Institute for Middle Level Leadership

San Diego, CA • July 9-12, 2017
Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa
 

San Diego Content Breakout Session #1

Monday, July 10, 2017 – 8:00 a.m.–9:15 a.m.

Promoting Growth Mindset in Teachers and Staff
Dru Tomlin
Becoming a great school means every student needs to adopt a growth mindset, so they can reach their goals. In fact, the same is true for teachers and staff. As it states in This We Believe, effective middle grades programs are driven by "ongoing professional development," which means that we need to see ourselves as professionals who are always developing and learning for our students. In other words, to reach every student, teachers and staff need to get beyond a fixed mindset about themselves, too. This session will look at ways we can support and encourage a growth mindset throughout our middle schools—for students, teachers, staff, and ourselves.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices
  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all

Learning Objectives:

  • Define growth and fixed mindsets and how they affect our school culture and climate
  • Examine ways to foster growth mindset in our students at the classroom and school-wide levels
  • Discuss strategies for promoting growth and learning for our faculty and staff

Tools for Principals: Building Stronger Teams
Paul Dunford
The challenges teachers and leaders face in schools today are best approached with collaborative team structures. As leaders in middle level education we must understand what makes a strong team and actively engage teams in building and realizing the vision and mission of the school. This session is about the role of the principal in facilitating teams at the middle level. Come and explore the characteristics of effective teams, connect how teams support implementation of This We Believe, and gather tools for leading and supporting middle grades teams. Discover what successful middle level schools do to structure their work and build the capacity of their faculty/staff/leadership to increase student achievement.

This We Believe Connections:

  • A shared vision developed by all stakeholders guides every decision
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about the structures, functions, and responsibilities of middle grades teams
  • Explore how the characteristics of effective teams are employed to implement and support middle level concepts
  • Consider various tools and structures that support effective teams for your middle school

Is it Working? Comprehensive Glance at School Improvement Process for Middle Level
Nikki Woodson
Coaches use data to secure victory; mechanics use data to get the engine started; and physicians use data to heal. In our schools, data is used to inform instruction and enhance student achievement. But how do you use the immense amount of data in an organized manner to really increase achievement? Participants will learn how to organize, filter, and effectively use data to inform instruction without intimidation.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators use multiple teaching and learning approaches
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful, learning
  • Varied and ongoing assessments advance learning as well as measure it

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore multiple approaches for using data to improve student learning and measure achievement
  • Learn about varied and ongoing assessments that measure and advance learning

An Integrated Approach to Organizing Instruction
Linda Hopping
Throughout our days and throughout our lives we use an integrated set of skills to work, to learn, and to live our daily lives. If one of the major goals of education is to help students learn to achieve and be successful in life, why do we teach them in separated subjects that do not overlap? This session will focus on developing an integrated approach to instruction that parallels successful life skills and teaches young adolescents the importance of utilizing multiple disciplines to achieve success.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • Varied and ongoing assessments advance learning as well as measure it

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover how to integrate curriculum across subject areas to provide seamless instruction
  • Learn how an integrated instructional approach mirrors real-life experiences
  • Explore various strategies that engage students actively in the learning experience

Master Scheduling
Ann McCarty
Educators often find themselves overloaded with too many things to do and not enough time. Teachers and administrators are busy opening school, greeting students as they walk in the door, making sure students are in classes, delivering high quality instruction, assessing as they teach, and reteaching concepts in the same period. Specialists have also seen an increase in curriculum and leadership responsibilities. While doing all of this, school personnel are also expected to collaborate and maximize instructional time. All of these demands have been implemented with no significant increase in time. Understanding that time and demands are hurdles for collaboration, the question becomes "how do we make this happen?" This session will focus on using data and instructional goals to build a responsive, student-centered master schedule that can work for your learning organization. Participants will walk away with tools and strategies to evaluate their current scheduling structures and move forward with planning for collaboration and effective use of time.

