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Student Success in the Middle Grades Patti Kinney President, National Middle School Association Principal, Talent Middle School

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Presentation on theme: "Student Success in the Middle Grades Patti Kinney President, National Middle School Association Principal, Talent Middle School"— Presentation transcript:

1 Student Success in the Middle Grades Patti Kinney President, National Middle School Association Principal, Talent Middle School Patti Kinney President, National Middle School Association Principal, Talent Middle School

2 This We Believe A position paper of the National Middle School Association A position paper of the National Middle School Association

3 characteristics characteristics

4 characteristics

5 Successful schools for young adolescents are characterized by a culture that includes  Educators who value working with this age group and are prepared to do so.  Courageous, collaborative leadership.  A shared vision that guides decisions.  An inviting, supportive, and safe environment.  High expectations for every member of the learning community.  Students and teachers engaged in active learning.  An adult advocate for every student.  School-initiated family and community partnerships. Successful schools for young adolescents are characterized by a culture that includes  Educators who value working with this age group and are prepared to do so.  Courageous, collaborative leadership.  A shared vision that guides decisions.  An inviting, supportive, and safe environment.  High expectations for every member of the learning community.  Students and teachers engaged in active learning.  An adult advocate for every student.  School-initiated family and community partnerships.

6 Therefore, successful schools for young adolescents provide  Curriculum that is relevant, challenging, integrative, and exploratory.  Multiple learning and teaching approaches that respond to their diversity.  Assessment and evaluation programs that promote quality learning.  Organizational structures that support meaningful relationships and learning.  School-wide efforts and policies that foster health, wellness, and safety.  Multifaceted guidance and support services. Therefore, successful schools for young adolescents provide  Curriculum that is relevant, challenging, integrative, and exploratory.  Multiple learning and teaching approaches that respond to their diversity.  Assessment and evaluation programs that promote quality learning.  Organizational structures that support meaningful relationships and learning.  School-wide efforts and policies that foster health, wellness, and safety.  Multifaceted guidance and support services.

7 SUCCESSFUL SCHOOLS FOR YOUNG ADOLESCENTS NMSA has identified 14 school practices and cultural characteristics that, when consistently integrated and fully implemented, create successful schools for young adolescents.

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10 Selected Indicators of TWB in Action A clear and shared vision of middle school education, based upon a true understanding of the needs and characteristics of young adolescents, is evident. A plan to develop, implement, and continually assess a school program that creates an effective learning environment for young adolescents is in place and in use. All stakeholders (staff, parents, students, community, district office, school board) are engaged in a process of shared decision making with a goal of continual improvement. The school is staffed with professionals who are fully prepared to work with this unique and important age group. A clear and shared vision of middle school education, based upon a true understanding of the needs and characteristics of young adolescents, is evident. A plan to develop, implement, and continually assess a school program that creates an effective learning environment for young adolescents is in place and in use. All stakeholders (staff, parents, students, community, district office, school board) are engaged in a process of shared decision making with a goal of continual improvement. The school is staffed with professionals who are fully prepared to work with this unique and important age group.

11 Selected Indicators of TWB in Action  Faculty is involved in ongoing, targeted professional development opportunities that are job- embedded and linked to classroom practices.  Faculty has the ability to engage both themselves and their students in active learning.  Productive discussion and debate on practices is welcomed and encouraged.  Faculty members demonstrate a willingness to actively participate in school governance and improvement activities. Administrators are committed to helping build the capacity for leadership in others.  Faculty is involved in ongoing, targeted professional development opportunities that are job- embedded and linked to classroom practices.  Faculty has the ability to engage both themselves and their students in active learning.  Productive discussion and debate on practices is welcomed and encouraged.  Faculty members demonstrate a willingness to actively participate in school governance and improvement activities. Administrators are committed to helping build the capacity for leadership in others.  Teaching teams understand how interdisciplinary teams work and team members are committed to helping their team be as effective as possible.  Common team planning time focuses on teaching and learning geared at academic growth for every student.  Faculty focus on the personalization of learning for every student. “Smaller is better”- schools-within- a-school, houses, teams - should reflect demographic make-up of school.  Faculty use multiple learning and teaching approaches that respond to the diversity of their students.  Teaching teams understand how interdisciplinary teams work and team members are committed to helping their team be as effective as possible.  Common team planning time focuses on teaching and learning geared at academic growth for every student.  Faculty focus on the personalization of learning for every student. “Smaller is better”- schools-within- a-school, houses, teams - should reflect demographic make-up of school.  Faculty use multiple learning and teaching approaches that respond to the diversity of their students.

