The District offers four Middle School Choice Program options.

Connections (offered at J. L. Stanford Middle School) 

This program takes an interdisciplinary approach to teaching core subjects. A "village" of teachers, students, and parents within the larger school community focuses on interactive, project-based, experiential learning through hands-on experiences and field trips.

The program emphasizes:

  • Connections among various disciplines—teachers have a block of three to five periods to focus on an interdisciplinary approach to topics
  • Connections among students and student-centered learning—students are responsible for their own progress by setting goals and assessing their progress while teachers serve mainly as guides and mentors
  • Connections between curriculum and students' lives—core curriculum and student interests are enhanced with examples from current events and field trips
  • Connections between curriculum and community—community and environmental service projects are part of the curriculum

Direct Instruction (offered at Terman Middle School)

This program is intended for the acquisition of knowledge through an emphasis on basic academic skills.

Teachers provide:

  • Instruction in English/language arts, math, social studies and science for 6th grade
  • Instruction only in English for 7th and 8th grades
  • Explicit teaching (as opposed to project-based learning)
  • Individual grades, including when group projects have been assigned

Mandarin Immersion Class Program (offered at Jordan Middle School)

This program is based on a model in which English-speaking students and native Mandarin speakers are taught together using Mandarin and English instruction to develop bilingual academic fluency.  

The program emphasizes:

  • Development of bilingual proficiency and literacy in Mandarin and English
  • Academic achievement at or above grade level in both languages
  • Positive cross-cultural attitudes

NOTE: Students are eligible to enroll in this program if they have successfully completed the elementary Mandarin Immersion program at Ohlone or, if space is available, they can demonstrate grade level bilingual fluency in Mandarin and English.

Spanish Immersion Class Program (offered at Jordan Middle School)

This program is based on a model in which English-speaking students and native Spanish speakers are taught together using Spanish and English instruction to develop bilingual academic fluency. 

The program emphasizes:

  • Development of bilingual proficiency and literacy in Spanish and English
  • Academic achievement at or above grade level in both languages
  • Positive cross-cultural attitudes

NOTE: Students are eligible to enroll in this program if they have successfully completed the elementary Spanish Immersion program at Escondido or, if space is available, they can demonstrate grade level bilingual fluency in Spanish and English.

Information meetings for 2017-18

February 6, 7:00 p.m. Connections J. L. Stanford MS – Cafetorium
February 7, 7:00 p.m. Spanish Immersion Class Jordan MS – Library
February 7, 7:00 p.m. Mandarin Immersion Class Jordan MS – Library
February 9, 7:00 p.m. Direct Instruction Terman MS – Cafetorium

Application Process

Please submit the Middle School Choice Program application through the Infinite Campus Portal, beginning Friday, February 10 through Tuesday, February 21, 2017. Students may apply for only one Middle School Choice Program. Concurrent siblings (two children from the same family in the same program at the same time) will be granted priority placement. All other students applying by February 21, 2017 will receive equal priority status. 

If the number of applicants for any program exceeds the available space, placement will be made through a random selection process, open to the public: March 1, 2017, 1:00 p.m. at the PAUSD Office at 25 Churchill Avenue (Aspen Room).

If there is an insufficient number of applications for a program it may not be offered.

After the random selection process, students will be notified by email if they are placed or wait-listed in the program. Students must accept placement in the program no later than March 8, 2017. After that date, students on the waiting list will be placed in the program as space becomes available.

Students accepting placement in a Choice Program will attend the middle school where the program is located. High school assignments will be based upon residency, regardless of the middle school attended. 

New students who are registered for 6th grade in Fall 2017 and are interested in applying should email support@pausd.org for information about completing an application for a Middle School Choice Program.