Thomas Russell Middle School is located in the center of the Silicon Valley and serves a diverse population of approximately 800 seventh and eighth grade students. Our student body reflects MUSD’s position as one of the most diverse districts in the nation. Our strong school community encourages active student participation in clubs, sports, and extracurricular activities, resulting in a safe and welcoming environment where all students are valued, challenged, and successful. Russell is an exemplary member of the Milpitas Unified School District, and a proud past recipient of the California Distinguished School and Model PeaceBuilder® School awards. Russell owes its success to the commitment of all stakeholders in creating a safe haven for learning. Our goals are student focused, teacher driven, and community based, as we believe education goes beyond the classroom.
Russell continually adapts to provide students with a stellar educational experience. Since all high schools in California must now start at 8:30am, Thomas Russell Middle School's old start time, Russell has shifted its day to begin 30 minutes earlier after hearing from all stakeholders - Russell staff and families. In addition to this major change, now that lunch is free for all California students and to limit the possible spread of COVID, the Russell staff has chosen to reduce the number of students eating lunch at the same time by implementing a split lunch schedule. To make this change, we utilize our homeroom, which now occurs immediately before/after lunch. During homeroom, our staff mentors students to help them feel more connected to our campus and identify earlier those in need of greater social emotional support.
While Russell isn't afraid to change when necessary, we maintain the practices that help our students succeed. Our interdisciplinary teams continue to provide small learning communities in which students are known and supported. Our PRIDE Program still uses teambuilding to reward students for academic achievement and improvement. Frequent teacher collaboration assures curriculum alignment, ongoing analysis of student performance, and early identification of student needs. Our Student Success Team process, Team Tutorials, Intervention elective classes, student counseling, and Special Education programs provide support for the various needs of students. Additionally, the majority of students can still choose from a variety of elective courses that enhance the core curriculum; provide experiences in the arts, leadership, multi-media and life skills; and promote student involvement in creating and maintaining an exciting and nurturing place for all. Our comprehensive, integrated academic program continues to result in Russell’s sustained success.
While academic success is of paramount importance, Russell’s students are encouraged to be life-long learners through activities that build character, organizational skills and poise. All students participate in Student-Led Conferences. Students also learn to be active, productive members of their community through Service Learning Projects. The focus on excellence also extends to the adults of Russell. Our staff embraces life-long learning through professional development that enhances knowledge of standards-based curriculum and state adopted materials and methods. Teachers share best practices with colleagues to create an environment of academic excellence. The parents of Russell are an integral part of our success; approximately 85% of parents participate regularly in school programs like the School Site Council, Multi-Cultural and Career Days, awards assemblies, sporting events, Student-Led Conferences, and Parent Academies.
Thomas Russell Middle School marks the beginning of a journey towards a productive and successful adulthood for our students. We are proud of both our rigorous academic focus that creates active learners and our energetic school culture that creates leaders and model citizens.