12 Selected Indicators of TWB in Action Ongoing assessment of student learning is a daily event that uses a mix of assessment methods. Informal checks for understanding Traditional quizzes and tests Interviews, questionnaires, and conferences Performance tasks and projects Authentic in nature -- simulations, debates, exhibitions, position papers, scientific experiments, research projects, portfolios Ongoing assessment of student learning is a daily event that uses a mix of assessment methods. Informal checks for understanding Traditional quizzes and tests Interviews, questionnaires, and conferences Performance tasks and projects Authentic in nature -- simulations, debates, exhibitions, position papers, scientific experiments, research projects, portfolios There are equally high expectations and opportunities for ALL students. There is an active commitment to provide a safe and healthy school environment as part of improving academic performance. School policies and efforts are directed toward fostering the health, wellness, and safety of the students and faculty. There are equally high expectations and opportunities for ALL students. There is an active commitment to provide a safe and healthy school environment as part of improving academic performance. School policies and efforts are directed toward fostering the health, wellness, and safety of the students and faculty.

13 Selected Indicators of TWB in Action  There is a school-wide commitment to engage parents and community members in support of students and the school. The school is well- maintained and feels welcoming to all. Parenting classes Regular Communication - newsletters, websites, random phone calls, evening meetings Opportunities for Volunteering Student-Led Conferences Service Learning Community Service Career Explorations Business Partnerships  There is a school-wide commitment to engage parents and community members in support of students and the school. The school is well- maintained and feels welcoming to all. Parenting classes Regular Communication - newsletters, websites, random phone calls, evening meetings Opportunities for Volunteering Student-Led Conferences Service Learning Community Service Career Explorations Business Partnerships  Guidelines for student behavior are clearly stated, fair, effective, and consistently applied. All staff members assume responsibility for student behavior.  There is respect for ALL, regardless of race, culture, appearance, gender, or religion.  Guidelines for student behavior are clearly stated, fair, effective, and consistently applied. All staff members assume responsibility for student behavior.  There is respect for ALL, regardless of race, culture, appearance, gender, or religion.

14 How Far Have We Come?  Currently, middle level schools with a 6-8 grade configuration comprise 59% of all middle level schools, followed by 7-8 (17%) and 5-8 (10%) grade configurations.  A growing body of research shows that schools implementing recommended practices with “fidelity” show higher academic achievement.  While middle school advocates would like to believe that the middle level philosophy is being fully implemented in all middle schools, reality and research do not bear this out. Despite our best efforts, the fact remains that there are more middle level schools that do not fully implement the middle school concept than those that do.  Many middle level schools chose one or two elements to implement organizationally, such as teaming, but do not address the entire range of elements that work together. Bearing the title “middle school” or enrolling students from grades 5-8 or 6-8 does not necessarily meant that school is fully implementing the middle school concept.  Currently, middle level schools with a 6-8 grade configuration comprise 59% of all middle level schools, followed by 7-8 (17%) and 5-8 (10%) grade configurations.  A growing body of research shows that schools implementing recommended practices with “fidelity” show higher academic achievement.  While middle school advocates would like to believe that the middle level philosophy is being fully implemented in all middle schools, reality and research do not bear this out. Despite our best efforts, the fact remains that there are more middle level schools that do not fully implement the middle school concept than those that do.  Many middle level schools chose one or two elements to implement organizationally, such as teaming, but do not address the entire range of elements that work together. Bearing the title “middle school” or enrolling students from grades 5-8 or 6-8 does not necessarily meant that school is fully implementing the middle school concept.

15 We’re Half-Way Up the Mountain… with the most important and perhaps most difficult part of the climb remaining. If the vision of a high-quality middle grades education for all young adolescents is to become a reality, the depth and breadth of change in schools must increase, and that change must extend to schools serving the highest concentrations of low-performing students.

16 And the Summit Can Be Reached!  For middle schools to be successful, their students must be successful. A growing body of research tells us that successful middle level schools concentrate on assuring that all students learn and achieve at high levels by focusing on academic excellence, responding to the unique needs and interests of young adolescents, and making sure that every student has access to high quality classes and highly qualified and effective teachers.

17 2005 A DVD of "in action" scenarios. These vignettes from eight real schools containing middle grades located throughout the United States demonstrate how some of the key characteristics have been brought to life. Chapters on each of the 14 characteristics described in This We Believe: Successful Schools for Young Adolescents, elaborating on them in ways that help one to understand how schools practicing these characteristics would operate. An update on current efforts in middle level education reform. A thoughtful consideration of lessons learned from 32 years of advocacy. This We Believe in Action

