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Meeting Adolescent Needs in a Rural School. Ashe County Middle School Warrensville, NC. Presenters. Mr. Bobby Ashley, Principal Mrs. Kim Ball, Assistant Principal Mrs. Sheila Richardson, Media Specialist. Flow Chart for ACMS. Instructional Staff (Teachers). Support Staff

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meeting adolescent needs in a rural school

Meeting Adolescent Needs in a Rural School

Ashe County Middle School

Warrensville, NC


Mr. Bobby Ashley, Principal

Mrs. Kim Ball,

Assistant Principal

Mrs. Sheila Richardson,

Media Specialist

flow chart for acms
Flow Chart for ACMS

Instructional Staff


Support Staff

(Secretaries, Custodians, Cafeteria, Tutors, Teacher Assistants)




Central Office




To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

maslow s hierarchy of needs http en wikipedia org
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

our school s hierarchy

Staff development is not what the staff is taking…it is what they are providing for other professionals

Staff Development

Staff must be reflective practitioners

Teamwork: Everyone focused on success for all

Our School’s Hierarchy

Student growth and achievement

Meeting student

physiological needs


The Scenic New River

Photo courtesy of Ashe Chamber of Commerce and A.T. Barbee

community demographics
  • Population – 23,000
  • Economically diverse
  • 7.4% unemployment rate
  • $28,824 per household income
  • Major industries– Christmas trees, electronics, farming

Photo Courtesy of Ashe Chamber of Commerce and J. Roark


Student Demographics

  • 48% Free or reduced lunch
  • 93% Caucasian
  • 20 students speak English as a second language
  • 95% attendance rate
  • 13% EC
  • 16% AIG
faculty demographics
Faculty Demographics
  • 48 Certified Personnel
  • 6 National Board Certified
  • 21 Advanced degrees
  • 7 AIG certified
  • 5 Exceptional Children’s Teachers

2005-2006 School of Distinction/Expected Growth

National School to Watch

2004-2005 Honor School of Excellence/Expected Growth

Met AYP Goals

2003-2004 Honor School of Excellence/High Growth

Met AYP Goals

2002-2003 School of Excellence/High Growth

National School to Watch

Met AYP Goals

2001-2002 School of Excellence/High Growth

2000-2001 School of Distinction

One of four model Coordinated School Health Programs

1999-2000 School of Distinction/Exemplary

national school to watch
National School to Watch
  • ACMS awarded recognition in 2003 and 2006
  • Recognition launched by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform
  • Criteria for recognition:
    • Academic excellence
    • Developmental responsiveness
    • Socially equitable
    • Organizational structure
  • More info at
  • Based on bridging the gap between elementary and high school
  • Program components meet the

developmental needs of the young adolescent

  • Enforces a high standard for learning
  • Teaming
    • Six academic teams
    • 3 or 4 person teams
    • Compatibility/Varied Talents
    • 40 minute team planning daily
    • 40 minute individual planning daily
    • Teams can re-organize academic time as needed
    • Teams can move students around
  • Teach NC SCOS
  • Quarterly assessments
  • EOG Academy
  • Disaggregate test data by teacher and student to identify strengths and weaknesses
  • Testing retreat
discovery block1
Discovery Block

Developed to meet the academic needs/interests of the students (remediation and enrichment)

discovery block2
Discovery Block
  • Enrichment Sessions
  • Character Education
  • Advisory/ Advisee
  • Intramurals
discovery block choices
Discovery Block Choices
  • Year-long
  • Semester
  • Quarterly
year long choices
Year-long Choices
  • Battle of the Books
  • Broadcasting
  • Math Counts
  • Science Olympiad
  • Techies
  • Yearbook
  • Journalism
  • Chorus
  • Percussion
  • Relevance -- Prepare students for high school and real life
  • Rigorous curriculum
  • “No-Excuses” approach
instructional strategies
Instructional Strategies
  • Cooperative Grouping
  • Learning styles inventories
  • Guest Speakers
  • Thinking Maps
  • Guided reading
  • Socratic seminars
  • Literature Circles
  • Paideia
  • Novel studies based on

Social Studies curriculum

instructional strategies1
Instructional Strategies
  • Interdisciplinary Units
    • African Safari
    • A Christmas Carol
    • North Carolina Coast
  • Hands-on science
    • Stream monitoring
    • Aquifer modeling
  • Integration of media and technology
  • Community-based instruction for multi-handicapped classroom
instructional strategies2
Instructional Strategies
  • Writing taught through modeling and practice
  • Writing across the curriculum
  • Project-based learning
    • Poetry notebooks
    • Short story projects
    • Literature projects
  • Exploratory time which enables students to expand on academic classes and discover abilities, talents and interests
  • Encore 1
    • Computers
    • Physical Education
  • Encore 2
    • Art
    • Band
    • Career Skills
    • Chorus
    • Life Skills
    • Spanish
encore classes
Encore Classes

