About Us » School Overview

School Overview

Middle Years Program

Middle Years Program

Welcome to Don Ross Middle School. We are excited that you are going to be continuing your education here at Don Ross.


DRM is, first and foremost a ‘middle years program.’ Our goal is to provide a school setting that takes into consideration the period from childhood to adolescence. In looking at the characteristics of younger teenaged students, we realize that they are undergoing many intellectual, physical, social and emotional changes at this time. Don Ross Middle School offers a program of instruction designed specifically toward this stage of development. At the core of this work is connection to attuned adults. One way in which DRM does this (and is common practice in middle schools) is by connecting a smaller number of students together with an interdisciplinary teacher team. These teams are specifically designed with the goal of creating a balance of specialty areas (ex. STEM, Humanities etc..) - with additional specialist teachers involved in supporting students through the exploratory rotation (described below), learning services and collaborative models of support. Additionally, with this flexible structure, teams can collaborate to offer opportunities to DRM students (ex. Yearbook, Leadership, Outdoor Education, Hockey Academy etc…). Finally, this balance of skill-sets allows the teachers to work closely with their students and to deeply collaborate with their colleagues to meet student needs and to organize for their learning across the curriculum.

This collaborative approach is one that DRM has utilized since its inception as a middle school and something that we are always refining. As an example, we have expanded upon this approach in implementing an advisory program. All students at Don Ross start their day with their advisory teacher in advisory. Advisory is a strong, flexible structure implemented in most middle schools around the globe. The purpose of this time is to build lasting relationships between classmates and teacher, energize and engage in school, reflect and re-calibrate, work through Social Emotional Learning, provide time and space to get organized, and develop self-advocacy skills. Advisory also provides us with a specific time to respond to emerging needs in our school and to develop interventions rooted in education (ex. Social media concerns, creating cultures of kindness etc…). 

As a middle school we also function as a bridge between elementary and secondary. Students work closely with their core teachers in order to engage in the areas of study required under the k-9 curriculum. Additionally, students have an opportunity to dive into specific curricular areas via an exploratory rotation. I am very pleased to share that we will be returning to our exploratory rotations next year as we view this as a key aspect of the middle school experience. All DRM students will have an opportunity to rotate through a variety of curricular areas (on a quarterly basis) working with our Music, Arts and ADST teachers.

Grade 7, 8 and 9 Overview:

All students participate in: Math, English, Science, Social Studies, Physical Education, Career Education, French As A Second Language, Applied Design, Skills and Technologies and Arts Education. Students at DRM also take an exploratory class where they will sample various aspects of the curriculum. Exploratory offerings vary depending on the year but could include: Home Economics (Foods/Textiles), Information Technology (coding, robotics, computers), Indigenous Language and Culture, Art, Drama, Music, Entrepreneurship/Project Based Learning and Trades Technology. 


Students may also have the opportunity to explore topics such as Yearbook, Leadership, Outdoor Education, and Peer Tutoring as well as Band (which is an afterschool program). 


HOCKEY ACADEMY- Open to Grade 8 and Grade 9 students (runs depending on numbers): 

The objective of the Academy is to provide additional training for hockey players, any gender, beginners or advanced, competitive or recreational, who wish to improve their ice hockey skills. The Hockey Academy provides specialized on-ice coaching and instruction related to the physical skills and tactical aspects of the game. Participation is limited and online registration is required. You must register at: https://www.rpmhockey.com/academies/getAcademy/21d0678b/


FRENCH IMMERSION – Grade 7, 8 and 9

Registration for our middle years French Immersion program at Don Ross follows a student’s successful completion of French Immersion Grade 6 in School District #48. Entry into French Immersion for any other students, at any other grade level will be on the basis of:
a) Available space and
b) Previous experience with the French language


Please click here to view our June 16th presentation to families regarding Middle Years education at DRM. Please click here to view the accompanying slides.