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School Improvement: The Middle School Dilemma A Presentation to Arlington Public Schools’ Middle School Design Team June 23 rd, 2008 Dr. Michaelene Meyer,

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Presentation on theme: "School Improvement: The Middle School Dilemma A Presentation to Arlington Public Schools’ Middle School Design Team June 23 rd, 2008 Dr. Michaelene Meyer,"— Presentation transcript:

1 School Improvement: The Middle School Dilemma A Presentation to Arlington Public Schools’ Middle School Design Team June 23 rd, 2008 Dr. Michaelene Meyer, Mrs. Melissa Saunders

2 A School Improvement Framework... What do we believe about school improvement? What role does Central Office play in guiding the process? What builds accountability at the school- site level? How do we engage the ultimate stakeholders?

3 Asking the RIGHT Questions: What do we believe about school improvement? The Language of School Improvement: Program versus models/strategies/interventions Testing versus assessment Remediation versus acceleration

4 Asking the RIGHT Questions: What do we believe about school improvement? What are the factors that support school improvement? What are the most effective results-driven models/interventions that lead to accelerated learning for all students? How do we optimize teachers’ use of instructional time?

5 Asking the RIGHT Questions: What do we believe about school improvement? Central Office School Student Curriculum Scope/Sequence Resources Assessment Diagnostic Formative Summative Instruction Scheduling Instructional Practice Professional Development Engagement Learned Intelligence Background Knowledge Motivation

6 Continuous Improvement... PLAN DOSTUDY ACT Plan a change aimed at improvement: 1)gather baseline data 2)establish a clear measurable goal 3) develop a strategy or approach Carry the plan out on a small scale Study the results: compare new data to baseline data Adjust strategy or, if it worked, implement it widely

7 7-Step Problem-Solving Method... Step 1 Identify and define the problem Step 2 Analyze the problem Determine root cause and measure gap Step 3 Establish goals for improvement Step 4 Study and decide on solutions Step 5 Plan for implementation Step 6 Implement on a small scale: Test and adjust Step 7 Monitor and continuously improve

8 7-Step Problem-Solving Method Step 3. Establish Specific Goals SMART Goals: S = specific + strategic M= measurable A = attainable (80% chance) R = results-oriented T = timebound

9 7-Step Problem-Solving Method Step 3. Establish Specific Goals Process Goals Means Inputs Capacity improvements System interventions Improvement activities Function Results-Oriented Goals Ends Outputs Productivity Outcomes Improvement targets Purpose

10 Continuous Improvement is about Action Research... Focus is on a school issue, problem or area of collective interest. Support comes from a school commitment and leadership, as well as from external agencies or groups. Audience is the entire school community. Great potential for the research to impact student achievement.

11 What are the factors that support school improvement? Robert Marzano What Works in Schools: Translating Research into Action (2003) “... if we follow the guidance offered from 35 years of research, we can enter an era of unprecedented effectiveness for the public practice of education...”

12 What Works in Schools? Factors Affecting Student Achievement School Factors –Guaranteed and viable curriculum –Challenging goals and effective feedback –Parent and community involvement –Safe and orderly environment –Collegiality and professionalism

13 What Works in Schools? Factors Affecting Student Achievement Teacher Factors –Instructional strategies –Classroom management –Classroom curriculum design Student Factors –Home atmosphere –Learned intelligence and background knowledge –Motivation

14 School Factor: Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum Ranked as the first factor – has the most impact on student achievement. Is a combination of “opportunity to learn” and “time.” Both have strong correlations with academic achievement, yet they are so interdependent that they constitute one factor.

