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Full-Time Online Learning for Middle School

We connect academics, technology and community to help middle schoolers spread their wings

Middle school is a time for students to grow in independence and opportunity, with the intentional connection, challenge and encouragement of caring adults. It should be a place where every student feels safe and valued as they discover their unique strengths and interests. That’s New Code Academy.

Students grow more — physically, emotionally and socially — from Grade 6 to Grade 8, than at any other time in school. The tension a student will feel between safely fitting in with peers and boldly exploring new ideas, is a hallmark of the middle school experience. And New Code Academy’s middle school team of teachers and support staff loves walking with students on that journey.

New Code Academy builds on the multi-year success of Bloomington Public Schools online classes, in cooperation with the University of Minnesota Learning + Technology Collaborative. Our teachers are inspired by designing bright new pathways of learning and opportunity for students, extending the problem-solving skills of computer science across all subject areas. 

Day in the Life: Middle School at New Code Academy

The middle school schedule is built around two types of learning each day: synchronous, which takes place in real time with interaction between the teacher and students, and asynchronous, which happens without real-time interaction.

If synchronous learning brings to mind a day packed with teacher lectures and whole group instruction, that’s not New Code Academy! Synchronous learning for middle school students takes place on Google Meet and includes …

  • Community building
  • Whole-group focused instruction
  • Discussion
  • Sharing
  • Small-group guided instruction and collaborative learning
  • Relationship building
  • News and updates
  • Games and fun activities

Asynchronous learning is balanced between digital and non-digital learning activities, and might include…

  • Work time to complete assignments
  • Independent practice or reading time
  • Recorded teacher video instruction
  • Giving and reviewing feedback
  • Collaboration and sharing
  • Reflection time
  • Creation and idea development

Here’s a sample middle school daily schedule.

8:00 - 8:30    Flex
8:30 -8:55    Launch/Advisory
9:00 - 9:40    Math
9:45 -  10:25    Science
10:30 - 11:10    Music/PE
11:15 - 11:45    Flex - Academic Seminar
11:45 - 12:30    Lunch 
12:30-1:10    CS/Art/Health
1:15-1:55    Language Arts
2:00-2:45    Social Studies
2:45 - 3:00    Flex

Students are expected to participate in all synchronous learning times during the day and put forth an effort to complete daily asynchronous tasks at other times planned in the schedule. Parents/guardians are encouraged to contact the student’s teacher if a child is struggling to complete asynchronous tasks each day.

Middle school counselors, social workers, administrators and teachers all work together to give students all the support they need to succeed in school. New Code Academy staff are available to support any student who may need additional one-on-one support in academics, organization, or social-emotional learning.  

New Code Academy provides a safe, supportive learning community where each student is challenged to reach the highest levels of achievement and grow as an individual. Our teachers are Bloomington Public Schools employees who are part of our school community. 

As virtual teachers, our goal is to help your child build a foundation of valuable skills that support learning and life-long success. These include time management, goal setting and monitoring, communication, attention to detail and making choices for their personal learning and well-being. 


New Code Academy offers students one-of-a-kind Computer Science (CS) focused programming. Through this unique program, middle school students take a semester-long Digital Creators course where they are equipped with the skills, practices, and mindsets necessary to be empowered creators of technology. Additionally, students have the opportunity to apply their new skills through co-taught, computer science integrated courses like CS+Art and CS+Health. In the Digital Creators course for example, students may use the practice of design thinking to plan and program their own apps. In their CS+Health course, they may follow the same design thinking process to create a technological solution to a community health problem.


Regardless of whether students choose careers in the field of technology or not, computer science education equips them with transferable skills that will enable them to solve the big problems of today and of the future. At New Code Academy, we believe all students will both enjoy and benefit from learning computer science!


Virtual learning offers middle school students a highly personalized experience where students and teachers can connect in deeper ways to promote growth and learning — with added flexibility that many students and families prefer.


Parents and guardians have a key part to play in student success, especially as a new school year begins. Here are things you can do to help your middle school student thrive:



Keep open lines of regular communication with your student, the teacher and the school. Watch for teacher and school messages to stay updated on important news and updates that could affect your student. Because relationships and communication are different in a virtual environment than they are face to face, we work hard to create connections between families and staff because we know that a strong school-family relationship benefits students. 


Establish a routine

Students (and adults!) depend on routines for comfort and predictability. Help your middle schooler set and follow a routine during the school day, and create the daily household routines, such as predictable times for sleeping, waking, meals and other healthy habits. 


Encourage screen breaks

Many middle schoolers can happily spend the day glued to a device. When there is free time, whether during the school day or during personal/family time, encourage fresh air and activities that don’t add to screen time. Special responsibilities, such as walking the dog, mowing the lawn, preparing a meal or washing the car can be good activities for students who are growing in independence. 



Middle school is traditionally a time when students are challenged to take charge of their organization at school. You can support this by allowing them the freedom to organize their physical and digital workspaces, offering help when you notice they may be overwhelmed or losing track of details. 



There will be days when your middle school student feels frustrated, discouraged, or uninspired. That’s human! As a parent/guardian, your help to motivate — especially on those difficult days — without trying to fix their problems will go a long way to building the resilience and mindset that will serve him or her well for years to come.


Check in often

Although adolescents are known to roll their eyes or limit their communication with parents/guardians, checking in on their school experience at least a couple of times each day is critical to success. Ask how their school day is going, what they’re working on, how they’re feeling. While you won’t always get a great answer, you’re creating a caring connection that makes it easier to share when they need to ask for support or are excited about good news.