The Successful Middle SchoolTM

AMLE’s landmark position paper, The Successful Middle School: This We Believe, now available in its fifth edition, is recognized as the best articulation of the middle school concept.

Since it was first published in 1982, This We Believe has grown from a single document into a comprehensive program that educators, schools, and districts can adopt to help ensure student success. Explore the five essential attributes and 18 characteristics of successful middle grades schools, and design the professional development program that works best for your school community. You may also find it helpful to explore a glossary of terminology included in the text before beginning your study and implementation.

Find inspiration and build your own school-wide professional development plan through The Successful Middle School program. The program comes with a menu of tools and resources to choose from, many of which are free of cost or significantly reduced for AMLE school members.

What Can I do as a middle school educator?


Discover the 5 essential attributes and 18 characteristics of The Successful Middle School, and explore ideas that bring these practices to life through The Successful Middle School in a Minute video blog.

The Successful Middle School Book

Read the Book

Order the print or digital edition
Free shipping and special bulk pricing for members

Online Courses

Learn at Your Own Pace

Dive deeper with the Successful Middle School Online Course Series. Earn up to 5 contact hours through 21 self-paced, interactive modules. Free to AMLE members.

Take the Pledge

Take the This I Believe Pledge and commit yourself to becoming the best middle grades educator you can be

What Can We Do As a School or District?

Book Study

Conduct a Book Study

Explore the text as a team with our guided book study, supplemental worksheets, template presentations, and discussion guide. Free to AMLE members. Or, have your book study facilitated by an AMLE coach—reduced rates for AMLE members.

Successful Middle School Assessment

The Successful Middle School Assessment

A holistic self-assessment that will help your team gauge your school’s implementation of middle grades best practices. Significantly discounted for AMLE school members.


Coaching and Ongoing Professional Development

Engage AMLE’s expert faculty to design a professional development program that’s right for your school and receive ongoing coaching to help you make measurable change. Simply complete our request form and AMLE’s Director for Middle Level Programs will follow up with programming options to meet your unique needs.

Schools of Distinction

AMLE Schools of Distinction

A recognition and continuous improvement program that is open to any school anywhere in the world that educates students aged 10-15. Schools will supported with AMLE resources and will be celebrated for their commitment to the best practices outlined in The Successful Middle School: This We Believe.