New Jersey Schools to Watch by NewJersey

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									New Jersey Schools to
       Watch
High-Performing Middle
Grades Schools for the
     21st Century
   Middle Grades—At the Crossroads
•Too many schools are middle schools in “name or grade
configuration” only

•When middle grades reform is implemented with
consistency, over time we know middle grades schools
can be powerful communities of learning

•Comprehensive middle grades reform yields higher
achievement
 Middle Grades—At the Crossroads

Structural changes are necessary but not
sufficient
  Focus on rigorous curriculum, effective
  instruction, and multiple forms of assessment
  Targeted, ongoing professional development
  and teacher preparation for middle level
  educators
   What is the National Forum?

The National Forum is a group of
educators, researchers, state and
regional school leaders, national
education associations and
foundations dedicated to improving
education for middle-grades students
across the country.
  Some of the organizations who are
members of the National Forum include...
               The Work of the Forum
•   Establish a common vision and language for
    speaking about middle-grades school improvement
    among stakeholders

•   Forge sustainable partnerships among state agencies
    and organizations seeking to improve middle-grades
    schools

•   Train leaders at the state, district, and school levels to
    assess school performance using a set of rigorous
    criteria

•   Provide exemplars and inspiration for schools
    seeking to improve performance
             Schools to Watch History
1994-1995 - Carnegie, Edna McConnell Clark Foundation,
 W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Lilly Endowment and others meet to
 discuss middle grades reform issues
1997 - Speaking With One Voice published in Kappan.
 National Forum convenes
1999 - Following development of criteria, first four pilot Schools
 to Watch selected and recognized
 2002 - Schools to Watch national recognition moves to the
 state level—California, Georgia, and North Carolina are s&
 trained at NMSA Headquarters by the Forum’s STW
 Committee
 2003 - Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, & Virginia join; 14 STW
 recognized
            Schools to Watch History
2004 – National Forum incorporates and becomes an
independent 501(c)(3) organization. New York & Ohio join. As
governance issues develop, state leaders work with Forum
leadership to create an oversight committee to further the
work. 40 Schools are recognized.
2005 – Arkansas & Michigan become STW states. 55 schools
recognized. The first state STW go through re-certification,
with three schools retired. The first national STW conference
draws over 400 participants to Washington, DC. States identify
“archivists” to collect data about the impact of STW.
2006 – Pennsylvania, South Carolina & Utah join STW. 50% of
the nation’s middle school students live in STW states. 86
STW.
2007 – New Jersey & Oregon become STW states. 126 STW
across the nation.
        The Vision

             Academic
             Excellence




STRUCTURES     NORMS      PROCESSES
              Close Reading

1. Take a few minutes to read the Vision
2. Focus on words or phrases that seem most
   important and powerful to you
3. Underline the two most important words or
   phrases (ONLY two!)
4. Share with others around you which words
   you underlined and why they were powerful
   for you
            Academic Excellence
High-performing schools with middle grades are
academically excellent. They challenge all students to
use their minds well, providing them with the curriculum,
instruction, assessment, support and time they need to
meet rigorous academic standards. They recognize that
early adolescence is characterized by dramatic cognitive
growth, which enables students to think in more abstract
and complex ways. The curriculum and extra-curricular
programs in such schools are challenging and engaging,
tapping young adolescents' boundless energy, interests,
and curiosity. Students learn to understand important
concepts, develop essential skills, and apply what they
learn to real-world problems. Adults in these schools
maintain a rich academic environment by working with
colleagues in their schools and communities to deepen
their own knowledge and improve their practice.
         Developmental Responsiveness
High-performing schools with middle grades are developmentally
responsive. Such schools create small learning communities of
adults and students in which stable, close, and mutually respectful
relationships support all students' intellectual, ethical, and social
growth. They provide comprehensive services to foster healthy
physical and emotional development. Students have opportunities
for both independent inquiry and learning in cooperation with
others. They have time to be reflective and numerous opportunities
to make decisions about their learning. Developmentally
responsive schools involve families as partners in the education of
their children. They welcome families, keep them well informed,
help them develop their expectations and skills to support learning,
and assure their participation in decision making. These schools
are deeply rooted in their communities. Students have
opportunities for active citizenship. They use the community as a
classroom, and community members provide resources,
connections, & active support.
                 Social Equity
High-performing schools with middle grades are socially
equitable. They seek to keep their students' future
options open. They have high expectations for all their
students and are committed to helping each child
produce work of high quality. These schools make sure
that all students are in academically rigorous classes
staffed by experienced and expertly prepared teachers.
These teachers acknowledge and honor their students'
histories and cultures. They work to educate every child
well and to overcome systematic variation in resources
and outcomes related to race, class, gender and ability.
They engage their communities in supporting all
students' learning and growth.
            Academic Excellence


