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Valuing the Conversations

A principal’s informal conversations helped guide a school’s priorities I began my tenure as principal at West Rowan Middle School in the Rowan-Salisbury School District in July 2015. As a newly hired principal, I maintain a keen focus on the school goals in our school improvement plan and work diligently with our great team to

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Marlena Gross-Taylor

Marlena Gross-Taylor is the founder of #EduGladiators as well as a district EdLeader for Maury County Schools, Tennessee, with a proven track record of improving educational and operational performance through vision, strategic planning, leadership, and team building. A Nashville transplant originally from southern Louisiana, Marlena’s educational experience spans several states allowing her to have served

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Working Up a (Brain) Sweat

Physical activity improves students’ cognitive performance. If a pill could improve your child’s self-esteem, memory, attention span, standardized test scores, and ability to problem solve, would you rush to the store and buy it? If it did not need a prescription, was free, had no long-term side effects, and likely would increase your child’s lifespan

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Reaching the Reluctant Reader

Turning negative perceptions into positive outlooks. Common Core State Standards require that students read at complex levels. Guiding students through these increasingly complex materials can be daunting for teachers of mixed ability students, special education students, English Language Learners, and students considered to be Level 1 and Level 2 readers. Some students do not have

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Charting the Success of a Charter School

Education reaches beyond the walls of this charter school. To produce the level of competency in our students that not only allows them to succeed individually but spurs them to be contributing members of society, we must develop our students’ gifts and talents to their maximum potential. Richland Academy School of Excellence (RASE) in Mansfield,

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International Perspectives on Middle Level Education

Working collaboratively to create and sustain effective middle schools. Harrington Emmerson, a U.S. efficiency engineer and business theorist, said, “The man who knows how will always have a job. The man who also knows why will always be his boss. As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few.

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Post-Pandemic Preparation: Reimagining Middle School Partnerships

COVID-19 created unprecedented challenges but also served as a catalyst to rethink important aspects of our schools. One area where I see a big opportunity is to reimage middle school culture. AMLE’s landmark position paper The Successful Middle School: This We Believe highlights the importance of engaging families as valued partners and collaborating with community

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Students write a test exam in a beautiful classroom

Re-Learning and Re-Assessing: Practical Tips

Not everyone is comfortable with re-do’s and re-takes, which are more appropriately recognized as re-learning (or learning properly) and re-assessing. Some of us experience pushback when suggesting these practices to colleagues, then succumb to those pressures thereby denying their use in our classes. As a result, our students don’t learn the required content and skills.

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