Tagged “School Environments”

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Middle Grades

Breaking Ranks in the Middle Tenets Inspire Foundation of Georgia School

Haymon-Morris Middle School, Winder, Ga.

When Principal Sheila Kahrs, named a 2010 National Middle Level Principal of the Year by the MetLife Foundation and whole child partner National Association of Secondary School Principals, opened Haymon-Morris Middle School in Winder, Ga., she knew that the foundation of the school would be built on three tenets of Breaking Ranks in the Middle: collaborative leadership, curriculum instruction and assessment, and personalized learning environments for students and teachers.

Since the school's opening, the staff has worked with these tenets to help students succeed at all costs, and it's paying off. Across 6th through 8th grades, 95 percent of students meet or exceed the state's standards in English and language arts, while 80 percent do the same in math. Founded on the vision, "Where caring, patience, and consistency inspire excellence," this 2011 Breakthrough School, as named by the MetLife Foundation and whole child partner National Association of Secondary School Principals, will continue to inspire.

Collaborative Atmosphere Encourages Student Success

M. O. Ramay Junior High School, Fayetteville, Ark.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T is what M. O. Ramay Junior High School in Fayetteville, Ark., is all about. Focused on academic growth, Principal Matt Saferite heavily prioritizes creating a collaborative atmosphere where teachers and students feel safe, appreciated, and valued. With more than 50 percent of the students coming from low-income homes, Ramay Junior High School understands that it's important to cater not only to the students' academic needs, but also to their basic needs.

After failing to make adequate yearly progress in 2006, Ramay Junior High School is proud to have met its goals for the past four years, and the achievement gap is continuing to close. Awarded the 2011 Breakthrough School Award by the MetLife Foundation and whole child partner National Association of Secondary School Principals, it's clear that compassion truly breeds success at Ramay Junior High School.

District Middle School Educates the Whole Child Through Arts Emphasis

John Philip Sousa Middle School, Washington, D.C.

Educating the whole child through an arts emphasis is at the forefront of a rigorous academic curriculum at John Philip Sousa Middle School in the District of Columbia. As an arts catalyst and full-service school, Sousa Middle School provides students the best of both worlds.

While dance, visual art, drama, and music are woven into every discipline, behavior, academics, attendance, social and emotional development, parents and the community, and teacher development play a huge role in the entire vision of the school.

Data-driven instruction is used to meet the needs of every student, and instructional coaches, mentors, and social workers are easily accessible throughout the day, allowing both students and teachers to receive support. Students are encouraged to participate in a variety of after-school programs, and the school recognizes extracurricular activities and sports as an important gateway to healthy development.

Whether students are in the classroom, on the field, or in the dance studio, the positive values instilled in their experience at Sousa Middle School will remain with them as they reach their full potential.

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Fast, Free, Online: The ASCD School Improvement Tool

Designed for use in schools and districts, the free ASCD School Improvement Tool offers educators a comprehensive and completely online needs assessment.