This We Believe Connections:

  • A shared vision developed by all stakeholders guides every decision
  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices
  • Leaders demonstrate courage and collaboration
  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships
  • Every student's academic and personal development is guided by an adult advocate

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn best practices for creating a student-centered and responsive middle school schedule
  • Review current scheduling practices and experiment with new ideas to maximize your instructional time

The ABCs of Middle School Advisory
Dennis Schug
All young adolescents need adult advocates, advisors, and mentors as role models. Advocacy is not a scheduled time or event but must be woven into the curriculum and daily operation of a middle grades school. Life skills and lifelong guidelines can become "the way we do business" in today's middle grades schools. Participants will share their questions, experiences, and success stories of advisory and advocacy programs.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships
  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all
  • Every student's academic and personal development is guided by an adult advocate
  • Health and wellness are supported in curricula, school-wide programs, and related policies

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover how the affective domain and student advocacy can be melded into the standards-based classroom

San Diego Content Breakout Session #2

Monday, July 10, 2017 – 12:35 p.m.–1:50 p.m.

Using Data for School Turnaround
*session repeated on Wednesday, July 12, 2017 – 9:25 a.m.–10:40 a.m.
Dru Tomlin
Building an effective and amazing middle school is challenging work. Middle level leaders want to not only create great schools, but they want to maintain and sustain them. The essential key to this process is knowing how to gather, analyze, and utilize critical data about best middle school practices and the level at which they are being implemented at one's school. Explore this topic and the AMLE School Improvement Assessment tool at this engaging session.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Varied and ongoing assessments advance learning as well as measure it
  • A shared vision developed by all stakeholders guides every decision
  • Leaders demonstrate courage and collaboration

Learning Objectives:

  • Examine how data influences faculty and school improvement efforts
  • Learn about evidence-based practices for turning around any middle level school
  • Consider specific tools to support the improvement of any middle grades school

Engaging Students with Universal Design for Learning
Paul Dunford
With greater emphasis on standards for learning and accountability for results in middle grades, we need a clear and common language that connects curriculum, instruction, and assessment for students in the classroom. The Common Core Standards provide the "what" we teach; the Universal Design for Learning provides the "how" we need to teach; and every child learns and is college and career ready is the "why." From concept to practice, this session will model a UDL lesson while sparking the conversation about UDL in the middle grades classroom.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • Varied and ongoing assessments advance learning as well as measure it
  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn about Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and the role it plays in fully implementing the Common Core standards and assessments
  • Discover how UDL lesson planning provides opportunities for engagement and personalization of students' learning
  • Experiment with resources that will support implementing UDL in lessons for middle grades students

Leveraging Your Influence as a Middle Level Leader
Nikki Woodson
Get ready for a deep dive… This session will impact you! All middle school leaders must have effective influence to achieve continuous improvement in schools. It is rare however, that school leaders take time to sharpen their influence skills by looking closely within. This session will delve into school leadership styles and allow practice to sharpen influence skills. Conclude this session understanding your leadership better and being able to use your skills to influence continuous improvement in your school. Attend this session to be more of your best self!

This We Believe Connections:

  • A shared vision developed by all stakeholders guides every decision
  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices
  • Leaders demonstrate courage and collaboration
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices
  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all

Learning Objectives:

  • Assess their own leadership style
  • Understand and personally align school mission, culture, vision
  • Examine effective influence

Strategies to Make This We Believe Work
Linda Hopping
This We Believe: Keys to Educating Young Adolescents is a research-based document that sets forth 16 characteristics centered around four attributes that, if instituted with fidelity in middle level schools, will provide students with an academically challenging education in a developmentally appropriate environment. Come explore specific strategies centered around the four attributes that provide engaging instruction for all students.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Developmentally Responsive: Using the distinctive nature of young adolescents as the foundation upon which all decisions about school organization, policies, curriculum, instruction, and assessment are made
  • Challenging: Ensuring that every student learns and every member of the learning community is held to high expectations
  • Empowering: Providing all students with the knowledge and skills they need to take responsibility for their lives, to address life's challenges, to function successfully at all levels of society, and to be creators of knowledge
  • Equitable: Advocating for and ensuring every student's right to learn and providing appropriately challenging and relevant learning opportunities for every student