15 What Works in Schools? School Factors FactorAvg. ESPercentile Gain Opportunity To Learn (1).8831 Time (1).3915 Monitoring (2)3012 Pressure to achieve (2).2711 Parental involvement (3).2610 School climate (4).228 Leadership (5).104 Cooperation (5).062

16 School Factor: Opportunity to Learn Extent to which the curriculum is “guaranteed” Clear guidance about content to be addressed in specific courses and at specific grade levels (Intended Curriculum) Unconditional delivery of this curricula by individual teachers (Implemented Curriculum) Consistent monitoring of implementation and attention to achievement data by leadership (Attained Curriculum)

17 School Factor: Instructional Time Relationship between time and achievement: Total number of days/hours students are required to attend school (Allocated Time) The part of the day when students are participating in learning activities (Engaged Time) The part of engaged time when students are actually learning (Academic Learning Time)

18 And... The Best Practices are... Dr. Michael Rettig

19 Why Parallel Block Scheduling??? To focus resources to achieve the goal of having all children reading on grade level by the end of 3 rd grade. To improve services for special needs children. To reduce class size during critical instructional times (reading and math). To take advantage of teacher strengths. To ensure equity in the allocation of instructional time.

20 Research on the Probability of Third Grade Students Graduating from High School McPartland and Slavin, 1990, p.7. Reading one year below grade level and have been retained Low SES background and attend school with many other poor children Near Zero

21 Baldwin Elementary School Dr. Ashley Cramp, Principal

22 Why Are We Examining Scheduling and the Reorganization of Instructional Time at Baldwin? SOL Trend Data relatively stagnant in pass % (mid 70’s to low 80’s) Fall Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) Assessment 60% 3 rd grade below grade level in Reading, Language, Math 40% of 4 th grade below grade level in Reading, Language, Math Mid-year MAP Assessment Students are on-track for a ‘year worth of growth’ but still need stronger results from our instructional model 26 3 rd graders and 30 4 th graders working beyond mid-year benchmarks (these numbers include but are not exclusive of our GT students)

23 Why Are We Examining Scheduling and the Reorganization of Instructional Time at Baldwin? PALS Fall scores from 2006 indicate an increase in the need for PALS remediation, especially in Kindergarten Fall Math Assessments Indicate our students K-4 are struggling with acquisition of some specific core concepts and skills

24 Collaborative Review, Research, and Recommendation Process Volunteer Team of Professionals from Each Content Area Ashley Hitner-Kindergarten Chris Short-Music (fine arts) Jeff Osborne 1 st (primary) Allison Swanson ESOL Laura Confroy 4 th (upper) Nancy Emanuel-Special Education Jennifer Thompson-Resource Betty Garry- Assistant Principal Leslie Fravel-Resource Defined Team Goal To examine instructional time in all 4 subjects to allow teachers and staff to accelerate learning for all levels, provide more small group time, delve deeper into the curriculum, engage in critical, higher level thinking, and most effectively utilize personnel other than classroom teachers (PALS, ESOL, SPED, Resource, etc.)

25 Collaborative Review, Research, and Recommendation Process Review, Research, and Development Sessions November 7, 2006 – Dr. Mike Rettig – Principal Meeting November-December – Sharing of concept/initial discussions with Assistant Principal & other leaders January 11, 2007 – All staff attended a general information session on parallel block with Dr. Rettig January, 2007 – Two teacher leaders visited Cougar Elementary to tour, observe classrooms, talk with administration, gather more information February 9, 2007 – Leadership team listed above (including Dr. Cramp) visited Cougar Elementary to tour, observe classrooms, talk with administration, gather more information February 12, 2007 – All staff participated in staff development on parallel block February 20, 2007 – Faculty meeting with further discussion about all thoughts and ideas from Feb 12 February 22, 2007 – Dr. Rettig works with leadership team to create Baldwin’s schedule March 5-9, 2007 – ALL staff visits Cougar for ½ day to observe, speak with staff, ask questions, etc. March 12-16, 1007 – Dr. Cramp meets with all grade levels and groups of staff to review the proposed schedule, answer questions, etc March 20, 2007 – Staff vote on moving forward with the parallel block schedule- 100% of instructional staff in favor

