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“Making Middle Grades Work” May 8 & 9, 2008

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  1. This presentation will probably involve audience discussion, which will create action items. Use PowerPoint to keep track of these action items during your presentation • In Slide Show, click on the right mouse button • Select “Meeting Minder” • Select the “Action Items” tab • Type in action items as they come up • Click OK to dismiss this box • This will automatically create an Action Item slide at the end of your presentation with your points entered. “Making Middle Grades Work”May 8 & 9, 2008 Bay Minette Middle School 1311 W. 13th St. Bay Minette, AL 36507 Tammie O. Fleming, Principal Sally Heineke, Curriculum Coach Robin Rhodes, STC Kathy Wright, Media Specialist Christine Waters, Counselor

  2. BMMS VisionWe at BMMS envision a continuing school environment where… • …all stakeholders communicate and collaborate to meet the educational, social, and emotional needs of all students. • …all stakeholders’ involvement is welcome. • …students develop a strong sense of ownership and responsibility for their own education. • …high expectations are embraced for/by all students regardless of learning styles and/or ability levels. • …technology is an integrated part of the educational process. • …students develop attitudes that contribute to becoming lifelong learners.

  3. At BMMS we believe…. • …Students are unique in their needs, thought processes, & learning styles. • …To experience maximum success in personal, social, and academic areas, students should attend school every day when possible. • …Parental support and involvement is necessary for optimum success. • …All students can learn and achieve if given opportunity. • …Relevancy is best demonstrated with teaming/integrated curriculum. • …Students deserve a socially, emotionally, and physically safe environment. • …Consistent discipline & character create a responsible citizenry. • …After given equal opportunities, each student is responsible for his/her own successes. • …In order to effectively function in a global society, all areas of intelligence must be nurtured: academic, physical, technological, social & artistic.

  4. Background Information • BMMS was formerly Douglasville High School built in the ’50’s before integration. • Received SACS accreditation 1980. • Became administratively separate from the high school in ’86-’87. • 1987-88 approx. 250 students were redistricted to newly built Pine Grove K-8. • BMMS moved to Blackburn Avenue January 1992 when new high school opened. • January 2006 BMMS moved to its current location and sixth grade returned to the intermediate schools.

  5. 8th Grade Eagles Superstars AL Course of Study in Math, Algebra, Literature, English Social Studies, Science Gifted RiverDeep Lab Plugged IntoReading ECI Elective Exploratory 7th Grade Tiger Pride Dream Team AL Course of Study in Math, Advanced math Literature, English, Social Studies, Science Gifted RiverDeep Lab Plugged Into Reading ECI Elective Exploratory BMMS Teaming

  6. Athletics • Football • Girls’ and Boys’ Basketball • Volleyball • Girls’ and Boys’ Track • Girls track placed lst in county division. • Boys track placed lst in county division • Co-Ed Cross Country • Girls’ and Boys’ Soccer • Girls’ Soccer placed 3rd in county division.

  7. Visual Arts Culinary Multimedia—2nd & 3rd place Southwest AL Technology Fair Jazz & Concert Band Band—47 Superior medals at Solo/Ensemble this past weekend TV Production Public Relations Book Club Yearbook Christian Club Chorus Honor Choir Newspaper Advanced History Drama Athletic PE Cheerleading Teen Challenges Educational Technology Computer Art Student Middle School Association TSA Scholar’s Bowl Music Appreciation Guitar Clubs/Organizations

  8. Promising Practice #1—Indicators of High Expectations • Average Student Attendance is 96.3%. Counselors call absentees daily and keep a computer log of excused/unexcused absences. Truancy officer meets weekly with guidance clerk/counselors, students & principal. • Decrease in suspension/expulsion rates due to: • PBS (Tiger Tokens) • School Resource Officer • Morning announcements • Anti-bullying program • New facility • Fewer students • In-servicing teachers on expectations; • Increased supervision of students • Traffic flow patterns • Increase in student morale through display of student work in hallways; • The same expectations are communicated to all students through the classroom, website, newspaper, etc. • Teachers post daily objectives on the chalkboard, STI Home, Power Point displays on TV’s; beginning-of-the-year walk-through’s. • Students with disabilities and limited English proficiency are held to the same high standards as other students within the limits of IEP’s. All IEP’s are standards-driven; disabled students, where able, attend inclusion classes. • Counselors/teachers/administrators encourage students to work harder: • The Wall, a review of previous SAT10/ARMT scores (whole group counselor/curriculum coach advising) • The Wall, small group focus student advising on previous scores