Project Based Learning 101: Getting Started
Ann McCarty
Developing 21st century learning skills and fostering an environment where students can grow in communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity will help grow your young adolescents and increase academic achievement. Twenty-first century leaders engage teachers and students in real world problem solving by implementing project based learning that engages the whole school community. This session will focus on foundations of project based learning and provide leaders with the ability to assist your teachers with developing driving questions, planning for instruction, and working through the PBL process.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices
  • Collaborative and courageous leaders

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop an understanding of project based learning
  • Learn how to lead teachers through developing driving questions and planning for instruction
  • Develop a better understanding of leading students and teachers through the 4 Cs of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity

Navigating Difficult Conversations with Success
Dennis Schug
Difficult conversations, while critically important, is a topic rarely touched upon in education leadership coursework, trainings, and workshops. As professional problem-solvers, what could come as a result of us mastering this vital skill set? This session will focus on the role building trust, establishing clear communication, growing capacity, and nourishing professional relationships can play in educators meeting difficult conversations with success.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Leaders demonstrate courage and collaboration.
  • High expectations are set for every member of the learning community
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices
  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore strategies and language that are the foundations to effectively facilitated crucial conversations
  • Develop plans for discussions that maintain dignity, respect, empathy, and accountability for all involved
  • Share experiences and results of challenging discussions
  • Maintain a focus on continuous improvement in the area of effective two-way communication

San Diego Content Breakout Session #3

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 – 8:00 a.m.–9:15 a.m.

Engaging Learning and Leading Strategies with Young Adolescents
Dru Tomlin
Students in the middle grades need learning atmospheres that respond to their unique needs. But what exactly does a classroom built for young adolescent achievement look like, sound like, and feel like? And how does this affect administrative walk-throughs, observations, and professional development? This session will look at best instructional practices in the middle grades and how middle level leaders can support their teachers as they implement them.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • Varied and ongoing assessments advance learning as well as measure it

Learning Objectives:

  • To examine the key elements of effective classroom instruction, management, and response
  • To explore how middle level leaders can support and grow all teachers

Special Education Services and Middle Level Structures
Paul Dunford
As standards-based instruction takes a firm hold in the middle grades landscape, a clear understanding of high-quality special education instructional practices and multi-tiered system of supports are critical to ensure success for every child. This session will look at instructional leadership practices in the middle grades to support the goals and objectives for all students, including those with disabilities.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • Varied and ongoing assessments advance learning as well as measure it

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify actions middle level leaders might take to support high-quality specialized instruction in their schools
  • Understand options for special education services in the middle grades structure
  • Explore how the focus on the "first teach" serves students in universally designed middle grades classrooms
  • Consider various tools and schedule structures that support multi-tiered systems of support for your middle school

Out of the Box Middle Level Leadership
Nikki Woodson
Accountability and mandates have forced leaders into a corner where primary time is spent on data analysis, reporting, and compliance monitoring. While accountability is important, leaders can take a hands-on approach at the middle level that will allow valuable insight in the education system of the school. This session will show participants first-hand how their leadership can take on a more hands-on approach to be a creative, inspirational, and transformative leader.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices
  • Leaders demonstrate courage and collaboration
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices
  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all
  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will hear real examples of hands-on leadership and their impact
  • Participants will design opportunities for their own hands-on leadership in their middle level school(s)
  • Participants will leave this session with tools to inspire the culture of their school as leaders

Early Warning Indicators: What They Are, What They Mean, and How to Work with Them
Linda Hopping
The research is clear that the school dropout crisis begins in the middle grades. This session will familiarize you with the research and the urgency for interventions in the middle grades years. It will provide a framework for how to set up tracking systems and develop specific interventions.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships
  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all

