Alignment Team Work
Middle School Alignment Team
The middle school years are a crucial age for students. With so many changes happening to them and all around them, it's a perfect time to develop the 'whole child,' meaning a student's social, emotional, and intellectual well-being.
-Metro Nashville Public Schools/Middle Preps
The Middle School Alignment Team’s vision is to work collaboratively with students, parents/families, MNPS personnel and community members to ensure positive learning environments that support student academic, social and emotional success. This team is working hand in hand with MNPS to ensure that students are prepared for success by achieving the Five Characteristics of an 8th Grade Graduate.
1. Completion of Service Learning
- One identified person in the district office to lead support for service learning.
- Provide professional development to all middle school service learning trainers and convene this group at least one additional time during the school year.
- Develop a training module on service learning.
- Develop a mechanism for sharing best practices and to facilitate healthy competition.
- Build out a Tactical Plan and Invitation to Participate to bring in community partners to assist and support schools with service learning projects.
- Work with Learning Technology to design a student badge for completion of service learning projects.
2. Participation in at least one Extracurricular Activity
- Adopt a clear definition of ‘extracurricular activity’
- Work with Learning Technology and others to develop a system for badging extracurricular activities.
- Work with Learning Technology and others to build out a Tactical Plan for a badging pilot consisting of participation in Music Makes Us and TSSAA sports using Blackboard, to include recommending criteria for awarding of badges.
3. Technology Ready
- Build out a Tactical Plan and work with Learning Technology to monitor blended learning integration in middle schools.
- Revise district student use policy to include most current devices.
- Work to increase IT support ratio where needed in middle schools.
- Work to create accurate inventory of working devices in middle schools.
4. Predicted to Score 21 on ACT
- Work with MNPS administration to monitor ongoing changes to the tests provided to students in preparation for the ACT.
- Monitor and evaluate Tactical Plan for year one of the ASPIRE pilot during the 2015-16 school year at I.T. Creswell Arts Middle Prep. The ASPIRE three-year pilot will provide customized interventions and instructional alignment provided to pilot school students based on ACT Aspire pilot data.
LONG TERM OUTCOMES:
If the Middle School Alignment Team successfully ensures that all 8th grade graduates possess these five characteristics, there will be a significant impact on these three long-term outcomes:
Increase High School Graduation Rates
Increase College Readiness
Increase Career Readiness
- 20% increase in the number of students at the pilot school on track to score 21 on ACT upon completion of the three-year pilot.
SHORT TERM OUTCOMES:
- 5% increase number of students at pilot school on track to score 21 on ACT upon completion of year one.
5. Ready for High School
- Continue High School 101 updates and additions.
- Freshman orientation for all high schools prior to the start of school.
- Middle school orientation for 5th graders prior to the start of school.
- Expand education/marketing opportunities for feeder schools.
- Research and provide recommendations for the implementation of house structure and 5th grade teaming.
- Continue to work with business engagement partners toward enhancement of teacher externship model.
Our Alignment Nashville Middle Prep Team brings together diverse stakeholders to ensure that our Middle School-aged students are given the resources and support needed to be ready for high school and beyond. Attention is given not only to academic achievement but also to their social and emotional development and abilities in technology. It is exciting to be part of such important work!
-Jon T. Hubble, Executive Lead Principal, MNPS Leadership and Learning
Middle school is a crucial time in the lives of our young people – academically, socially, emotionally, and developmentally. Being part of the work to give students the tools they need to be successful is a great honor and privilege.
-Laura Moore, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
Interview with Jim Snell
Executive Director, Volunteer Tennessee
What types of service learning opportunities do you see the most in middle schools?
Any academic subject can have a service-learning component, but most middle school service-learning opportunities will probably come from projects focused on the immediate community surrounding the school. Since Nashville's neighborhoods all have their own distinct makeup, each middle school will have the opportunity to tailor its service-learning projects to best fit the local community.
What excites you about being able to provide service learning opportunities to middle school students?
Service-learning has been shown to be an effective dropout prevention strategy, so implementing service-learning in middle schools will have a long-term positive impact on Nashville as a whole in addition to the positive impact on the students. Also, students who participate in service-learning are more engaged in their own learning, have stronger connections to their communities and develop a better sense of self-efficacy.
Why do you think it's important for every MNPS Middle Prep student to have a service learning opportunity?
In addition to being a dropout prevention strategy, service-learning presents academic learning to students in a hands-on manner and develops critical thinking, communication ability, leadership skills, connectedness to the community, and a variety of other skills needed for college readiness and the 21st century workplace.
How can organizations and agencies in Nashville better serve Middle Preps in the area of service learning?
Organizations and agencies in Nashville can think about their needs and service opportunities in the context of student leadership and be willing to have students as partners in addressing community needs. Service-learning is not community service, so organizations and agencies can help by being prepared to work with teachers and students to link service opportunities to learning objectives.