Celebrating JFK Middle

John F. Kennedy Middle: Recognizing Every Student’s Unique Talents 
Posted on 04/26/2022
parents and student outside of JFK middle

At John F. Kennedy Middle School in Antioch, every student is a JFK Star. Kennedy Middle, which opened in 2001, is now the district’s largest middle school, serving 972 students in grades 5-8 on a beautiful, 29-acre campus.  student and family in front of school, smiling for camera

As a STEAM school, Kennedy Middle focuses on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. Students participate in blended learning, meaning they are involved in using both traditional classroom instruction and online materials.  

There are a variety of ways JFK is ensuring Every Student is Known to staff and faculty.  

  • JFK is a “Leader in Me” school, incorporating Franklin Covey’s seven habits for teaching leadership and life skills. Every morning, teachers conduct classroom meetings that focus on students becoming leaders in their homes, their school and their community. Students have opportunities to practice leadership skills while at school and are encouraged to do so when not at school.  
  • JFK teachers include students in their academic planning and conversations. Teachers conduct quarterly data checks with each student so students themselves know where they are and what they need to focus on academically. 
  • Recognizing its high number of diverse students – JFK students speak 27 different languages – the school hosts a yearly multi-cultural night so families can share and learn about the various cultures of their classmates’ families.  student eating ice cream sandwich
The school is proud that growth in its MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) scores placed it in the 99th percentile for English language arts and math, and it achieved Level 4 status in ELA on state TVAAS (Tennessee Value Added Assessment System) assessments. Despite the disruptions of the pandemic, JFK’s principal, Shavon Davis-Louis, notes that JFK students’ achievements on TVAAS have moved the school from a Level 1 to Level 4 in just the past three years.  

In addition to academics, JFK is known for a strong athletics program. Student-athletes, competing as the Stars, can choose from several TSSAA sports, including cheerleading/dance, basketball, football, wrestling, volleyball, track and field, and boys' and girls' soccer. Students also have many other activities available to them, including:

  • Band
  • Choir
  • Robotics club
  • Foreign language club
  • Creative writing club
  • Book club
  • GLSEN club

A new theater program, introduced just this school year, has already presented two productions to students and families. The school also offers the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program, which is designed to prepare students in grades 7-12 for college eligibility and success.  

“JFK is a place where everyone shines bright,” says Principal Davis-Louis, who is finishing her third year at the school but, due to the pandemic, her first year fully in the building. “We are focused on self-efficacy for all and recognizing that every unique talent of every individual in our school is needed to fully realize our vision. I am honored to work with the best teachers and smartest students here at JFK.” 

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