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Middle School Recommendations December 2009

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  1. Middle School RecommendationsDecember 2009

  2. Middle School Design Team (MSDT) • Support for the Middle School Model as Implemented in APS • Focus on Improvements to Benefit Students • Flexibility to Meet Challenges – Helping Students Learn • Current School Initiatives Targeting Student Needs • Acceleration Opportunities During the School Day for Students Not at Grade Level • Resource Allocation • Helping Teachers Meet Student Needs – Professional Development • Adolescent Learning Theory • Procedurally through Summer Institutes and Small Learning Communities • Maximizing Benefits of Flexible Scheduling

  3. Guiding Principles • Provide student/staff teams • Commit to success for all students • Advocate for and support the needs, interests, and talents of all middle school students • Differentiate learning opportunities for students • Provide flexibility in scheduling to best meet student needs • Engage and educate families and the wider community

  4. Key Components – Impact on Students Relationships and Decision-Making • Teacher-Student Advisory Program • Interdisciplinary Approach to Teaching and Curriculum • Grade Level Teams • Interdisciplinary team configurations • Common planning time Broad Range of Experiences • A clearly articulated exploratory/electives program • A comprehensive after-school activity program • Inclusive opportunities for all students

  5. Charge Building upon the work of the Middle School Design Team Phase I, develop options that will allow the Superintendent to make short and/or long term recommendations concerning the following: • Alternative/hybrid schedules • Core • Electives (Encore) • Middle School instructional and activities times • Elective course offerings • Extended instruction in core classes in response to student need as revealed through achievement data • Teacher/Advisory time and delivery • Professional development: • Adolescent learning theory • Summer Institutes and Small Learning Communities • Maximizing benefits of flexible scheduling

  6. Progressive Planning Model – Recommendation Staff recommends the implementation of a three-phase Progressive Planning Model – Middle Schools. These phases collectively provide a model for combining approaches and that each phase, or elements within a phase, can be implemented as needed or revised to meet changing needs, challenges, and resources. Note: Throughout all stages of this process drafts and recommendations have been circulated to stakeholder groups for review, comments, and suggestions.

  7. Progressive Planning Model – Phase I - Resources and Support Staff recommends the redirection of professional and curriculum development funds to implement immediate recommendations Staff recommends funding of middle school program at current levels pending budget deliberations

  8. Progressive Planning Model – Middle School

  9. Phase I Recommendations

  10. Phase I: Middle School Pilot Steering Committee • June 2009-November 2009 • Developed pilot in accordance with • Guiding Principles • Key Components • Charge to Committee

  11. Phase I: Early Adolescent Development Course • May 2009-December 2009 • Developed in recognition of need since inception of middle school model in Arlington • Middle school teachers may come to middle school with limited knowledge of pre- and early- adolescent development • Online course available for Spring 2010

  12. Phase I: Teacher Advisory • January 2010-July 2010 • Responsive to • Developmental curriculum/activities • System-wide initiatives • Need for additional time for academic support that varies over time • In collaboration with Department of Student Services and the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families

  13. Phase I: Scheduling • Fall 2010 as part of pilot implementation • Includes: • Semester Transitional Spanish 6 paired with Semester Reading in Grade 6 that establishes a K-12 Spanish language proficiency pathway (ACTFL) • Establishes a framework, that over time, may provide opportunities for other electives/pairings within Policy 20-1.110 Addition and Deletion of Courses

  14. Phase I: Staff Support • January 2010-June 2011 • In addition to early adolescent development course: • Support for effective Teacher Advisory • Curriculum work for semester reading and Transitional Spanish 6 (January-July 2010) • Explicit instruction of reading and writing in elective and core content areas

  15. Phase I – Next Steps Implement elements within phase, as needed or revised to meet changing needs, challenges, and resources Monitor through an ongoing process Monitor and evaluate process to allow for solutions to be fine-tuned in order to meet school-specific and system-wide needs. Continue, consistent with the cycle of improvement model (Plan, Do, Study, Act)

  16. Phase II – Next Steps Review elective offerings to determine need for additions and/or deletions (e.g., additional pairings with semester Grade 6 Reading Implement elements within phase, as needed or revised to meet changing needs, challenges, and resources Monitor and evaluate to allow for solutions to be fine-tuned in order to meet school-specific and system-wide needs. Continue, consistent with the cycle of improvement model (Plan, Do, Study, Act)

  17. Phase III – Next Steps Support schools to engage in in-depth study of other scheduling models (e.g., 4-by-4, A-B, etc.) Implement elements within phase, as needed or revised to meet changing needs, challenges, and resources Monitor and evaluate to allow for solutions to be fine-tuned in order to meet school-specific and system-wide needs. Continue, consistent with the cycle of improvement model (Plan, Do, Study, Act)

  18. Information and materials related to process: http://www.apsva.us/1540101023111310680/site/default.asp Web Page

  19. Middle School RecommendationsDecember 2009