard University. An advocate of black achievement, Woodson was the founder of the association for the Study of Negro Life and History and he is considered the father of Black History Month.
Carter G. Woodson Middle School first opened in 1958 as a segregated school for African-American students. In 1969, it became fully integrated and housed all sixth grade students in Hopewell's school district. Following renovations in 1974, the school housed grades six and seven; in 1980, Carter G. Woodson became a middle school with students in grades six through eighth. Currently, it is the only middle school in Hopewell and offers a complete 6-8 educational curriculum to approximately 900 students. During the 2003-04 school year, Carter G. Woodson was accredited by the Virginia Department of Education. For the 2004-05 school year, we were accredited with warning, having not met the benchmark in the area of English. All academic areas dropped; thus each was addressed in our improvement plan. For the 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2009-2010 school years, Carter G. Woodson was accredited by the Virginia Department of Education.
Carter G. Woodson Middle School offers a rigorous academic curriculum, including the core studies of English, math, science, social studies and additional areas of study such as art, chorus, band, physical education, foreign language, computer technology and gifted education. Every classroom houses a computer for teacher and student use; additionally, the school has three computer technology classrooms, one SOL math lab, one SOL English lab, an My ACCESS (reading/writing) lab, a media center with sixteen computers and two wireless labs. All computers are connected to the Internet and the World Wide Web.
The division offers a free online grading program called Parent Connection where parents can access their child's schedule, assignments, attendance, and grades. To assess student progress and academic growth and achievement, Carter G. Woodson distributes interim progress reports at the midpoint of each marking period. We are currently on a nine-week period rotation. Parents receive either an interim report or report card approximately every four and half weeks. Additionally, there is ongoing communication with parents by telephone, scheduled conferences and other forms of correspondence. Teachers maintain a contact log notebook documenting all teacher/parent contacts throughout the school year. A guidance counselor per grade level is also available to assist with parent concerns and schedule conference as needed. Carter G. Woodson employs an Attendance Officer which assists with student attendance issues. While Carter Woodson serves as the home based for this position, we share services with two elementary schools.
Carter G. Woodson's daily schedule begins at 8:20 am for teachers and 8:35 am for students. The school day ends at 3:35 pm for students and 3:50 pm for teachers. On a daily basis, students are required to attend four classes totaling 360 minutes (including class change time) with a 34 minute lunch break. Sixth grade students receive 90 minutes of English and math instruction and 45 minutes of science and social studies instruction. Seventh and eighth grade students receive approximately 90 minutes in each core area (English, math, science, and social studies); elective and physical education courses are 90 minutes in length for both grades.
In addition to the rigorous academic curriculum, students also enjoy a broad variety of programs and activities throughout the year. Students are encouraged to be involved in clubs and organizations, which include Art, Chess, Distinguished Men 4 Tomorrow, Girl Power, Yearbook, FCA, Drama,, and SCA. Carter Woodson also has a sports program, offering football, girls' and boys' basketball, softball, baseball, and cheerleading. Our goal is to strive to expand our sports program. We have a school mascot that is a member of the cheerleading squad. After soliciting input from students, parents and staff, we are now known as the Woodson Wildcats. Over the years, Carter G. Woodson has hosted many distinguished guests such as Theatre IV, Virginia Opera, former governor George Allen and his wife, former Lt. Governor John Hager, Delegate Riley Ingram, motivational speaker and professional soccer player Rob Ukrop, professional basketball player Tynesha Lewis, and then Lt. Governor Tim Kane and Motivational speaker, Adolph Brown. Students have participated in Hoops for Heart, Jump Rope for Heart, and a variety of programs offered through the Math and Science Center. Additionally, classes routinely visit the Virginia Science Museum, Pamplin Park, President's Park, Washington, D.C., and the state capital. Students receive recognition and awards each marking period for academic honor roll (Alpha, Beta, and "B" average) and perfect attendance.