     Vision Statement                STW Criteria
The school challenges all
students to use their       •All students are expected
minds well, providing       to meet high academic
them with the curriculum,   standards.
instruction, assessment,
support and                 •Curriculum, instruction,
time they need to meet      assessment, and appropriate
rigorous academic           interventions are aligned
standards.                  with standards and are
                            rigorous.
      Developmental Responsiveness

    Vision Statement                  STW Criteria
                              •The school creates a
The school creates small
                              personalized environment
learning communities of
                              that supports each student’s
adults and students in
                              intellectual, ethical, social,
which stable, close, and
                              and physical development.
mutually respectful
                              •The school provides access
relationships support all
                              to comprehensive services to
students’ intellectual,
                              foster healthy physical,
ethical, and social growth.
                              social, emotional, and
                              intellectual development.
                 Social Equity

    Vision Statement           STW Criteria
                          To the fullest extent
The school has high       possible, all students,
expectations for all      including English
students and is           learners, students with
committed to helping      disabilities and gifted
each child produce work   students, participate in
of high quality.          heterogeneous classes
                          with high academic and
                          behavioral expectations.
         Organizational Structures &
                 Processes
    Vision Statement                STW Criteria
                          •   A shared vision of what a
There are norms,              high-performing school is and
structures, and               does drives every facet of
organizational                school change.
arrangements that support •   The principal has the
                              responsibility and authority to
and sustain the school’s
                              hold the school-improvement
trajectory toward             enterprise together, including
excellence in all areas.      day-to-day know-how,
                              coordination, strategic
                              planning, and communication.
               Schools to Watch States 2002


 Number of                                      Nation’s
STW States:                                   Middle Level
    3                                         Students in
                                              STW States
                                                 19%




  California
   Georgia
   North
  Carolina
                Schools to Watch States 2003


 Number of                                       Nation’s
STW States:                                    Middle Level
    7                                          Students in
                                               STW States
                                                  29%




   California      Colorado
    Georgia         Illinois
 North Carolina    Kentucky
                   Virginia
                Schools to Watch States 2004


 Number of                                       Nation’s
STW States:                                    Middle Level
    9                                          Students in
                                               STW States
                                                  39%




   California      Colorado    New York
    Georgia         Illinois    Ohio
 North Carolina    Kentucky
                   Virginia
                Schools to Watch States 2005


 Number of                                             Nation’s
STW States:                                          Middle Level
    11                                               Students in
                                                     STW States
                                                        43%




   California      Colorado    New York   Arkansas
    Georgia         Illinois    Ohio      Michigan
 North Carolina    Kentucky
                   Virginia
                  Schools to Watch States 2006


 Number of                                               Nation’s
STW States:                                            Middle Level
    14                                                 Students in
                                                       STW States
                                                          50%




   California        Colorado    New York   Arkansas   Pennsylvania
    Georgia           Illinois    Ohio      Michigan   South Carolina
 North Carolina      Kentucky                              Utah
                     Virginia
              Schools to Watch States 2007


 Number of                                                       Nation’s
STW States:                                                    Middle Level
    16                                                         Students in
                                                               STW States
                                                                  53%




California    Colorado    New York   Arkansas   Pennsylvania      New Jersey
 Georgia       Illinois    Ohio      Michigan   S. Carolina        Oregon
N. Carolina   Kentucky                             Utah
              Virginia
           Common Threads


   While each school faces different
challenges related to its location, student
demographics, levels of district support,
  and other factors, common themes
                emerge.
             Common Threads

Schools to Watch:

 Know and articulate the academic outcomes
 they seek. In some cases, the outcomes are
 prescribed by the state or district; in others
 the faculty have adopted the outcomes
 recommended by their various disciplines.

 Take deliberate steps to help students
 achieve those outcomes by making strategic
 changes in curriculum, teaching, and school
 services.
            Common Threads

Schools to Watch:

   Enjoy a high degree of family & community
   involvement (but are never satisfied with
   their current levels).


   Demonstrate a high level of faculty
   commitment.
           Common Threads

Schools to Watch:

   Set benchmarks for implementing their
   strategies and hold themselves
   accountable for specific results. We cannot
   stress too much the importance of data in
   the lives of these schools.

   Strategically concentrate their energies on
   important focus areas. As a result, the
   changes in each school are burrowing
   deeply into its culture.
           Common Threads

Schools to Watch:

 Have strong, visionary leaders who can
 articulate challenging goals and motivate
 faculty and staff to reach those goals.

