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The Middle School Program Application of the JAG Model is based on the Project Reach Model which originated in 1995 by Jobs for Maine’s Graduates.  Project Reach programs areMiddle School Boy operating currently in sixteen (16) locations in Maine, locations in Arizona and Mississippi as well as in various planning and implementation stages in other states in 2006-07.


The three (3) major goals of a JAG Middle School Program are:

  1. Students will stay in school and transition into high school.
  2. Students will improve their academic performance, school behavior, attendance, participation and self-esteem.
  3. Students will improve their skills in leading and being an effective member of a team.


Middle School Specialists deliver the JAG Curriculum components which include:

7th Grade  - Self-Understanding

   - Communication
   - Organizational Skills
   - Study Skills
   - Decision-Making
   - Character Development
   - Team Building

8th Grade  - Dreamwork

   - Lifestyles
   - Negotiations
   - Career-Based Learning
   - Leadership Development
   - High School Transition

Experiential-Based Learning

A variety of experiential-based learning techniques energize classroom sessions, anchor key learning, discover best practices and demonstrate the power of activity-based and adventure-based learning.

Community-Based Learning

Middle School Specialists design community-based learning activities to encourage involvement and attachment to the community to emphasize citizenship and responsibility.  Middle School students participate in the following activities:

  • Service Learning Projects—students are responsible for selecting a project, organizing the details and executing a successful project
  • Volunteerism
  • Fundraising
  • Job Shadowing

National recognition is provided states at the annual National Training Seminar of Jobs for America’s Graduates for Outstanding Service Learning Projects.

Career Association

Middle School students are automatically members of the JAG Career Association, a student-led chapter designed to develop, practice and refine critical skills delivered in the classroom.  The chapter members elect officers, serve on committees, develop and execute a plan of work, participate in skill-based competitions, and seek recognition for chapter projects and accomplishments.  Major Career Association Chapter activities include:

  • Initiation and Installation Ceremony
  • Officers’ Leadership Conference
  • JAG Decathelon—a one-day skills-based competition

High School Transition

The Middle School Program is committed to increasing the potential for success in high school by preparing middle school students for a successful transition into the high school.  Middle School students participate in the following:

  • Visits to their respective high school
  • High school shadowing days
  • Guest speakers from the high school, i.e., counselors, administrators, teachers, students, etc.
  • High School Scavenger Hunt
  • Sporting events
  • Concerts

Follow-up Services

Middle School Specialists maintain contact with students who transition into the 9th grade for the entire school year.  Specialists are held accountable for their students to be connected and engaged in the high school.  Methods used to achieve the follow-up goals include:

  • Face-to-face contact with students
  • Telephone contact with students
  • Parental contact
  • High School source contact
  • Attendance clerk contact and/or review of daily attendance report
  • Registrar contact and/or review of academic transcript

Outcome Goals

Middle School Specialists are held accountable for the following outcomes:

  • 90 percent high school transition rate 
  • 90 percent high school graduation rate
  • 60 percent decline in discipline referrals
  • 50 percent improvement in attendance rate
  • 25 percent improvement in self-esteem index
  • 25 percent improvement in GPA

Staff Development and Technical Assistance

Jobs for America’s Graduates, through the National Center for Evidence-Based Practices and the Northeast Center for Excellence, provides staff development for new and experienced Middle School staff members (managers, supervisors and Specialists) and an annual National Training Seminar in July.  JAG also provides e-learning modules for individualized study.  For more information, contact:  Jim Koeninger, Ph.D., Executive Vice President, Tel. 972.691.4486 or jim.koeninger@jag.org.

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