top of page

Marisa Renee Brown

Middle School Experience: Preston Middle School

Setting & Context

Culture and Community Culture


Home Information:











Single Family - 80528: 77% Fort Collins: 71%

80528: Majority of Homes built after 2000
62% >2000; 32% 1980-1999; 6% 1960-1979


27 % have kids; 73% no kids


Fort Collins - Median age (years): 28.2


Demographic Characteristics:

Preston Middle School has the largest middle school student body size in the Poudre School District R-1. Racial makeup is: White (83.8%), Hispanic (7.5%), two or more races (4.1%).

Of Preston's 1,113 students,

15.18% are eligible for free & reduced lunch

21.74% are identified as Gifted and Talented


Classroom Environment:

The art room is a large open space with several expansive windows and a glass door opening to the front of the school. The room is illuminated with natural light through out the school day. There a few columns that are painted to emulate famous artworks. There are six large wooden tables with six stools at each. Every stool has been painted by past Art 2 students. There are two sinks and storage cabinets on the opposite of the windows. Every student has a space in the totes stored in the cabinets to store their supplies. There is a SMART board and a document camera in the front of the classroom. In the back of the classroom, there is a chalk board, two bulletin boards, and a library of Scholastic art magazines. Emergency resources, refocus forms, and binders for absent students are located near the hall door.


At the beginning of each class students are greeted and welcomed in to the classroom. Class often begins with a warm-up that consists of inquiry questions, art exercises, art vocabulary, and art quotes. At the end of class, there is often a closing activity followed by goodbyes and well wishes. Students feel like a part of a community because they are often encouraged to collaborate. Student opinion is valued and often taken into consideration by the teacher. Students are encouraged to self-advocate and speak up for their needs.

School-wide Policies for Management:

PAWS! Positive Choices, Attitude, Work Ethic, and Sense of Community

- PAWS is a positive behavior system implemented throughout Preston Middle School. This common language allows students to understand their behavior and make positive choices. PAWS is discussed in the lunchroom, at athletic events, and in individual classrooms.


Cell-phone use & wearing hats are decisions left to the classroom teacher. Cell phones and hats are prohibited in common areas like hallways. (Hats are allowed in the lunchroom/ commons area before and after school and during lunch).


Classroom Tardiness: Being “prompt” to class is one of Preston’s school wide expectations and life long skills. The teacher’s responsibility is to speak to the tardy behavior.

1st Offense - 1st Warning

2nd Offense - 2nd Warning

3rd Offense - Teacher contacts parents

4th Offense - Administrative intervention


All teachers have refocus forms in their classroom. When disruptive behavior occurs, teachers redirect students by having short conversations with them. If the behavior continues, students will be asked to fill out a Refocus Form. Teachers have staff partners, which students are informed about. The partnering staff has a place in their classroom where the form can be filled out with supervision.

School-wide Policies for Safe Schools:

From the Student Code of Conduct:

- Safety is everyone’s responsibility in the Preston community. When we work together honoring our differences and respecting each other we contribute to the ongoing positive legacy of our special Preston culture. In order to ensure the safety of all Preston community members, you are encouraged to report information regarding the following: threats to self or others, weapons, and drugs or alcohol possession or usage on campus. Please realize that by reporting unsafe behavior to a teacher, counselor, administrator, school resource officer, staff member, parent or other adult in the community, you are participating in helping all of us to be safe. As a school, we are dedicated to working through issues and problems with our community members and not simply getting people into trouble. Your mature choices and help may contribute to saving lives and assisting others to get the necessary support to change behaviors and to lead a healthy life. We have included a bully report tab on our website for reporting unsafe situations as well. Go to our website and click on students to see the tab.

Bullying and harassment prevention information is also available for students, staff, and parents at the Poudre School District Website


Campus Security Officers (CSO’s) and School Resource Officers (SRO’s) help keep students safe in Poudre School District.

-As part of the district’s Security Department staff, Campus Security Officers work at all school sites as the Eyes and Ears of the district. Duties include site security; vehicle, bike, and foot patrol; special event coverage; and crisis response and assistance.  To learn more and to see a listing of all CSO's, refer to the Campus Security Officers' page.

School-wide Policies for Conflict Resolution:

There are four counselors at Preston: Kristin Hartman, Kyle Healy (8th grade counselor), Julie Baker (7th grade counselor), and Theresa Fightmaster (6th grade counselor). Students may see a counselor to discuss issues, ask questions about areas of concern such as class selection, academic problems, personal concerns, activities offered, solving conflicts or other issues as they arise. Please do not use academic time to see counselors unless it’s an emergency. Appointments are encouraged before and after school and at lunch. Please direct counseling questions to the registrar, counseling secretary, Rebecca Chavez at 488-7309.

School-wide Policies for Students with Special Needs:

Preston Middle School staff are versed in Response to Intervention strategies to provide support for students in need. These strategies aid students in resolving ongoing academic and emotional needs by building a school-wide support system which aims to try new strategies, collect data, and make appropriate instructional and supportive changes. These strategies involve staff, school community, the student, and their family.

- RtI is utilized to aid students in academic success by providing strategies for differentiation through accommodations and modifications according to student needs. If on an IEP or 504 plan, all staff must provide appropriate accommodations and modifications according to that documentation. However, differentiation can be addressed on any individual basis according to student needs. Students are expected and encouraged to advocate for their needs.

bottom of page