  9. Promising Practice #2—Upgraded Academic Core • 100 % of students successfully complete Algebra I for a carnage unit; over 90% of 8th grade students successfully complete pre-Algebra. • Students take an upgraded academic core. Eighth grade math, science, and reading curriculum is on the proficient level according to MMGW Performance Descriptors (Appendix I). • The school has documented efforts to eliminate low-level classes, connect academic/exploratory/career classes, raise the level of content and improve the standards to which the content is taught through: • eliminating Plugged-Into-Reading (based on taped books). Next year all students will take the core standards based literature classes. • teaching focus standards across the curriculum—non-fiction comprehension (reading) and data analysis (math). • Students complete a research paper written to standards that indicate readiness for college-prep English in high school. • 7th grade requires research paper. • Students design, conduct, analyze, and describe a science investigation in writing and orally. • One teacher in each grade level is AMSTI trained. • All 8th grade/half of the 7th grade participates in AMSTI labs. • School leaders and teachers analyze data, student scores, and test items over time to develop a clear understanding of what students must know and be able to do to successfully complete college-prep coursework in high school. • During co-labs teachers analyzed ARMT/SAT10 data including student scores and test items to set goals for CIP and determine if previous year’s goals were met.

  10. Promising Practice #3—Student Engagement • Students apply and content to real problems they would encounter in their lives. • Character education across the curriculum; • 7th grade English persuasive writing; • 7th grade social studies juvenile delinquency; • 7th/8th grade math include word/application problems; • 7th/8th grade nonfiction focus standard fact/opinion applied to editorials. • Students have multiple opportunities to apply newly applied skills and understandings to solve similar problems. • Reading and writing skills applied across the curriculum; • Scientific method and procedures are applied repeatedly; • Art elements are noticed and analyzed in differing works of art; • Math concepts and skills are revisited through daily warm-ups and reviews. • Teachers hold all students responsible for participating in class discussions through the use of tally sheets and equity cards. • Students are required to do research, interpret, and analyze information. • Teachers and media specialist work with students on research. • Students work in groups, pairs and individually to brainstorm strategies, come to conclusions and complete assignments: • Kagan Strategies • Say Something • Think Pair Share • Cooperative Learning strategies • Teachers use a variety of instructional methods to teach content and address different learning needs within the class period. • AMSTI-trained science teachers included lab experiments; • Cooperative Learning

  11. Student Engagement cont’d • Teachers use open-ended problems for which there is no immediate solution: • In all subjects except 7th grade English. • Instruction/practice with open response questions were implemented across the curriculum in conjunction with our “Always Attempt” plan. • Teachers require students to use word processing to complete assignments. • Students use the library computers, computer labs, IBooks, and classroom student computers to word process assignments. • Teachers use authentic assessment strategies such as open-response questions, performance events and projects. • Students use technology, including computers, to complete assignments, integrated projects, and demonstrations. • Students use the library computers, computer labs, IBooks, and classroom student computers to word process assignments. • Students make presentations in math, social studies, science, related arts, English and literature. • Students evaluate their own work. • Peer editing of writings; • Art group critiques; • Self-evaluation in various classes. • Teachers use reading and writing strategies across the curriculum. • Focus non-fiction standards were broken down and specific components taught across the curriculum November-March. • Brainstorming and Four-Square writing strategies across the curriculum.

  12. Promising Practice #4—Guidance • Guidance Curriculum and Training Support • State/county provide academic, social, and emotional guidance curriculum guidelines with support to train counselors and develop those programs: • Welcome Back In-service/Yearly orientation program • Fall In-service • Winter In-service • Spring In-service • Academic Handbook In-service for rising 8th-12th counselors • Testing In-service on ARMT/SAT10/ADAW • Trainings on counselor programs such as TestTrax and Career Cruising • Ethics for Counselors • Referral Procedures • Procedures/guidelines for sensitive issues • Operational Procedures • Community Service Guide • Alabama Counseling Association • Counselor Handbook/Resources • Prevention Programs • Violence, drugs, alcohol, tobacco • Red Ribbon Week

