Presentation on theme: "MAY 7, 2010 MEADOWDALE MIDDLE SCHOOL BY CHRISTINE AVERY Raising the Bar and Closing the Gap by DuFour."— Presentation transcript:
MAY 7, 2010 MEADOWDALE MIDDLE SCHOOL BY CHRISTINE AVERY Raising the Bar and Closing the Gap by DuFour
Ultimately there are two kinds of schools: learning-enriched schools and learning-impoverished schools. I’ve yet to see a school where the learning curves of the youngsters are off the chart upward while the learning curves of the adults are off the chart downward, or a school where the learning curves of the adults were steep upward and those of the students were not. Teachers and students go hand in hand as learners – or they don’t go at all. (p. 43)
An Elegantly Simple Strategy Adlai-Sevenson HS strategy for raising the bar is remarkably simple: give more students access to a more rigorous curriculum, and provide them with the additional time and support to succeed in that curriculum. The results provide clear evidence of the effectiveness of that approach. (p.64)
Focusing on the Right Work One of the most common mistakes we have seen educators make as they attempt to implement the PLC concept is to regard collaboration as the end itself, rather than as a means to an end. (p. 33)
What Happens in Our School When a Student Does Not Learn? Marzano (2003) has described three different levels of curriculum. The first is the intended curriculum – what we intend for each student to learn. The second is the implemented curriculum – what is actually taught. The third is the attained curriculum – what students actually learn. (p. 34)
When Time and Support for Learning are Regarded as Constants, Learning Will Always Be the Variable A PLC operates from a very different premise. Each teacher in a PLC begins the unit by advising the students of an essential outcome, an outcome so important, so significant, that every student must achieve it. Learning will be the constant. In this situation, it is imperative that time and support become variables. Some students require more time to learn, and so the school develops strategies to provide those students with additional time during the school day.
Groundwork for Effective Interventions Intervention will have a powerful impact on student achievement when the educators in a school: Acknowledge a collective responsibility to ensure that students learn rather than they are taught Are organized into collaborative teams whose members work inter-dependently to achieve common, results-oriented goals for which members accept mutual accountability Work together collaboratively to establish the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions all students must learn in each unit of instruction Create pacing guides or curriculum maps each teacher will follow to clarify when the essential skills will be taught
Continued… Develop frequent common formative assessments to monitor the learning of each student, and provide teachers with relevant feedback Clarify the common standard of proficiency each student must demonstrate in order to be deemed proficient and/or the agreed-upon criteria the members of the team will use to assess the quality of each student’s work (p.24)
Promoting Prevention The Whittier District operates from the premise that the initial focus of a school must be on a prevention rather than intervention and that the best way to limit the need for intervention is to ensure students receive effective, high-quality instruction in their classrooms each day. The emphasis on using common assessments, so that each teacher can identify the strengths and weaknesses in his or her instruction, and providing teachers time to collaborate to learn from each other were both specifically intended to promote best instructional practice. (p. 146)
Using Assessment to Inform Students and Teachers, Not to Merely Assign Grades Teachers were also asked to review the results of common assessments in their teams and to discuss such questions as the following: What learning targets are in need of improvement? What instructional strategies represent best practice for this skill? What strategies should be altered based upon poor results? Are there issues with the students’ understanding of key vocabulary terms that may have impacted achievement?
Interventions The turning point in the intervention program came when staff recognized they had the power to take control of time during the school day. Teachers acknowledged that students learned at different rates and needed different levels of support. Moving to a modified A/B block schedule was one step in creating that flexibility. (p. 101)
Building Relationships with a Caring Adult All students were assigned to a Guided Study (our Advisory/Extension) which the teachers have developed into one of the most potent weapons in their interventional arsenal. The goals of the program are 1) to ensure every student has a personal and supportive relationship with a caring adult in the building, and 2) to monitor and respond to the needs of each student. (p. 90)
Additional Layers of Support If Guided Study does not resolve the problem, students can also be assigned to the Learning Lab (our Working Lunch). The one-on-one monitoring, mentoring, and support provided by the Learning Lab are particularly effective for students who are unable to stay organized, focused, or motivated to complete work after they leave school. (p. 91)
Privileges Students failing a course should not be assigned to an intervention for a designated period, but should instead know that as soon as they are passing the course, they will have immediate access to a privilege at school. Students should recognize the correlation between meeting their responsibilities as students and receiving the privileges the school is willing to offer. (p. 106)
By Schools to Watch, 2004 High-performing middle schools establish norms, structures, and organizational arrangements to support and sustain their trajectory toward excellence. They have a sense of purpose that drives every facet of practice and decision-making. (p. 87) We are emerging as that middle school---way to go MMS!
Exit Pass 1) Record the attribute of MMS that makes you the most proud? (Examples: PLCs, Preventions, Interventions, Privileges, Learning Culture, Flexible Bell Schedule, etc.) 2) Document the area of our work that should be improved upon. (Examples: Development of Common Formative Assessments, Analysis of Assessment Data, Collaboration of Best Practices in Instruction, Collaboration as a Means to an End, etc.)