Middle School Task Force.ppt

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					Middle Level Task Force

        Rob Sauer, Deputy Superintendent
                      Innovation and Choice
                                                            Middle Level School Configurations
Region 1 (13 Districts)                      K-9
Region 2 (16 Districts)
Region 3 (31 Districts)
Region 4 (22 Districts)
Region 5 (14 Districts)
Region 6 (19 Districts)
                    School Configurations


                                                   0   10             20            30           40   50   60
                                                                             Number of Schools

 • An increase in courageous and collaborative
   leadership at the middle level and better
   support and training for middle level
   educators would benefit all members of the
   middle level community.
 Recommendation for certification and/or endorsement for the
   middle level.
 • The Task Force is working with the Certification office to examine
   the potential for middle level certification and/or re-certification and
   post-secondary courses focused on teaching at the middle level.

 Statewide standards/best practices for advisory
 • The Task Force has developed standards/best practices for
    meaningful advisory programs in recognition of the use of
    instructional time and financial investment.
 • Special thanks to Randy Jensen, Principal, William Thomas
    Middle School in American Falls School District for lending his
    expertise in developing these standards.
Benefits of an Advisory program
•    Many schools have unsuccessfully tried an advisory program. Some of
     these program have been little more than "homeroom" time which provided
     opportunities to do school paperwork, announcements, and social time.

•     Research conducted by Brown University has found the following
      beneficial effects of an effective advisory programs:
    –    Academic achievement was improved, failing grades were reduced,
         and test scores increased.
    –    46 percent of teachers believed they influenced several of their
         advisees to improve their grades.
    –    Student attitudes improved significantly (75% by one measure).
    –    Student-teacher relations improved.
    –    Number of drop-outs declined.
    –    Transition to high school was eased.
    –    Liaison for parents was provided.
Actions that would support a requirement for advisory:

•   Each student will have a Personal Learning Plan that is maintained
    from the start of sixth grade through high school graduation.
•   Each student will have a Person Adult Advocate to help him or her
    personalize the educational experience (student to advocate ratio
    should not be greater than 20 to 1).
•   Provide opportunities for students to lead discussions about their own
    progress and their accomplishments with their advisor and family.
•   Create a structured program that allows each student to address
    issues of self-awareness, interpersonal skills, decision-making
    abilities, and personal safety skills
Organization components of successful advisory programs

•       Student advisory programs provide an opportunity for middle level student schools to
        introduce an adult advocate into the life of every student in the school. Many young
        adolescents suffer from feelings of isolation and loneliness, and advisory activities
        allow them to connect with caring adults and other student to help them through the
        rough spots during the middle level years.

•       A review of the research and a compilation of countless accounts of successful
        advisories provide the following organization hallmarks of effective programs (from the
        National Middle School Association):

    –       Advisory meets for 20-30 minutes daily but no less than three times a week.
    –       All teachers serve as advisors.
    –       Advisory meets in the morning rather than the end of the day.
    –       Advisory groups are composed of 10-18 students.
    –       Advisory groups have a space to meet in that is their own.
    –       Each advisory has its own name and identity.
    –       Activities used are varied and student centered.
    –       There is a common core curriculum, but it is flexibly implemented (building relationships is
            most important).
    –       Advisory groups occasionally meet apart from the school for a special activity.
    –       Advisors know well the unique needs and characteristics of each advisee.

•   Taking the Lead in Implementing and Improving Advisory by Robert C
    Spear. This is part of the National Middle School Association's Middle Level
    Leadership Series. Published in 2005.

•   Breaking Ranks in the Middle: Strategies for Leading Middle Level Reform
    by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Published in

•   This We Believe: Successful Schools for Young Adolescents by the National
    Middle School Association. Published in 2003.

•   Turning Points 2000: Educating Adolescents in the 21st Century by Anthony
    W. Jackson and Gayle A. Davis. This is a Report of Carnegie Corporation of
    New York. Published in 2000.