Elective Rotation



Life skills

Career Skills

Band—year long


Required Classes

Health and PE


Classes meet for 40 minutes/day

Teachers are certified in their area

Seventh graders not in band or chorus rotate through the other four electives each nine weeks

transition strategies
Transition Strategies
  • Looping of Guidance Counselors and Assistant Principals
  • Visits to elementary schools
  • “Meet in the Middle”
  • Parent Nights
  • Beginning of school orientation nights for 7th and 8th grade
  • 8th grade visits to high school
  • 8th grade parent night at high school
alternative learning lab all
Alternative Learning Lab (ALL)
  • Purpose is for academic assistance, not punitive
  • Staffed by certified teacher with 32 years middle school experience
  • Teacher Referrals by:
    • Period
    • Assignment
    • Day (team approves)
  • Separate setting for EC students who have testing modifications
  • “Time-Out” room for students having difficulties in regular classroom and would receive benefit from lower student/teacher ratio
  • Capacity limited to 6 students
  • Students have access to textbooks, workbooks, reference materials, Internet, etc.
project turn around
Project Turn-Around
  • Candidates are students with attendance issues, poor homework and study skills, or lack of parental guidance
  • Positive atmosphere with teacher


  • For 7th grade
  • 6th grade teachers recommend
  • Exceptional children are ineligible
  • 12 students
  • Self-contained except for Encore
  • Before and after school
  • Certified teachers
  • For everyone -- At-Risk

of failing or need additional support

  • Partnership with Ashe

County 4-H

  • Teachers collaborate and schedule to meet needs of individual


exceptional children s services
Exceptional Children’s Services
  • Inclusion
  • Self-Contained
  • Pull-Out
  • Severe and Profound
  • BED
    • Inclusion
    • Special Help and Support
    • Counseling
english language learners
English Language Learners
  • Classroom Instruction
  • Pull out
  • Tutoring
  • Differentiated Instruction
    • Interdisciplinary Units
    • Accommodation Plans
    • Parent Involvement
    • Projects
  • Cultural Heritage Day
in school suspension
In-School Suspension
  • Designed as alternate to OSS
  • Extra help for low-performing students in reading and math
  • Punitive
  • Assigned by administration
  • Behavior contract
  • Behavioral modification packet
  • Mental Health Services
    • Individual Counseling
    • Small Group Counseling
    • Anticipatory Counseling
    • Crisis Intervention
    • Consultation
    • School Psychologist
  • Character Education
  • Individual Volunteerism
  • Service Learning Projects
health clinic
Health Clinic
  • Treat only students enrolled
    • 95% of students enrolled
    • Bill insurance, Medicaid--no bills to parents
    • Acute Health Care
    • Physicals
    • Counseling: parents, students
    • Referrals to family physician, specialists
  • Challenge: Sustainability
wish team
  • Ways to Intervene with Students Holistically
  • Student Assistant Team
  • Identify students struggling academically or exhibiting signs of at-risk or self-destructive behaviors
  • Team comprised of
    • Teacher from each grade level
    • AP
    • Counselor
    • EC teacher
    • School psychologist
  • Interventions include
    • Counseling
    • Further academic testing
    • Other interventions
after school program philosophy
After-School Program Philosophy

We believe that an after-school program which provides physical, social, and academic activities for students creates an environment where students can experience success and personal growth.

  • 2 team philosophy
  • Picking of teams
    • Try-outs
    • No cuts where possible
  • Stress fundamentals and practice time
  • No personal awards, ceremonies, banquets, or trophies
  • Community coaches—not staff members

Two TeamsOne Team

Volleyball Wrestling

Basketball Track

Softball Soccer




  • Home and away games
  • Football on Saturdays
  • Practice Schedule – 4 days per week including games
    • One month at a time
    • Rotate times for teams
  • After-School tutoring/homework time for late practices
lifetime sports
Lifetime Sports
  • Develop skills and interest for lifetime activities
  • After-school
  • No qualifications except interest
  • Non-competitive
lifetime sports1
Lifetime Sports
  • Tennis -- Fall and spring on campus
  • Golf – Fall and spring—Mountain Aire Golf Course
  • Skiing – Appalachian Ski Resort Appalachian Swiss Ski College – Fee $18/per student
  • Swimming – Fall and spring on campus (indoor swimming pool)
second chance
Second Chance
  • After-School Detention
  • Services for students
    • Struggling academically
    • Not completing homework
    • Needing small group assistance
    • Accumulated tardies instead of ISS
4 h sos
  • SOS - “Support Our Students”
  • Provides safe, supervised place to participate in activities to:
    • Improve grades
    • Provide cultural activities
    • Stress importance of community service
    • Teach good decision-making
4 h sos goals
4-H SOS Goals
  • Reducing juvenile crime
  • Improving academic performance
  • Improving attitudes and behavior
  • Enhancing community collaboration
Everything we do…from our central office staff to teachers… is to create an environment where everyone is successful

We Believe…