  13. Guidance cont’d • The school board and administrators support a guidance and advisement program that focuses on setting educational goals and how to meet them. • County-wide Parent University to educate parents on some of the more pressing issues confronting our students in the 21st century. • Individual school booths. • Break-out sessions of interest to parents of elementary, middle and high school, including Homework Assistance, Thinking About College, Transition, & At-risk Behaviors. • Responsive Services. • Middle grades leaders and faculty coordinate with the high school to address the critical transition to the high school. Students and parents are aware of high school graduation requirements and the knowledge and skills needed (and courses successfully completed) for entry-level jobs or post-secondary education. • Course Selection for Rising 9th Graders (Whole group advisement through the classrooms); • 9th Grade Academic Guide Advisement (Whole Group advisement through the classrooms); • High School Tours for rising 9th Graders during the school day; • Parent Program (night-time) for rising 9th graders in conjunction with BCHS (see slides at left);

  14. Guidance cont’d The School has a network of community agencies and youth service organizations that assist the school in addressing student needs. • Fox 10 15-sec advertisement on dangers of drug use (BCMH) • United Way student project in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week • Drug Council (Mobile) provides Red Ribbon Week supplies • Barbizon Lecture Series of Motivational Speakers • ALCAP 8th Grade Classrooms (Drugs/Abstinence) • Lighthouse domestic abuse • Family Service Center Program (Catholic Social Services) • KlasKids Foundation Pensacola for Missing Children (Internet Safety) • Rachael’s Challenge/Teen Impact Magazine (Submitted student work) • Care House for sexual assault • BCMH Life Skills Program and Drug Bus • SOAR (alternate placement through BCMH) • Alabama Psychiatric Services • Bay Point Hospital (Mobile) • Pavilion (Pensacola) • Independent county therapists • Bay Minette Police Department (Resource Officer) • G.R.E.A.T. Program through the Bay Minette Police Department • Barbizon Lecture Series • Upward Bound (Faulkner Community College) • Outward Bound (FINS) • DYS (Wilderness Center) • North Baldwin Wellness Center • DHR • Mutual Aide Benevolent Association for needy children/families • BCBOE Homeless Program

  15. Promising Practices #5—System & School Leaders’ Support • County website maintained for communicating expectations to students, teachers, parents and community. • The School Mission/Vision statement is concrete/measurable, understandable by stakeholders and supports student achievement. • Teachers worked with Curriculum coach to analyze the ARMT/SAT data and to design goals to address standards where scores were weakest (SACS). • Staff development (STC coach & Curriculum coach) has changed teaching practices and resulted in higher student achievement. • Teachers are provided time and support in daily embedded co-lab meetings to develop content and performance standards and to examine student work. • School and district leaders have made it possible through an 8 period day for co-lab times and have provided both a curriculum/reading coach and a technology coach to provide embedded staff development, follow up and feedback. • 94% of BMMS teachers are Highly Qualified Teachers. • Curriculum coach’s embedded professional development during co-labs for this school year was based on 2007 ARMT and SAT data identifying areas of need. • School leaders attend conferences and workshops with the faculty (AMSTI/Character Ed). • Teachers work in 7th and 8th grade teams with a regular PP and co-lab times during each day. • Teacher teams include academic core teachers & special education teachers with representatives from the fine and visual arts available as needed. • During data meetings held monthly during co-lab times teachers examine results of common assessments and discuss student progress as well as during weekly team meetings and monthly departmental meetings. • All teachers were involved in school improvement through classroom activities/committees including BBSST, CIP, & SACS. • The faculty uses multiple data sources (SAT10, ARMT, common assessments, attendance data, discipline data, library circulation, AR and STAR data, diagnostic reading tests) to determine needed change and evaluate the school’s progress.

  16. PromisingPractices #6—Transition & Upgraded Core Curriculum Gearing-Up for High School Programs • Free Incentive (FOCI) program for 9th-12th graders to take a subject they have not failed to accelerate their high school experience; • Incoming 6th to7th grade student reading/math assessment; • Plugged Into Reading for targeted 7th and 8th graders; • Algebra I in 8th grade for a Carnage unit in high school; • Gifted Education Program for 7th and 8th graders; • Duke Talent Identification Program for 7th graders that begins to prepare qualifying students for college; • After-School Program (pay by day/month) that includes tutoring/enrichment; • Double-doses of Math (RiverDeep Lab) for those Level I & II on ARMT; • Resource Room & TASC for ECI student assistance; • Upward Bound First Generation College Program is presented to rising 9th graders and continues until graduation for those interested in advanced studies to prepare for college. High-level exploratory classes: • Yearbook, Technology, TV Production, Multimedia, Culinary, Visual Arts, Drama, Advanced History, Book Club, Band (Jazz/Concert) and Chorus, Honors Choir, Guitar require students to read, write, and use math.

