Middle School Choice Programs

  • Johnston County Public Schools offers several middle school options for students other than the traditional middle school setting. These middle schools/programs include smaller class sizes and support for students who are interested in pursuing specific careers or desire more rigorous curriculum. One program involves sending select students to our Innovation Academy (6-8), where students have the opportunity to meet other students across the district and become pioneers in their own education. Another program, AVID, is offered in select middle schools and strives to close the opportunity gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. Conexiones is offered to students coming from our Dual Language elementary schools. The IB Middle Years Program offered at Smithfield Middle School, for graders 6 through 8 and at Smithfield-Selma High School, for grades 9-10, serves as a beneficial and effective pathway to IB Diploma and IB Career-related Programs in high school.


    Below you will find a brief description of all the middle school programs offered in Johnston County Public Schools. Prospective students can apply to AVID and the Innovation Academy through an application process. 


    Application Deadlines

    • Applications for AVID and Innovation Academy open in December 1.
    • The deadline for application submission is March 17. 
    • Middle schools offering the AVID elective to students enrolled at the school are Clayton, Cleveland, McGee's Crossroads, Riverwood, Selma, Smithfield and Swift Creek.
    • To access the Innovation Academy application or the AVID program application, follow the links below.



  • AVID

    AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) is a college readiness system designed to increase the number of students who enroll and succeed in higher education and in their lives beyond high school. Moving future leaders toward college success and beyond, AVID’s teaching strategies and curriculum build positive teacher-student relationships to ensure student success schoolwide. In the AVID program, students enroll in advanced courses, receive tutorial support, improve study and organizational skills, gain "college knowledge," visit colleges and explore careers, and strengthen their academic writing skills.

    Admission into any middle school AVID program requires an application and may require an interview. Apply for AVID using this link to the district AVID application. Please visit or virtual space or contact the specific school to learn more.

    JCPS AVID Middle Schools:



International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program

  • The Middle Years Programme (MYP): preparing students to be successful in school and to be active, lifelong learners. The MYP is designed for students aged 11 to 16.

    It provides a framework of learning which encourages students to become creative, critical and reflective thinkers. The MYP emphasizes intellectual challenge, encouraging students to make connections between their studies in traditional subjects and to the real world. It fosters the development of skills in communicationMiddle Years Programme, intercultural understanding and global engagement, qualities that are essential for life in the 21st century.

    The first three years of the MYP will be taught at Smithfield Middle School. Students attending Smithfield-Selma High School will complete the final two years of the MYP in ninth and tenth grades.


    Smithfield Middle Schoolan IB MYP World School

Innovation Academy at South Campus

  • Innovation Academy

    The Innovation Academy at South Campus is The Laboratory School of Johnston County Public Schools. Innovation Academy (IA) is a community of pioneering teacher-leaders, students, and families who approach learning in innovative and personalized ways. IA will host visits for education professionals who are interested in innovating teaching and learning in their own classrooms or schools. We welcome learners of all backgrounds and abilities. We focus our recruitment on first-generation college-potential students from impoverished areas. We strive to match the demographics of the county as a whole. Project-Based Learning allows students to develop knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. Interdisciplinary instruction allows students to learn material in context, supporting mastery of learning objectives. Math and Science and English, Social Studies, and the Arts will be integrated during core instruction. Students engage in personalized pathways built respective of their entry point into mastery of learning standards and are part of the process of determining their progression toward mastery in those standards and their plans for growth.  Relationship-building with the development of a social contract for how we interact is our entry point into behavior management. Restorative philosophy fuels our behavior modification strategies. We believe in feedback and coaching in a safe environment focused on growth. 

    School Contact: Amanda Spoon
    Innovation Academy at South Campus Application

Dual Language/Conexiones I, II, and III

  • In cooperation with Participate Learning, JCPS offers Dual Language Immersion to students in kindergarten through fifth grade at one of three elementary schools: Cooper Academy, Polenta Elementary, and Selma Elementary schools. Middle school DLI students can enroll at Riverwood Middle School from Cooper Academy, Selma Middle School from Selma Elementary School, or Swift Creek Middle School from Polenta Elementary School.

    Adopting the recommended progression of Participate Dual Language programming using Conexiones I, II, and III curriculum in middle school allows students to prepare for rigorous and advanced Spanish acquisition courses in high school. At the completion of 8th grade, DL/I students take the Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages, or AAPPL Spanish proficiency test. With a high school credit for Heritage Spanish and results from the AAPPL assessments, students are placed into the appropriate level of language acquisition courses in high school and earn credits towards graduation.  

     Bilingual Brain