About John Witherspoon Middle School
John Witherspoon Middle School mirrors the life style of its community with its own tradition of academic and cultural achievement. As the only middle school in the public school system, it houses grades six, seven, and eight. With a student body of just under 750 and a staff of around 75, JWMS provides an environment for adolescents to bridge the educational adventure between elementary school and high school. Students at each grade level are assigned to a homeroom that is part of a house or academic teaching team. There are two houses, made up of five teachers and approximately 120 students, at each grade level. Each grade has its own school counselor. A full time child study team serves the school. The building has a principal and an assistant principal.
The Princeton Public School District is made up of Princeton Borough and Princeton Township. It is one of nine school districts in Mercer County, New Jersey, in the west central part of the state. It is an area long recognized for its rich history and strong educational values. The home of Princeton University, the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Westminster College of Rider University, Princeton is a center for education and culture for the surrounding region.
Our present building was constructed in 1966 and underwent major renovations and additions in 2003-2005. It consists of a large main building and six wings. The main building houses our main office, the health office, the Learning Commons with an auxiliary computer lab, a cafeteria, an auditorium, a suite for the child study team, and the Commons, which features a Michael Graves mural. The wings become “mini-schools” within the school. Sixth grade is housed in its own wing. The sixth grade counselor is housed within that wing. Two wings house our seventh and eighth grade programs. Both the seventh and eighth grade counselors are in the wings with the seventh and eighth grade houses. Each grade has science classrooms that enhance delivery of instruction and lab work. The fourth and fifth wings include specialized rooms for our exploratory subjects (i.e., Tech Prep, Computer Lab, Visual Art, STEM Robotics, Food Science and Wellness) and our performance classes (i.e., Drama, Orchestra, Band, and Chorus). The sixth wing houses our gymnasium, pool, and locker rooms. The campus, which includes playing fields and a playground, adjoins the campuses of Princeton High School and Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
The student body of JWMS reflects the diversity of the community. Our school population is comprised of students who were born in Princeton as well as students who move here during their school careers. Families move here from other locations in the United States and over forty countries throughout the world. We are fortunate to experience this unique student body due to visiting scholars at the Institute for Advanced Study and visiting professors at Princeton University and Princeton Theological Seminary who bring their families to live in Princeton.
Standardized Testing and State Assessment
Each spring, our students take the PARCC assessment and Grade 8 NJ-ASK Science assessment. This is a test mandated by the New Jersey Department of Education. It measures student performance in reading, writing, mathematics, and science. The mean for student performance is well above average.
While chorus, band, and orchestra are part of our regular school day; there are also many extracurricular activities at JWMS. Clubs include Art Club, Board Game Club, Do Something Club, Drama Club, Geography Bee Club, Little Tiger Store, Mathletes, Scribbles Literary Magazine, PPS Girls Club, Robotics Club, Science Olympiad, Stage & Lighting Crew, Yearbook, Cooks and Garden Club, Engineering Club, and Chess Club. Team sports include boys & girls soccer, field hockey, co-ed cross country, co-ed tennis, girls & boys basketball, swim team, wrestling, baseball, softball, co-ed track, and boys & girls lacrosse.
A standard student daily schedule includes five academic subjects, two periods for non-academics, and a thirty-minute lunch period. The day begins with a five-minute homeroom period followed by 7 fifty-minute classes. A lunch period occurs in the middle of the day for each grade level. Courses are offered in English, mathematics, science, social studies, world languages, physical education, health, music, art, computers, technology, drama, STEM Robotics, Food Science and Wellness, basic skills, English as a second language, and special education.