Learning Objectives:

  • To provide participants with a clear understanding of the research base surrounding early indicators and its need at the middle level
  • To provide participants with the tools and knowledge to set up systems to provide interventions for students

Data Driven Decision Making: Powerful Protocols to Increase Academic Achievement in PLCs
Ann McCarty
Professional learning communities (PLCs) are cited as one of the best strategies for improving schools and districts to help build collective capacity and collaboration among the professionals who educate students. Coupled with consistent and clear ways to review school assessment data, PLCs can leverage the power of collaboration and data driven decision making to improve student outcomes. This session will focus on the power of PLCs to facilitate both the teaching and learning process through the utilization of data protocols to guide instruction.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships
  • Varied and ongoing assessment advance learning as well as measure it
  • Every student's academic and personal development is guided by an adult advocate

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn best practices for establishing professional learning communities and move your focus to learning
  • Learn various data protocols to guide discussions among educators to review student achievement and growth

Connected Teachers + Connected Leaders = Connected Learners
Dennis Schug
Are you a connected educator ... yet? Discover the benefits of making this commitment and the impact it can have on how you view professional learning and relationships. Session participants can expect to actively engage in dialogue on the benefits of being a connected educator and will actively explore the tools and resources available to 21st century educators, leaders, and learners. Our dual focus is to explore how being a connected educator can lead to purposeful engagement and elevated achievement in learning communities.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Leaders demonstrate courage and collaboration
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships
  • The school actively involves families in the education of their children.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover benefits of connected education on communication, collaboration, and professional learning
  • Examine tools, resources, community, and relationships possible through connected education
  • Explore the impact of connected education on members of our learning organizations and our profession

San Diego Content Breakout Session #4

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 – 1:10 p.m.–2:25 p.m.

Cyber Wellness in the Middle Grades
Dru Tomlin
BYOD. Apps. Tweets. Snaps. Swipes. Posts. Vines. Kahoots. Come explore the landscape and language of cyberspace and learn how to lead and foster a cyber-safe and cyber-literate environment for the young adolescents and families you serve. Discuss trends, challenges, and solutions together in this engaging session.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all
  • Health and wellness are supported in curricula, school-wide programs, and related policies
  • The school actively involves families in the education of their children

Learning Objectives:

  • To examine what it means to lead school initiatives that promote cyber-safety and cyber-wellness
  • To explore and discuss concepts and best practices that foster cyber-literacy
  • To discuss ways to inform, involve, and engage families in the cyber-wellness conversation

Co-Teaching: Models and Strategies that Foster Inclusive Classrooms
Paul Dunford
Inclusive classrooms have proven to improve academic achievement for all students. This session will focus on specific co-teaching strategies that can be implemented in any content area and tailored to meet the needs of a variety of groupings. In addition, we will review master scheduling to improve collaborative problem solving through common planning and improved teacher relationships.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships
  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn a variety of co-teaching strategies that can be implemented in any classroom
  • Review master schedule and strategies to improve co-teaching relationships to create a true collaborative relationship

Developing Teacher Leaders
Nikki Woodson
Teacher leaders with competencies such as the ability to use evidence and data in decision making, mobilizing people around a common purpose, marshaling resources, taking action, and contributing to realizing the vision of a middle level school are critical to successful middle level schools. This session examines the benefits of identifying and nurturing teacher leaders and their role in helping schools collaboratively meet today’s achievement challenges.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore the skills and characteristics of successful middle level teacher leaders
  • Develop action plans to identify, train, develop, and utilize the unique talents of teacher leaders
  • Learn how to create opportunities for developing teacher leaders while ensuring effective relationships between teacher leaders and school leadership

Transforming School Culture
Linda Hopping
Educational research from across 30 years or more suggests that good schools do not occur without first establishing positive, collaborative cultures that involve all stakeholders. With time and a systematic approach, collaborative school and classroom cultures can be transformational in improving schools. This session will look closely at how middle level schools are organized around a shared vision that energizes all stakeholders and is maintained through teaming and collaboration propelling the school forward to optimum student and adult performance.

