From Captain America: Patriot #4
This story is set in 1950. While the middle school concept had been created by then ( the very first middle school in the United States was designated that very year), it would be many years before it caught on throughout the country. At that point, it would have been far more likely that Cap was looking for West Lake Junior High.
The main idea is that young adolescents need to have a different structure than just a smaller version of high school. The main difference is a team structure, which divides the school into smaller units, in order to enable the teachers to get to know the students better.
(in R/L, most of my career has been as principal, helping make the change from junior high structures to middle school ones.)
I'm not sure why there was a switch from "junior high" to "middle school." I mean, yeah, a middle school is the school in the middle but what was wrong with junior high?
I went to a junior high, but my school district was the only one around that had it. The surrounding districts have middle schools. They were actually different schools and had different grades. My junior high was grades 7-9, and the middle schools are 6-8.
The Commander wrote what I was thinking about the change in name. I'm sure that there were good reasons to change the way that junior high teaches students but changing the name just doesn't sound like it was necessary.
A big "thanks" to Bujin, though, for writing about the changes in what students do at that level and for helping teach the kids. That thanks-for-teaching goes to Rich, too, of course.
I would think the changed name will have helped administrators keep track of which schools had been reformed.
Here in Canada, or at least in my home province of Nova Scotia, the term "junior high" is very much still in use. In fact, I can't think of any schools that use the term "middle school" as part of their names.
How do we know that "middle" is not a geographic distinction? West Lake North School, West Lake South School and West Lake Middle. Not unprecedented.