  17. Developing Next Steps • Provide effective extra help and time for students to meet standards. • Implement a school-wide grading policy. • Align curriculum and work together to decrease failures and drop-out rate. • Provide students with increased opportunities to write across the curriculum. • Continue to address achievement gaps in subgroups in School-wide continuous improvement plan. • Increase the number of books students are required to read annually to 25-30. • Examine student work to determine if it meets expected standards. • Observe colleagues and master teachers during instruction. • Develop an advisor/advisee mentoring program. • Develop a 7 year educational plan/portfolio for all students entering 7th grade and meet with advisors & parents at least annually to review the plan. • Conduct a follow-up of ninth-graders to assess whether the middle grade programs prepare students for rigorous high school studies. • Develop a support class to give students the extra assistance they will need to successfully complete a rigorous high school curriculum.

  18. Action Plan 2008-2009 • Implement a school-wide grading policy. • Look at success stories. • Examine research on grading and retention. • Develop and implement new grading policies (similar to ZAP). • Examine student work to determine standards and find samples of high quality performance. • Provide effective extra help and time for students to meet standards. • Implement three tiers of intervention for reading and math. • Help students who do not successfully complete assignments by offering a homework lunch or before/after school assistance.

  19. Action Plan cont’d • Provide students with increased opportunities to write across the curriculum. • Complete short writing assignments weekly across subjects. • Complete a major research paper in both 7th & 8th grades. • Include in-depth explanations about classroom activities in writing assignments. • Align curriculum and work together to decrease failures and drop-out rate. • Collaboratively align curriculum. • Develop readiness indicators for 7th, 8th, & 9th grades. • Examine 9th grade failures as related to curriculum.

  20. Action Plan Cont’d • Increase the number of books students are required to read annually to 25-30. • Involve students in literature with the Accelerated Reader Program as a motivational tool: daily independent reading, reading logs, tests, TOPS reports, rewards. • Require students to read books related to curriculum in science and social studies. • Require a certain number of books to be read in English and literature. • Continue to address achievement gaps in subgroups in school-wide continuous improvement plan. • Examine 2008 data in August. • Develop a Continuous Improvement Plan based on data to decrease achievement gaps and increase number of students at proficient and advanced levels.

  21. Action Plan cont’d • Observe colleagues and master teachers during instruction. • Use co-lab times to observe and discuss instruction. • Use planning time to observe colleagues during instruction. • Relieve teachers for short periods of time in order for them to observe colleagues during instruction. • Examine student work to determine if it meets expected standards. • Collaboratively examine student work during co-lab times to define quality standards. • Collaboratively examine student work during co-lab times to determine if current students’ work meets quality standards.

  22. Action Plan cont’d • Develop a 7-year portfolio/educational plan for each entering 7th grade student. • Prepare yearly portfolio packages based on upcoming 6th grade population. • Distribute portfolios to students’ assigned advisor. • Develop portfolios with team teachers/counselors. • Include academic and career information in the plan. • Meet with parents and students at least once each year to review/develop next year’s goals. • Develop an advisor/advisee program. • Assign students to a faculty advisor to insure students every opportunity for success in academic and social areas.

  23. Action Plan cont’d • Develop a support class to give students the extra assistance they will need to successfully complete a rigorous high school curriculum. • Review lst 9 week at-risk for failure list. • Provide time in the daily schedule for student assistance. • Provide assistance for repeaters from the previous year at the beginning of the new academic year. • Conduct a follow-up of 9th graders to assess whether the middle grade programs prepare students for rigorous high school studies. • Familiarize ourselves with high school graduation standards. • Reflect high school graduation standards in our curriculum. • Review AHSGE results yearly and take note of deficiencies as they apply to middle school curriculum. • Review the 9th grade failures/drop-outs.