•   Changing Systems to Personalize Learning: Discover The Power of
    Advisories by Debbie Osofsky, Gregg Sinner and Denise Wolk. Published by
    The Educational Alliance at Brown University in 2003.
Resources continued:

•   Advisory: Definitions, Descriptions, Decisions, Direction by John
    Galassi, Suzanne Gulledge, and Nancy Cox. Published by NMSA in

•   From Advisory to Advocacy: Meeting Every Students' Needs by
    Michael James and Nancy Spradling. Published by NMSA in 2001.

•   Professional Development Kit: Launching a Successful Advisory
    Program by John M. Niska and Sue C. Thompson.

•   The Advisory Guide: Designing and Implementing Effective Advisory
    Programs in Secondary Schools by Rachel A. Poliner & Carol Miller
    Lieber. Published by Educators for Social Responsibility in 2004.
               Schools to Watch

•   Eagle Middle School - Meridian
•   Lowell Scott Middle School - Meridian
•   Pathways Alternative Middle School - Meridian
•   Crossroads Alternative Middle School - Meridian
•   Lake Hazel Middle School - Meridian
•   Vera C O'leary Jr High - Twin Falls
•   Lone Star Middle School - Nampa
•   William Thomas Middle School - American Falls
•   Rocky Mountain Middle School - Idaho Falls
 • Transition from elementary to middle and
   middle to high school is difficult for students
    • Best Practices for a systematic approach for student transition from
      middle to high school.
         •   Early Orientation
         •   Summer Bridge Program
         •   Ninth-Grade Academy
         •   Catch-up Courses
         •   Career Exploratory Courses
         •   Guidance, Advisement and Support
         •   No Zero Policy/Extra Help/Credit Recovery
Researchers have identified two important categories of educational risk factors:

1) Academic performance: Students who struggle in the classroom and fall
    behind academically are more likely to drop out. Low grades, low test
    scores, Fs in English and math, falling behind in course credits, and being
    held back one or more times all have been linked to lower chances for

2) Educational engagement: Students who become disengaged from school and
    develop disciplinary problems are more likely to drop out. High rates of
    absenteeism or truancy, poor classroom behavior, less participation in
   extracurricular activities, and bad relationships with teachers and peers all
    have been linked to lower chances for graduation.

                                                                Achieve, Inc.
• Continue to improve in the identification of students
  who may not have the required skills to advance in their
• The focus will be on the individual student’s strengths and
  weakness and meeting those identified needs.
• Best Practices to maximize resources currently available
          –   Response to Intervention (RTI)
          –   Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP)
          –   The Power of I (A,B,C, Not Yet)
          –   Apangea Learning Math, Plato

Response to Intervention Team Vision
• Idaho Response to Intervention (RTI) is a framework for
  the process of K-12 continuous improvement in providing
  high quality, standards-based instruction and research-
  based systematic interventions for all students'
  academic, social, emotional and behavioral needs, in
  partnership with students, teachers, parents, and the
   • Offerings of professional development for
     teachers will connect teaching to curriculum.
   • Districts ensure that curriculum is relevant,
     challenging, integrative, and exploratory.
   • Any potential revisions will still allow districts to
     maintain flexibility in meeting requirements.
 Items to consider
 • Are the students actively engaged?
 • Do we teach from bell to bell? How much instructional
    time do we lose in a school day?
 • Do we coordinate with our elementary and high school on
    curriculum and instruction?
 • When the teacher is engaged the students behave.
Student Accountability
• Each local school district and public charter school will be
  required to create a Middle Level Credit System and
  implement it by Fall 2010.

• The credit system must apply to 7th and 8th grades. Districts
  can choose if they would like to extend the credit system to
  earlier grades.

• Local school districts will have flexibility in designing their
  credit systems.
            State Requirements for
          Middle Level Credit System
• Students must attain a minimum of 80% of the total credits
  attempted before moving on to the next grade.

• Students will not be allowed to lose a full year of credit in one
  academic area.

• Districts must develop a system for students to recover credits or an
  alternate route.