26 Elementary Student Instructional Day Based on 45 minute blocks and each class broken into 2 groups DAILY: K-2 have one block of Science/SS and one block of Extension and 3-4 have one block of Science and one block of Social Studies Encore is our new term for specials (Art, Music, PE, etc.) Social Studies and Science and Extension are classes with different teachers 8:45 - 9:20 9: :05 10: :50 10: :35 11: :20 12:20 - 1:05 1:05 - 1:50 1:50 - 2:35 2:35 - 3:20 3:20 - 3:30 Core Class for DEAR; Calendar Time; DOL (whole group) Whole Group Lang. Arts w/ Core Teacher Small Group Lang. Arts w/ Core Teacher Extension (K-2) Science (3-4) Recess and Lunch w/ Core Teacher Small Group Math w/ Core Teacher Whole Group Math w/ Core Teacher Science & SS (K- 2) Social Studies (3-4) Encore Core Class for pack-up and dismissal

27 Instructional Opportunities and Benefits Increased instructional time in Language Arts and Mathematics; a portion of this increased time is small group Allows teachers to specialize in Language Arts and Math OR Social Studies and Science Children are exposed to a wider variety of personnel and teaching styles Allows for movement throughout the day Eases transition from Elementary to Mayfield PALS remediation K-2 occurs during extension time; no longer pulled from core classes Maintains common planning time for data assessment, curriculum discussions, etc. Allows for acceleration of all levels of students (below grade level, on grade level, and above grade level including Gifted & Talented)

28 Instructional Opportunities and Benefits Increases frequency of PE from 1x every 5 days to 2 x every 6 days Guidance becomes part of the Encore rotation to ensure continuity of lessons Resource and specialized instructional personnel are available for push- in to make small groups even smaller for direct, explicit instruction Opportunities for hands-on learning each day through the center-based extension rooms (K-2) 3 rd and 4 th receive 45 minutes of Science and 45 minutes of Social Studies DAILY Children work with their core classroom of students but are also with students from other classes throughout the day in Extension, Social Studies/Science, and Encore (specials)

29 And... The Best Practices are... Dr. Michael Rettig

30 30 8 Guiding Questions Which Help Us Revisit the Mission and Goals of Middle Schools 1.What is an appropriate number of students a middle school teacher should see each day/term/year? Is there a relationship between how a teacher works with students and the number of students assigned to a teacher? 2.What is the appropriate number of teachers for middle school students to see each day/term/year? Is there a relationship between student behavior and "sense of belonging" and the number of teachers a student is assigned during a day/term/year?

31 31 8 Guiding Questions Which Help Us Revisit the Mission and Goals of Middle Schools. 3.What is the appropriate time balance between core and encore subjects? What factors should be considered in determining this balance? 4.What is the appropriate number of subjects for students to be enrolled during any one day/term/year? Is there a relationship between the number of classes for which students are responsible and their success in those classes? 5.How should exploratory classes be scheduled in relation to other subjects?

32 32 Key Question 3: a. What percentage of a student’s day should be spent in the following basic subjects: English (including reading), mathematics, science, and social studies? b. How should the total time allocated to ELA, math, science and social studies be divided among these subjects? c. How should the time allocated to encore classes be divided among the various possibilities?

33 6.While many middle school schedules on paper show the possibility of flexibly combining single periods into longer instructional blocks, in practice, we find classes typically are taught in single periods; hence, does the middle school experience become even more fragmented for both students and teachers? Does such practice create stress and make it difficult for teachers to implement some of the more productive teaching strategies? 8 Guiding Questions Which Help Us Revisit the Mission and Goals of Middle Schools.

34 7.With the growing diversity of school populations, do we need to plan schedules which permit extended learning time for those students who need additional time to meet course expectations? 8.Should a middle school schedule be compatible with elementary and high school schedules in the feeder pattern? 8 Guiding Questions Which Help Us Revisit the Mission and Goals of Middle Schools.