This We Believe Connections:

  • A shared vision developed by all stakeholders guides every decision
  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices
  • Leaders demonstrate courage and collaboration
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore ways to create a school environment that is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive
  • Learn how a shared vision guides the decision making in successful middle level schools

Project Based Learning 201: PBL meets Personalized Learning (1:1) - Leveraging Technology to Enhance Your PBL
Ann McCarty
Help your teachers leverage the power of project based learning. Interdisciplinary units and personalized learning engage middle school students by creating instructional experiences that are transformed by the use of technology. When leaders better understand the aspects of personalized learning and its power to transform pedagogy, students benefit. This session focuses on instructional and theoretical models behind technology integration and helps leaders facilitate personalized and project based learning through evaluation of instruction and providing the correct feedback.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices
  • Collaborative and courageous leaders

Learning Objectives:

  • Enhance your knowledge of technology rich environments and how they facilitate PBL
  • Gain a greater understanding of the SAMR model and its instructional implications for technology
  • Learn an instructional protocol to evaluate instruction and tech integration in the classroom and prepare for feedback to increase the use of technology

San Diego Content Breakout Session #5

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 – 8:00 a.m.–9:15 a.m.

Coming and Going: Transitioning to and From the Middle School
Dru Tomlin
As students and their families face the movement to and from the middle grades, their worry about "what's next" can be debilitating. Successful middle level schools are proactive, employing a variety of transition experiences and activities. They involve all stakeholders in planning and engaging everyone, making the transition a time of excitement rather than fear. Student academic achievement often declines in the first two months in the next building. An ongoing, well-planned transition program can help students and their parents make a better adjustment to a new setting. Participants will learn proven strategies that help students (and families) feel welcome and supported as they move to and from the middle grades.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Every student's academic and personal development is guided by an adult advocate
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships
  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the stakeholders in the transition process, determine their concerns, develop strategies to address those concerns
  • Explore strategies to strengthen relationships and ease the anxiety for students in grade-level transition and the families who love them
  • Take away a "blueprint" to create your own "transition camp" for incoming middle grades students

Positive Behavior Management for Culturally Responsive Middle Level Schools/Classrooms
Nikki Woodson
The climate of a middle school can be impacted by behavior management. Additionally, behavior management can be impacted from culturally responsive classrooms. Learn how research-based strategies make a difference. Together, we will identify the roles of teachers and leaders in designing and implementing programs that support students in our multicultural schools and classrooms.

This We Believe Connections:

  • The school environment is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all
  • Every student's academic and personal development is guided by an adult advocate
  • Comprehensive guidance and support services meet the needs of young adolescents
  • Educators value young adolescents and are prepared to teach them
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • A shared vision developed by all stakeholders guides every decision
  • The school actively involves families in the education of their children

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the role that schools play in an increasingly diverse and multicultural world
  • Discover specific ways that schools can include every student and help them achieve

Student-Led Conferencing: An Idea Whose Time Has Come
Linda Hopping
Student-led conferencing is gaining momentum throughout the country as educators begin to understand how this powerful format brings students to the center of the learning process. Students assume responsibility for their learning when they begin to reflect on what they have and have not accomplished and share that with their parents.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • Varied and ongoing assessments advance learning as well as measure it
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships
  • The school actively involves families in the education of their children

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the importance and goals of student-led conferencing
  • Provide a step-by-step process for planning and implementing student-led conferencing
  • Provide time and facilitation for teams to begin to develop their plan for student-led conferencing

