Our middle schoolers continue to explore their world through investigative study and differentiated instruction. Their classrooms are set up with multiple learning centers, each with a different engaging activity or lesson. The centers help bring the material to life by touching on multiple angles of a particular concept. Students are always encouraged to explain their thinking in their own words and lead the discussion.

Some recent projects have included:

  • Visitors to ELA classrooms like a young adult author Padma Venkatraman, who spoke about her experiences as an author, and a National Geographic journalist.

  • In their science classes, middle schoolers learn and apply the scientific method in their experiments as they learn about life, earth, and physical sciences. Our annual Science Fair encourages independent investigation leading deeper into topics encountered in class.

  • Students start using DBQs (data-based questions) in social studies to explore primary and secondary source topics and create responses. activities like field trips to the National Geographic Science Museum and the African-American History Museum bring the ancient world and American history to life.

Learning outside of the classroom include field trips like:

  • Seeing "The Last Quixote" at the GALA Theater, a Spanish-language play about Miguel Cervantes and his opus, Don Quixote

  • An Art Club outing to the Phillips Collection to see a modern art exhibit

  • Visiting the Holocaust Museum after reading The Diary of Anne Frank

Read more about our Specials and Electives.


Preparation for school and life 

Our students thrive after Meridian. Nearly 1 in 2 Meridian graduates are attending a selective magnet program or a Tier 1 charter high school. Graduates are attending Benjamin Banneker HS, McKinley Technology, Capital City, Washington Latin, Thurgood Marshall Academy, and many more.

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A message from the Principal and Dean

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Dear 7th and 8th grade parents and guardians:

I feel very fortunate to have joined such a loving community of parents, staff, and students here at the Meridian Public Charter School as the Middle School Principal in the 2018-19 school year.  I look forward to working with our families to ensure that each student continues to develop academically, socially and emotionally, and to challenge and inspire them to become leaders of a global society. Our academic program is designed to provide students with opportunities to master grade level skills, while enhancing their ability to think critically and independently. We continually improve instruction and offer more ways for our students to thrive. 

I have spent the past 15 years fighting to ensure that all students have equitable access to a rigorous and engaging curriculum. Before relocating from Dallas, Texas to Virginia for my husband’s job, I was an Assistant Principal at Molina High School in inner-city Dallas. During my time at Molina we earned 7 out of 7 distinctions from the state of Texas for outstanding academic achievements, an honor that very few majority-minority campuses such as ours have been able to achieve. I have also served as an Academic Facilitator, working with multiple K-12 campuses to support leadership teams with improving academic outcomes, and a campus instructional coach whose primary role was improving student literacy at a middle school campus. In addition, I have extensive teacher experience as an AVID Teacher and Coordinator, Middle School Science Teacher and Department Chair, and High School ELAR teacher. 


Our Middle School Dean of Students, Gary Sockwell, is a native Washingtonian and a 1991 alumni of Phelps Career HS where he played football, baseball, and basketball. He attended Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi and graduated from Livingstone College with a major in Child Psychology and Sociology. He has served DMV communities in various educational roles for the last 20 years. In 2003 he began teaching Health and Physical Education at Booker T. Washington PCS for more than a decade. While there, he was the Head Coach of the Varsity and junior varsity boys basketball programs for seven seasons. He led the team to several league and division titles while winning well over 100 games and receiving partial and full ride scholarships for players during his coaching tenure.

 Since his arrival at Meridian Public Charter School in August of 2014, he has worked as the Health and PE instructor, both boys and girls basketball coaches, the Athletic Director and now the Dean of Students. During his time away from work, he is also a part of an organization called Men Giving Back To the Community, which facilitates men that grew up in Ward 7 to dedicate their time to the families in the communities in which they once lived.

Both Mr. Sockwell and I are also excited about promoting a positive culture based on respect--for students, teachers and the value of education. Our backgrounds have led us to work diligently to create and reinforce rules and procedures that allow students to be in a learning environment that promotes community and eliminates distractions.

Please know that we value our families' commitment to Meridian. As leaders, we are committed to diligently foster strong, working relationships with teachers, parents, students, and the local community. These strong relationships are the needed base to facilitate integration of key initiatives designed to enhance the school environment and best serve students. Your active participation and support are essential to building a school community that allows our students to achieve their highest academic and social potential. We regularly extend invitations for parents/guardians to join us at various school events throughout the school year to support students and to give you an opportunity to have a voice in shaping our school community.  With your assistance, Meridian is not only a place where all staff members are committed to helping children succeed, but also where strong connections are made between home and school every day! We look forward to working together with you to make our middle school an outstanding place of achievement. 


Gary Sockwell
Dean of Students, Middle School Campus

Shelley Anderson
Middle School Principal