35 Mayfield Intermediate School Mr. Jeff Abt Principal

36 Why Are We Examining Scheduling and the Reorganization of Instructional Time at Mayfield? Mathematics scores over the past several years Review staff teams and discuss best model for our students Need to incorporate daily recess for both grade levels Need to serve fewer students during lunch shifts Work out general concerns as a first-year school

37 Collaborative Review, Research, and Recommendation Process Volunteer Team of Professionals from each Content Area: Math ~ Joan Masterson, Tracy Volz Special Education ~ Sheri Langford Language Arts ~ Susan Demeria, Debbie Aines ESOL ~ Tim Everett Science ~ Luke Krizmanich, Cyndy Mattia Physical Education ~ Linda Pinasco Social Studies ~ Jan Melander, Traci Whiting Administration ~ Jeff Abt Fine Arts ~ Brian Tressler Guidance ~ Heather Fitz-Randolph, Lillian Hickman Defined Team Goal Increase instructional time in math to allow students and teachers to have necessary time to teach and learn what is necessary for math success for all students.

38 Collaborative Review, Research, and Recommendation Process Review, Research, and Development Sessions November 7, 2006 – Dr. Mike Rettig – Principal Meeting November 28, 2006 – Dr. Rettig –Team Meeting from 8:00 – 12:00 December 7, 2006 – Joint Meeting with Dr. Pope and Mrs. Saunders December, January, 2007 – Weekly Team Meeting to Discuss Schedule January 12, 2007 – All-Day Team Meeting with Dr. Mike Rettig February 12, 2007 – Professional Development Day – “Teaching in the Block” with Dr. Mike Rettig April 20, 2007 – Review of Instructional Model with Dr. Mike Rettig

39 Mayfield Intermediate School Student Instructional Day Two- or Three-Person Instructional Teams Block I85 – 90 MinutesLanguage Arts Block II85 – 90 MinutesMath Lunch/Recess45 MinutesLunch/Recess Block III45 MinutesScience Block IV45 MinutesSocial Studies Block V2/45 MinutesEncore Note: Encores for Grade 6 – AM Encores for Grade 5 - PM

40 ENCORE ROTATION GRADE 5 Day 1 PE Day 2 Music – Choice of General Music, Chorus, Band or Orchestra Semester 1 Introduction to Computer Technology Semester 2 Art Semester 1 Health Semester 2 Introduction to Spanish/ French Or Reading Acceleration EXAMPLE:

41 ENCORE ROTATION GRADE 6 Day 1Day 2 PE Semester 1 Technology Tools for a Digital World Semester 2 Health Choice of: One Full Year Course - Band, Chorus, Orchestra OR Two Semester Courses: Exploratory Spanish/French, Art, Reading or Reading Acceleration

42 TOTAL INSTRUCTIONAL DAYS IN ENCORES GRADE 5GRADE 6 Physical Education – 90 Music (Student Choice) – 90 Introduction to Technology – 45 Health – 45 Art – 45 Introduction to Spanish/French - 45 Physical Education – 90 Music (Student Choice) – 180 Technology Tools for a Digital World – 45 Health – 45 OR Physical Education - 90 Technology Tools for a Digital World – 45 Health – 45 AND Choice of 2 Electives (Art, Exploratory Spanish/French, Reading or Reading Acceleration)

43 Instructional Opportunities and Benefits Instructional day of core instruction increases from 230 minutes to 270 minutes. Increases mathematics instructional time from 46 minutes to minutes. Maintains daily common planning time among teacher teams. Allows for daily recess to be incorporated into lunch block. Allows for four lunch shifts – one for each specifically designated area of the building Provides for a smooth transition to Metz Middle School for our grade 6 students