Personalized Learning: Making the Decision for Devices and 1:1
Dennis Schug and Ann McCarty
When schools and teams decide to invest in personalized learning the process must be properly explored and sound decisions have to be in place. Teams have to ensure buy in and properly prepare teachers to embrace the new technology. Most importantly, the decision has to be made from an instructional standpoint with logistics carefully following behind. This session will combine the need for decision makers to make informed decisions and properly prepare teachers for instruction that is transformed by the use of technology.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Students and teachers are engaged in active, purposeful learning
  • Curriculum is challenging, exploratory, integrative, and relevant
  • Educators use multiple learning and teaching approaches
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain a greater understanding of the SAMR model and its instructional implications for technology
  • Develop understanding of the professional development needs for 1:1 learning environment
  • Develop a community understanding of the reasons for personalized learning

San Diego Content Breakout Session #6

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 – 9:25 a.m.–10:40 a.m.

Using Data for School Turnaround
*repeated session from Monday, July 10, 2017 – 12:35 p.m.–1:50 p.m.
Dru Tomlin
Building an effective and amazing middle school is challenging work. Middle level leaders want to not only create great schools, but they want to maintain and sustain them. The essential key to this process is knowing how to gather, analyze, and utilize critical data about best middle school practices and the level at which they are being implemented at one's school. Explore this topic and the AMLE School Improvement Assessment tool at this engaging session.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Varied and ongoing assessments advance learning as well as measure it
  • A shared vision developed by all stakeholders guides every decision
  • Leaders demonstrate courage and collaboration

Learning Objectives:

  • Examine how data influences faculty and school improvement efforts
  • Learn about evidence-based practices for turning around any middle level school
  • Consider specific tools to support the improvement of any middle grades school

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support: Systems and Structures for Middle Level Schools, Teams, and PLCs
Ann McCarty
In this session, school teams will learn how to use the power of both teaming and professional learning communities (PLCs) to develop school-wide interventions and practices to assist students. This session is designed to help schools refine their currently existing structures for RTI and use teacher teams and PLCs to ensure student success. Key ideas: multi-tiered systems of support, quality instruction and assessment, pyramid of interventions.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships
  • Varied and ongoing assessment advance learning as well as measure it
  • Every student's academic and personal development is guided by an adult advocate
  • Comprehensive guidance and support services meet the needs of young adolescents

Learning Objectives:

  • Review interventions and methods of data collections to plan for instruction
  • Learn various ways to help teams set up and track interventions for students
  • Experience a proven middle school process for RTI and teaming
  • Set the instructional stage for your building so that ALL students are successful

Building a Culture of Teacher Leadership
Dennis Schug

Are all teachers leaders? Do all teachers have the capacity to become leaders? In this session, we will explore the formal and informal leadership opportunities of teachers as well as how a school's culture can support teacher leaders so that their passions and talents cohesively impact adolescent learning and the greater learning organization.

This We Believe Connections:

  • Leaders are committed to and knowledgeable about this age group, educational research, and best practices
  • Ongoing professional development reflects best educational practices
  • Organizational structures foster purposeful learning and meaningful relationships

Learning Objectives:

  • Explore the skills and characteristics of successful middle level teacher leaders
  • Identify existing school structures and develop action plans to grow, develop, and capitalize on the unique talents of teacher leaders
  • Learn how to create opportunities for the development of teacher leaders, while balancing effective relationships between teacher leaders and school leadership

This We Believe: Parents are an Important Ingredient to the Education of Middle Grades Kids!
Paul Dunford
We believe that involving families is an essential component of any school experience. SO why does it seem to feel like families disconnect from schools when their kids arrive at the middle level? This session will focus on what it takes to move from involving families in their child's elementary education to engaging families beyond selling giftwrap and magazine subscriptions toward genuinely supporting achievement in the middle grades.

This We Believe Connections:

  • A shared vision developed by all stakeholders guides every decision
  • The school actively involves families in the education of their children

Learning Objectives:

  • Consider your current parent/family engagement strategies in your school and determine their effectiveness
  • Learn strategies that have been effective in connecting families to their child's middle school
  • Identify ways to first redefine and then increase family involvement and engagement