Charlton Middle School was built in the year 2000 along with its sister school Dudley Middle School because of the growing family population in the Dudley Charlton area. The Charlton Middle School mascot-“Grizzlies”, named after Grizzly Adams who is said to be buried in the Bay Path cemetery up the road, his tombstone commissioned by PT Barnum. The town of Charlton always has had a great sense of pride centered around the legend of Grizzly Adams and his way with grizzly bears. Even though it has grown exponentially in population and industry over the years, Charlton takes much pride in keeping a “small town” feeling, evident by some of the events it still holds- for example, its Annual Old Home Day- including a road race, soapbox derbies, frog jumping contests, one of the biggest Earth Day Cleanup and celebration in the area, local Farmers and Craft Markets and more.
Before the year 2000, Charlton’s upper elementary students- grades 5 and 6 were included in the elementary schools and grades 7,8 were included at the high school. Combining grades 5-8 in one school meant the CMS staff became a combination of elementary and high school teachers, most of whom had many years of experience in the district at these varying levels. This brought together a diverse set of experience, skills and knowledge to this new middle school model of collaborative team teaching and later co-teaching. Not only was the building new, but the ideals and school climate in the early years of Charlton Middle School included a new sense of pride, community, support, high expectations for academics and behavior.
In the past 23 years, veteran teachers have obviously seen many changes here, including staff members who have retired or left. In fact, the original “Grizzly staff” make up less than 20% of the current staff members. Thankfully, we have acquired a lot of knowledgeable, creative and valuable teachers along the way in every section of the school. For example, just this year one of our two ILC teachers just won the Quo Vadis Teacher of the Year for her creative, student-centered ways of leading her intensive needs classroom housed here in CMS. Without a doubt, we are consistently a school of talented, knowledgeable and community driven professionals, encompassing not only the teaching staff, but also our administrative assistants, custodians, parents, guidance department, cafeteria staff and more.