NCMSA10: This We Believe – Foundation for Success in the Middle

Linda Hopping
Georgia Lighthouse Schools to Watch

“To change the world, teach a young adolescent.”

The characteristics that we KNOW are too be good in successful middle schools are not evident in the majority of middle schools in this country. Half measures lead only to partial implementation and result in limited success.” –Ken McEwin, tom Dickinson, Doris Jenkins

What do YOU think are essential elements in order to have successful middle schools?
Deserve unique educational program
Teaming
Advisory…or a culture of advocacy
STUDENT FOCUS
Exploratory Programs
Focus on academics

Embrace Learning…not teaching…as the fundamental purpose of your school. –Rick DuFour

Culture of learning…not teaching to, learning with…

This We Believe began in 1982…was updated in 1995…2003 added Research and Resources…2010 is the 4th edition of this we believe and represents a near total rewrite…everything included is important

https://webportal.nmsa.org/Purchase/ProductDetail.aspx?Product_code=b8e51055-988b-4910-a3ac-97f70bde4973

TWB should be a roadmap for where we are going with middle schools

4 Essential Attributes of all Middle Schools
Developmentally Responsive
Challenging
Empowering
Equitable

3 Broad Areas
Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment (CIA)
Leadership and Organization        (L&O)
Culture and Community        (C&C)

16 Characteristics that are RIGHT for kids at this age…these are interdependent…can’t pick and choose
http://www.nmsa.org/portals/0/pdf/about/twb/TWB_Color_Chart.pdf
Value Young Adolescents and are prepared to teach them
Engaged in Active Learning
Challenging Curriculum
Multiple Learning Approaches
Varied Assessments
Shared Vision
Committed Leaders
Courageous and Collaborative Leaders
Professional Development
Organizational Structures
School Environment
Adult Advocate
Guidance Services
Health and Wellness
Family Involvement
Community and Business

THIS SESSION IS PRETTY MUCH A RUN THROUGH OF THE PRINCIPLES OF THIS WE BELIEVE…LOTS OF FOLKS IN HERE…WORRIES ME IF THEY’RE HEARING THIS FOR THE FIRST TIME…HOPING IT’S A REFRESHER FOR THEM AS WELL AND JUST SEEKING INFORMATION ON THE 2010 UPDATE.

Jigsaw reading of This We Believe among all staff members…”Walk the Talk” about educating young adolescents

Assess the current implementation of TWB within our school…NMSA Perception Survey to analyze staff feelings on implementation of TWB

DISCUSSING HOW SCHOOLS TO WATCH CRITERIA ALIGN WITH THIS WE BELIEVE

NMSA Assessment causes $479 plus cost of copies of TWB for NMSA members

family and student edition are being piloted currently

ALL MIDDLE SCHOOLS SHOULD HAVE A FOCUS ON TWB…IF YOUR SCHOOL ISN’T ALIGNED TO IT’S RECOMMENDATIONS, THERE ARE DEFINITELY THINGS YOU CAN DO…CHECK IT OUT!

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