Principal's Page

Welcome to Wilkinson Middle School!

Dear Wilkinson Wildcat Community,


Welcome to our terrific middle school! I’m excited to begin my first full year as a Wildcat, after becoming principal in June 2019. The 2019-20 school year marks my seventh year as an administrator in the Madison District, and my goal is to make this year the very best your Wildcat has enjoyed in the district.

Our Wildcat environment is warm, welcoming, and safe. Our shared goal is to support all learners, build and strengthen foundational skills, challenge students with a rigorous and learner-centered curriculum, build collaborative problem-solving skills, and have fun!

New, this school year, are two new approaches to learning at WMS:

GROWTH MINDSET: First, our teachers and students will be embarking on a new approach towards learning. Together, we will be developing a “Growth Mindset.” Unlike the traditional approach to learning, where the belief is that knowledge and skills are fixed traits that can’t be changed, we believe knowledge and skills can be developed with hard work. In short, we don’t believe in the old school theory of “smart” or “not smart,” and our classrooms will reflect our shared belief that all students can and will learn. At the bottom of this message, I’ve linked a few videos to help explain the research behind a “Growth Mindset,”

FRIDAY RECESS: Second, I’m a firm believer in the need for a school to be fun. If your student has a vast knowledge of the video games they play, is wild about dinosaurs, or has an incredible talent for a hobby, I don’t need to tell you how that spark started. Interest and engagement are paramount towards developing a passion in a subject. Without interest, there can be no learning. Sometimes that pathway towards learning takes a nontraditional route. Therefore, this year, we will be piloting a new Friday program. Beginning in September, every Friday, students will have one period of “recess.” This won’t be your traditional jungle gym/swings run around time. Instead, students will have their choice of dozens of teacher-assisted activities to explore – music lyric writing, painting, computer programming, yoga, gardening, robotics, chess, and dozens of other options. If there’s an activity they’d like to see offered, they can create it.

Our school is made better by the contributions from the community and our ability to have open lines of communication with parents and guardians. I welcome your input and look forward to starting a continued dialogue about your student’s experience at WMS. Please email me anytime at or call at 248-399-0455, ext 3222. I also strongly encourage you to proactively communicate with your student’s teachers throughout the year. Their email address can be found on the “Contact” tab above.

I look forward to meeting with you throughout the year and working with you to move this school forward.


Ben Harwood
Wilkinson Middle School


Developing a Growth Mindset -- information for parents

Mindset Misconceptions (1).pdf

Growth mindset prompts.pdf

Fixed vs. Growth Mindset (1).pdf