44 Mrs. Melissa Saunders Principal Grace E. Metz Middle School

45 Why Are We Examining Scheduling and the Reorganization of Instructional Time at Metz Middle School? Accreditation with Warning Status for Mathematics Recommendation from the State Academic Review Team- “ Use of Instructional Time and School Scheduling Practices” 3 Year School Improvement Plan Action Item Winter Measure of Academic Progress Assessment (MAP) *95 7 th Grade Students identified “Algebra ready” *60 8 th Grade Students identified “Geometry ready” *46% of students in 7 th and 8 th grade are below grade level in Math, Reading and Language

46 Collaborative Review, Research and Recommendation Process Volunteer Team of professionals from each content area: Emily Thornton-MathKelly Grebinosky- English Lisa McKinney- ScienceMelissa Neal-Social Studies Darlene Dawson- Related ArtsJeff Horton- Health/PE, Jane Trivette- Special EducationMary Jane Boynton- ESOL Patti Shaw- Instructional TechnologyMaxine Griggs-Guidance Melissa Saunders-Administration Defined Team Goal: Increase instructional time in Math and Language Arts to go more deeply into the curriculum, explore concepts, engage in higher order thinking and accelerate student learning.

47 Collaborative Review, Research and Recommendation Process Review, Research and Development Sessions November 7, Dr. Mike Rettig- Principal Meeting November 28, Dr. Mike Rettig- Team Meeting December-January Weekly Team Meetings, Department Meetings-Weekly staff updates January 11, Dr. Mike Rettig- Team Meeting February 12, Dr. Mike Rettig – “ Teaching in the Block” PD Day

48 Middle School Student Instructional Day Block I (90 Min)Language Arts Block II ( 90 Min)Math Lunch Block III ( 90 Min)Science/SS Block IV ( 2/55 Min Periods) Encore

49 Encore Rotations: 3 Choices in Two Periods A Day Navy B Day Silver C Day White Period 1 Class 1 PE Class 3 Band Class 2 French Period 2 Class 2 French Class 1 PE Class 3 Band

50 Instructional Opportunities and Benefits 64% of the student day dedicated to core instruction- 18% increase ( 270 minutes vs. 196 minutes) Increased instructional time in Language Arts and Mathematics provides for use of research-based practices to improve instruction ( Marzano’s nine instructional strategies and research on structures for vocabulary acquisition- identified in Virginia Department of Education Task Force Meeting on Middle School Mathematics Performance, December 19, 2006) Allows for acceleration of all levels of students (below grade level, on grade level, and above grade level including Gifted & Talented) Accelerated math program Algebra I offered to algebra ready students in 7 th Grade- Geometry offered to select students in 8 th Grade

51 Instructional Opportunities and Benefits Two year in-depth Foreign Language program Addition of beginning Band/Orchestra classes and additional encore opportunities in other content areas Maintains common team planning time for data review- allows for job-embedded professional development opportunities Provides smooth transition to OHS block

52 Implementation Year 1: Opportunities 300+ student in Algebra 7 th Grade Foreign Language I Reduction in Hallway Behaviors Additional Encore Ideas ( guitar, school store, broadcast, beginning band/orchestra) Challenges Team size ( 6 person too large for “teaming”) Special education conflicts/balancing class sizes

53 It must be about students and learning, not about me!

54 Daily Time Allocation Baldwin Grades K- 2 Baldwin Grades 3- 4 Mayfield Grades 5- 6 Metz Grades 7- 8 LA and Reading 135 mins90 mins Mathematics 90 mins SS/SC 45 mins90 mins Lunch and/or Recess 45 mins 30 mins Encore 45 mins 90 mins110 mins

55 How do we optimize teachers’ use of instructional time? “The crucial issue seems to be how the time is used, with quality of instruction being the key.” (McREL)

56 What Works in Schools “Schools can have a tremendous impact on student achievement if they follow the direction provided by research.” (Marzano, 2003) It is the goal of MCPS Department of Curriculum and Instruction to do just that: Use research to guide our decisions Implement, monitor and audit our practices to ensure that we are indeed improving achievement levels of all students

57 Question/Answer Time Question time... Thank you....


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