Middle School Dean
Matt Morgan joined JA in 2004, serving as a secondary Spanish teacher for eight years before moving into an administrative support role in the Lower School (elementary). He was asked to take the role of Middle School dean when JA restructured its divisions in 2013. Mr. Morgan graduated from Millsaps College with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and completed a master’s of business administration from Delta State University. He completed a master’s in educational leadership from Delta State University in 2013.
Middle School Division
The recent re-organization of JA divisions creates a special and appropriate environment for our middle schoolers. These years can be challenging for your child—and you! The JA curriculum recognizes that fifth through eighth graders need steady guidance in exploring their strengths and talents.
In our Middle School, your child begins to develop greater independence. In turn, JA places greater expectations on behavior and commitment. A departmentalization system is introduced for fifth graders, allowing for deeper subject-matter expertise instruction and exposure to a greater diversity of teachers. Each year, more individualized elective choices become possible, and your child will begin to navigate class changes individually instead of as part of a group.
- Starting in fifth grade, all JA students work on their own take-home MacBook Air laptops, making multimedia project work possible. In addition to traditional papers and a continued emphasis on grammar and technical writing skills, students also develop podcasts and iMovies to demonstrate mastery of a topic and ability to communicate clearly.
- Sixth graders explore Romance Languages using Rosetta Stone software, then have the option to try out Chinese and German in later grades.
- In sixth grade, students mentor first grade friends through the Book Buddies program. Seventh graders partner with upper school juniors who serve as Big Brothers/Big Sisters — helping middle school students feel ready for the transition to JA’s Upper School division.
- Special electives offered by our Upper School teachers such as photojournalism and comparative politics spark interests and highlight teachers’ passions.
- Honors programs in math and science become available starting in eighth grade, with additional options available each subsequent year.
- JA traditionally participates in the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP), which identifies students who score at 95%+ on a grade-level achievement test. In recent years, more than half of the seventh grade class has earned recognition.
- Middle school and upper school students explore spirituality and faith during four required chapel services each year. Additional chapel attendance is voluntary and encouraged.
- Traditions, including dances, Field Day, and an annual trip to Birmingham’s McWane Science Center, help bond students even more closely together.
- Student council, athletics, choral music, and band participation become possible once students reach the middle school grades.
STEM at JA
After exploring numerous opportunities, including student government, community involvement, and a variety of extracurricular activities, students feel prepared to enter Upper School with a newly developed focus on their talents and college preparation.
JA Middle School Admission
Schedule your in-person tour of Jackson Academy’s Middle School to learn more about JA and decide if it’s a good fit for your child, by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or call 601.364.5761. If you are ready to begin the application process, click here.