Middle School Curriculum

Beliefs Regarding Differentiated Instruction:

  1. Various levels of complexity

  2. Challenges students at appropriate developmental level

  3. Data driven decisions

  4. Flexible groupings based on student need and ability

  5. Content, process & product can be differentiated

  6. Qualitatively different – not quantitatively (student do different activities – NOT less work)

Differentiated Instruction In Madison County Middle Schools looks like...

  1. Variety of activities to address learning styles and levels of the curriculum

  2. Instruction and materials are appropriate to current levels of understanding.

Student Engagement

  • Active participation

  • Student inquiry

  • Teacher probing for understanding

  • Varying questions based on the level of the learners

Small group instruction that targets specific needs

  • Teachers use data to drive instruction

  • Small groups based on data (readiness), interest or learning styles

Planning and preparation

  • Lesson plans that reflect DI focus

  • Grade level meetings focused on data and DI

Evidence of use of data

  • Reteaching

  • Small group instruction

  • One on one assistance

Relevant Homework

  • Monitor what is being sent home

  • Monitor lesson plan for relevant homework that reinforces what is being taught in class

  • Varying homework assignments

  • Check for understanding

Middle schools have adopted reading programs that also incorporate assessments to determine the levels of the learner and provide appropriate instruction. All subjects are focused on building better thinkers and problem-solvers who can apply knowledge in new situations.

Grading
 
A    90-100
B    80-89
C    70-79
D    65-69
F     64 and below (Very Poor / Failure)
I     Incomplete 
 

3-Tier Intervention Process

The Madison County School District has implemented an instructional model designed to meet the needs of every student. The model consists of three tiers of instruction.

Tier 1   Quality classroom instruction based on MS Curriculum Frameworks

Tier 2   Focused supplemental instruction

Tier 3   Intensive interventions (both academic and/or behavioral) specifically designed to meet the individual needs of students

Universal screeners and progress monitoring will be utilized to (a) determine if students are making adequate progress, (b) identify students as soon as they begin to fall behind, and (c) modify instruction early enough to ensure each and every student gains essential skills. Monitoring of student progress is an ongoing process that may be measured through informal classroom assessment, benchmark assessment instruments and largescale assessments.

If strategies at Tiers 1 & 2 are unsuccessful, students must be referred to the their school’s Teacher Support Team (TST). The TST is a problem-solving unit responsible for interventions developed at Tier 3. Interventions will be:

  • Designed to address the deficit areas:

  • Research based;

  • Implemented as designed by the TST; supported by data regarding the effectiveness of interventions.

After a referral is made, the TST will develop and begin implementation of an intervention(s) within two weeks. No later than four weeks after implementation of the intervention(s) the TST will conduct a documented review of the intervention(s) to determine success of the intervention(s). A second review will be conducted no later than 8 weeks after the implementation of the intervention(s) to determine whether the intervention is successful. No later than 12 weeks after the implementation of the intervention(s) a third review will be conducted. If the intervention(s) is determined to be unsuccessful, then the student will be referred to the school’s Local Survey Committee to determine the need for a comprehensive assessment for special education services.

In addition to failure to make adequate progress following Tiers 1 & 2, students will be referred to the TST for interventions if any of the following events occur:

  1. Grades 1-3: A student has failed one (1) grade;

  2. Grades 4-12: A student has failed two (2) grades;

  3. A students failed either of the preceding two grades and has been suspended or expelled for more than twenty (20) days in the current school year: or

  4. A student scores at the Minimal level on any part of the Grade 3 or Grade 7 Mississippi Curriculum Test

Referrals to the TST must be made within the first twenty (20) school days of a school year if the student meets any of the criteria A-D above.

Promotion / Retention

Promotion and retention decisions in the Madison County School District are based upon student achievement of objectives as outlined in the instructional management plans of the Madison County School District. In all subjects and at all grade levels, mastery will be defined as the student demonstrating ability to perform the objective at the 65% level.

Students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades are required to take reading, mathematics, science, English, and social studies. State law now requires a student to take additional physical based electives such as band, choral music and P.E.

To be eligible for promotion to the next grade level, a student must master essential skills as identified in the curriculum structure of the State of Mississippi and the Madison County School District, and must show proficiency in the designated essential skills for all subjects taken.

If a student receives a final grade of F in any course, this constitutes failure of that course and could result in the student being retained.
 
To be eligible for summer school, student must have a final grade average of at least 55 in the course that he/she is attempting to retake.
 
Only students residing in the Madison County Schools will be allowed to attend summer school in the district.
 
Exemption from retention

The district may exempt a student from retention provided:

  • there is an abundance of evidence that the student's test scores do not reflect his usual performance; or

  • complying with all facets of this policy would have an adverse impact on the student's educational program; or

  • other unusual or compelling circumstances exist.

If a student is exempted from retention, possible educational repercussions are discussed with parents/guardians, specifically including a detailed explanation of the graduation requirement of passing the subject area tests. Parental consent is given.

Universal Screeners:

Universal Screeners are used to identify students who may have fallen significantly behind and are in need of intervention, serve as  indicators of academic growth for students, and for placement in accelerated classes at the middle school level. They will be administered three times each year – Fall, Winter, and Spring. Reports may be sent home at the discretion of the building level principal. The intent of the assessments is to identify current levels of the learners in the classrooms and to guide the teacher in the instruction of each individual student.

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