Oliver Wendell Holmes Middle School

Magnet Program » What is Holmes Humanities Magnet All About?

What is Holmes Humanities Magnet All About?

Holmes Humanities Magnet is a California Distinguished School, a recipient of the Title I Academic Achievement Award, and a 2013-2014 Excelling Magnet Program based on the School Performance Framework. As part of Holmes Middle School, the magnet shares the distinction of having achieved 6 years Accreditation Status from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in 2020. With approximately 440 students in grades six to eight, the students at Holmes represent a wide spectrum of cultural, academic, ethnic, and economic backgrounds, reflecting the great diversity of Southern California. This microcosm mirrors the diversity of our region and our world. Holmes supports an atmosphere that values cultural and ethnic diversity, where academic challenge is expected and where the intrinsic worth of each child is recognized.

The curriculum and programs at Holmes International Humanities Magnet are aligned with Common Core State Standards with a focus on world cultures, literature, language, art, music, social customs and philosophy. Students develop an awareness of a global perspective, expand their understanding of world cultures and gain an appreciation of cultural diversity. This program promotes mutual respect, acceptance, and understanding among cultural groups and provides opportunities for students to acquire knowledge, attitudes, and skills to live effectively in a diverse society.

The school’s curriculum prepares students for their next level of education, by imparting 21st Century skills, college and career readiness, and an enduring love of learning. The program provides students with effective oral and written communication skills, teaches students to think conceptually, encourages students to share their artistic talent, prepares students to be effective problem solvers, and engages students to explore political, social and economic issues. We are committed to academic excellence and preparing every child with the skills necessary to succeed. Honors level courses are available for all Magnet students who are identified gifted or who meet the criteria through test scores, or teacher recommendation.


What is a Humanities Magnet?

Humanities programs can be defined in many ways. At Holmes, the humanities are an approach to teaching that fosters a love of learning. Many schools treat the subject areas as separate, even segregating them in different campus locations. At Holmes we teach students to understand and appreciate the connections between subject areas, since in reality, they are all related. This is evident in our cross-curricular projects that require students to engage their knowledge of multiple subjects, along with their 21st Century skills, in order to succeed.

If you think of the humanities as all subjects that affect us as humans, then you would include not only art, music, history, and literature, as some programs do, but you would add engineering, science, math, and even film as we do at Holmes. This approach leads to a dynamic curriculum where new connections are discovered and added all the time.