 The schools are filled with happy, positive,
 and involved students and adults who are all
 actively learning!
             STW State Partnerships
         State                      Partners

Arkansas          AR Assoc. of Middle Level Educators, Mid-
                  South Middle Start, AR Assoc. of Middle
                  Level Administrators, AR Forum to
                  Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, AR Dept.
                  of Education
California        CA League of Middle Schools, CA Dept. of
                  Education, Assoc. of CA School
                  Administrators, CA Co. Superintendents Ed.
                  Services Assoc., CA Middle Grades
                  Partnership Network, CA School Boards
                  Assoc.
Colorado          CO Assoc. of Middle Level Educators,
                  University of Northern Colorado, Front
                  Range BOCES
               STW State Partnerships

           State                       Partners



Georgia             GA Middle School Assoc., GA Dept. of
                    Education, GA Alliance for Middle Level
                    Excellence, Southern Regional Education
                    Board
Illinois            Assoc. of Illinois Middle Schools, IL Staff
                    Development Council

Kentucky            Center for Middle School Academic
                    Achievement, Collaborative for Teaching &
                    Learning, KY Middle School Assoc., KY
                    Forum, KY Dept. of Education
            STW State Partnerships
        State                      Partners

Michigan         MI Association of Secondary School
                 Principals, MI Coalition of Essential
                 Schools, MI Dept. of Education, MI
                 Federation of Teachers, MI Middle Start, MI
                 Schools in the Middle, Walden University
New York         NY State Middle School Assoc., NY State
                 Education Dept., NY State United Teachers,
                 School Administrators Assoc. of NY State,
                 NY State Assoc. of Teacher Educators, NY
                 Association of Colleges of Teacher Ed., NY
                 State PTA, NY City Forum to Accelerate
                 Middle Grades Reform
North Carolina   NC Middle School Association, NC Dept. of
                 Public Instruction, East Carolina Univ., NC
                 Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform
            STW State Partnerships

        State                     Partners



Ohio             OH Dept. of Education, OH Middle School
                 Assoc., OH American Federation of
                 Teachers, Otterbein College
Pennsylvania     PA Middle School Assoc., PA Dept. of
                 Education, Lehigh Univ., Gettysburg
                 College, Duquesne Univ.
South Carolina   SC Middle School Assoc., SC Assoc. of
                 School Administrators, SC Dept. of
                 Education, SC Forum to Accelerate Middle
                 Grades Reform
           STW State Partnerships
       State                   Partners

Utah           UT Middle Level Assoc., UT Assoc. of
               Secondary School Principals, UT Assoc. of
               Elementary School Principals, UT State
               Office of Education, UT Education Assoc.
Virginia       Virginia Middle School Association,
               Virginia Department of Education
  New Jersey Schools to Watch

Program Partners
  New Jersey Department of Education
  New Jersey Consortium for Middle Schools
    NJEA
    NJMSA
    Kean, Rider, Rowan, and William Paterson Universities
    Apple Computers
  NJPSA
  NJASCD
  New Jersey Schools to Watch

Theme: Growing, Learning and
Succeeding
Target: Any school with grades 6, 7,
and/or 8
Does not have to be a “middle school”
Must show steady improvement and
commitment to the needs of the whole
child
  New Jersey Schools to Watch

Application process
  Principal’s Checklist
  Self-Study and
  Rating Rubric
  Application and
  Narrative
  Site Visit
  New Jersey Schools to Watch

Applications are reviewed by the core
team (partner organizations) (Fall 2007)
Schools are selected for a full-day site
visit
Site visits conducted by 3-4 educators
representing the partners (Dec-Jan.
2008)
NJSTW designation awarded in
February 2008
  New Jersey Schools to Watch

Schools are designated for three years
only
Schools must participate in
professional development (e.g.,
conferences)
Schools must be willing to allow
visitations from aspiring schools
Schools must continue to improve and
focus on STW principles
  New Jersey Schools to Watch

At the end of the 3 years, schools must
reapply for designation
Schools cannot use the NJSTW name
or logo of National Forum if they are
not designated
NJSTW will add a “commended” status
for those schools almost there
   New Jersey Schools to Watch
For information contact:
               New Jersey Department of Education
        Office of District and School Improvement Services
                       Linda Morse, Director
                             609-777-2872
                    linda.morse@doe.state.nj.us
                              OR
                Gail Hilliard Nelson, Director
           New Jersey Consortium for Middle Schools
                         Kean University
                           908-737-3866
                gail.hilliardnelson@gmail.com
  I believe that every young
         adolescent…

Has the capacity to learn, grow, and
develop into a knowledgeable, reflective,
caring, ethical, and contributing citizen
Must be engaged in learning that is
relevant, challenging, integrative, and
explorative
Must have access to the very best
programs and practices a school can offer
       From: This I Believe, NMSA
New Jersey Schools to Watch


New Jersey
 Schools to
   Watch:
 Growing,
Learning and
Succeeding!

								
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