18 DVD: This We Believe in Action introduction credits

19 Success in the Middle: A Policymaker’s Guide to Achieving Quality Middle Level Education May 2006

20 Success in the Middle: A Policymaker’s Guide to Achieving Quality Middle Level Education  Ensure that all middle level students participate in challenging, standards-based curricula and engaging instruction, and that their progress is measured by appropriate assessments, resulting in continual learning and high achievement.  Support the recruitment and hiring of teachers and administrators who have strong content knowledge and the ability to use research-based instructional strategies and assessment practices appropriate for middle level students.  Support organizational structures and a school culture of high expectations that enable both middle level students and educators to succeed.  Develop ongoing family and community partnerships to provide a supportive and enriched learning environment for every middle level student.  Facilitate the generation, dissemination, and application of research needed to identify and implement effective practices leading to continual student learning and high academic achievement at the middle level.  Ensure that all middle level students participate in challenging, standards-based curricula and engaging instruction, and that their progress is measured by appropriate assessments, resulting in continual learning and high achievement.  Support the recruitment and hiring of teachers and administrators who have strong content knowledge and the ability to use research-based instructional strategies and assessment practices appropriate for middle level students.  Support organizational structures and a school culture of high expectations that enable both middle level students and educators to succeed.  Develop ongoing family and community partnerships to provide a supportive and enriched learning environment for every middle level student.  Facilitate the generation, dissemination, and application of research needed to identify and implement effective practices leading to continual student learning and high academic achievement at the middle level.

21 This presentation tool is a free resource appropriate for advocacy work with school boards, parent/family groups, school staff, and community members. The presentation is a 17-minute overview of the characteristics of young adolescents, the national recommendations for their education, and current research on middle level education. Fundamentals for Student Success in the Middle Grades can be viewed in its entirety, or in segments. presentation

22 Fundamentals for Student Success in the Middle Grades  Who are young adolescents?  What should schools do to provide quality education?  Do recommended practices improve student achievement?  Who are young adolescents?  What should schools do to provide quality education?  Do recommended practices improve student achievement?

23 Breaking Ranks in the Middle 9 Cornerstone Strategies 30 BRiM Recommendations 2006: National Association of Secondary School Principals

24 Cornerstone Strategies  Establish the academically rigorous essential learnings that a student is required to master in order to successfully make the transition to high school and align the curriculum and teaching strategies to realize that goal.  Create dynamic teacher teams that are afforded common planning time to help organize and improve the quality and quantity of interactions between teachers and students.  Provide structured planning time for teachers to align the curriculum across grades and schools and to map efforts that address the academic, developmental, social, and personal needs of students, especially at critical transition periods (e.g., elementary to middle grades, middle grades to high school).  Establish the academically rigorous essential learnings that a student is required to master in order to successfully make the transition to high school and align the curriculum and teaching strategies to realize that goal.  Create dynamic teacher teams that are afforded common planning time to help organize and improve the quality and quantity of interactions between teachers and students.  Provide structured planning time for teachers to align the curriculum across grades and schools and to map efforts that address the academic, developmental, social, and personal needs of students, especially at critical transition periods (e.g., elementary to middle grades, middle grades to high school).

25 Cornerstone Strategies  Implement a comprehensive advisory or other program that ensures that each student has frequent and meaningful opportunities to meet with an adult to plan and assess the student ユ s academic, personal, and social development.  Ensure that teachers assess the individual learning needs of students and tailor instructional strategies and multiple assessments accordingly.  Entrust teachers with the responsibility of implementing schedules that are flexible enough to accommodate teaching strategies consistent with the ways students learn most effectively and that allow for effective teacher teaming, common planning time, and other lesson planning.  Implement a comprehensive advisory or other program that ensures that each student has frequent and meaningful opportunities to meet with an adult to plan and assess the student ユ s academic, personal, and social development.  Ensure that teachers assess the individual learning needs of students and tailor instructional strategies and multiple assessments accordingly.  Entrust teachers with the responsibility of implementing schedules that are flexible enough to accommodate teaching strategies consistent with the ways students learn most effectively and that allow for effective teacher teaming, common planning time, and other lesson planning.

26 Cornerstone Strategies  Institute structural leadership systems that allow for substantive involvement in decision making by students, teachers, family members, and the community, and that support effective communication among these groups.  Align all programs and structures so that all social, economic, and racial/ethnic groups have open and equal access to challenging activities and learning.  Align the school wide comprehensive, ongoing professional development program and the Personal Learning Plans (PLPs) of staff members with the requisite knowledge of content, instructional strategies, and student developmental factors.  Institute structural leadership systems that allow for substantive involvement in decision making by students, teachers, family members, and the community, and that support effective communication among these groups.  Align all programs and structures so that all social, economic, and racial/ethnic groups have open and equal access to challenging activities and learning.  Align the school wide comprehensive, ongoing professional development program and the Personal Learning Plans (PLPs) of staff members with the requisite knowledge of content, instructional strategies, and student developmental factors.

27 BRiM Recommendation Clusters  Collaborative Leadership and Professional Learning Communities  Personalization and the School Environment  Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment  Collaborative Leadership and Professional Learning Communities  Personalization and the School Environment  Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment


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