• Attendance must be a factor included in the credit system.
Sample District Policy
Credit System
•  Students who are not successful in meeting criteria during the school year may be required to
   attend after school assistance, summer school or a credit recovery class. This will provide the
   students with a second opportunity to prepare them for the next level of study. It is important to
   remember that progressing to the next grade level and/or high school is not automatic; students
   must earn the right through successful completion of the Wendell Middle School
   program. Students that do not meet the requirement will appear before a credit committee to
   determine the proper action.

Possible Credits for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders
•  Mathematics- 1 credit per trimester
•  Language Arts- 1 credit per trimester
•  Science- 1 credit per trimester
•  Social Studies- 1 credit per trimester
•  Reading- 1 credit per trimester
•  Rotation- 1 credit per trimester
•  (Physical Education, Computers, Ag, Art, etc.)
Sample District Policy continued
•  Students that are enrolled in the 6th-8th grade will be required to earn 85% of the possible credits
   each school year, which is equivalent to earning 15 of the possible 18 credits.
•  Students will not be allowed to lose a full year of credit in one academic area.
Possible credits for 5th graders
•  Mathematics- 1 credit per trimester
•  Language Arts- 1 credit per trimester
•  Science- 1 credit per trimester
•  Social Studies- 1 credit per trimester
•  Reading- 1 credit per trimester
•  Students that are enrolled in the 5th grade will be required to earn 80% of the possible credits
   each school year, which is equivalent to earning 12 of the possible 15 credits.
Possible Ways to Make Up a Credit
•  Summer school, online courses, correspondence courses, after school intervention
 •   June 18, 2009         Board approval
 •   August 5, 2009        Published in the Administrative Bulletin
 •   August 5-26, 2009     21 day Public Comment Period
 •   August 2009           Public Hearings
 •   October 15-16, 2009   Board approval of changes and pending rule
 •   December 2, 2009      Published 2nd time with changes in the
                           Administrative Bulletin
 • January 2010            Legislative Approval
 • End of session 2010     Codified in Administrative Code
 • July 1, 2010            Effective Date
Best Practices
 • The State Department of Education will develop a
   bank of best practices for the middle level including
          • Curriculum
          • Intervention
          • Transitions
          • Leadership development
          • Teaming strategies for teachers
          • Parent involvement
Task Force Members
•   Tom Luna, Superintendent of Public Instruction      •   Jennifer McEntee, Parent representative, Boise
•   Sue Thilo, Member of the State Board of             •   Bill Young, Business representative, Boise
    Education                                           •   Maria Nate, Parent representative, Rexburg
•   Hazel Bauman, Assistant Superintendent of           •   Annette Winchester, School Board trustee,
    Coeur d’Alene School District                           Bonneville School District
•   Randy Jensen, Principal of William Thomas           •   Rep. Liz Chavez, Legislative representative,
    Middle School, American Falls School District           Lewiston
•   Georgeanne Griffith, Principal of Timberlake        •   Sen. Russ Fulcher, Legislative representative,
    Junior High, Lakeland School District                   Meridian
•   Scott Miller, Principal of Hillcrest High School,   •   Allison McClintick, State Board staff, K-12 and
    Bonneville School District                              Educator Policy Manager
•   Chris Avila, Math Teacher at Jerome Middle          •   Nancy Walker, Professional-Technical Education
    School, Jerome School District                          staff
•   Thel Pearson, Counselor in Midvale School           •   Jennifer Cornell, West Middle School - Nampa,
    District                                                Idaho Middle Level Association
•   Susan Bench, Idaho PTA President-Elect,             •   Bev Bradford, Executive Director, Idaho Middle
    Blackfoot                                               Level Association
                                                        •   Sherri Wood, President, Idaho Education
                                                        •   Rob Sauer, Department staff, Deputy
                                                            Superintendent of Innovation and Choice
Contact us
 Rob Sauer, Deputy Superintendent
 State Department of Education
 208-332-6902 or 1-800-432-4601

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