MIDDLE SCHOOL REDESIGN INFORMATION
The district will be reviewing the Middle Schools and considering making some changes. We have created this website to collect and distribute information about this process.
At the bottom of the page is an active blog that we invite you to leave comments.
Dear White Plains School Families,
If you are reading this, no doubt you are well aware of our plan to redesign our successful middle school program to make it even better. Starting in September 2013, all incoming sixth-graders will attend our Eastview campus for a specialized sixth grade only campus. All seventh and eighth grade students will attend our Highlands campus.
I am chairing an Implementation Team made of up middle school teachers and the two principals. Based on the extensive research on the subject, some of which is posted on this site for your review, we are planning specific ways to enhance the middle school experience so that the transition from elementary school into adolescence –middle school, high school and college - is a successful journey for all students.
We are redesigning the middle school experience to ensure that each student will have a stronger connection to their teachers and to each other. We are planning for a school experience that will build up the confidence and the skills of each child so that they will be prepared for the rigor of the upper middle school and eventually for the challenging courses available at the high school level.
We know that many students make lifelong decisions about themselves at this age. We know that defining who they are as students and how they imagine a future for themselves takes root at this crucial age.
Please review the previous letter posted on this site (February 2012) as well as the articles.
The Implementation Team will be posting minutes of our meetings so that you can follow our progress. After our November meeting with the joint faculties of both schools, I will start a new blog so that parents, students as well as staff can offer ideas and comments as we move towards our 2013 opening.
The State Education Department is impressed with our efforts. They have provided some grant funding so that we can build a digital media lab at Highland, similar to the facility we built at East View, expand our AVID program, and provide staff training to constantly improve on how we prepare of our students to nurture and realize their dreams.
Sincerely, Dr. Christopher Clouet
Click aqui para Español
Middle School ReDesign Steering Committee
Dr. Christopher P. Clouet, Facilitator
| ||Kara Lyons|
| ||Michael Meyers|
| ||Michele Karl|
| ||Jessica O'Donovan|
| ||Vincenza Persampieri|
| ||Carolyn Quintana|
| ||Lucy Roman|
| ||Michael Sanchez|
| ||Jane Turk|
| ||Jonathan Brown|
Fundamental Guiding Ideas
From Breaking Ranks (full set available in the reference files link below) these are the fundamental guiding ideas that will frame the decision making process for Middle School Redesign.
- Each school will establish a site council and accord other meaningful roles in decision making to students, parents, and members of the staff to promote students learning and an atmosphere of participation, responsibility, and ownership.
- Every school will be a learning community in which professional development for teachers and the principal is guided by a Personal Learning Plan that addresses the individual’s learning and professional development needs as they relate to the academic achievement and developmental needs of students at the middle level.
- The school community will promote policies and practices that recognize diversity in accord with the core values of a democratic and civil society and will offer substantive, ongoing professional development to help educators appreciate issues of diversity and expose students to a rich array of viewpoints, perspectives, and experiences.
- Schools will build partnerships with institutions of higher education to provide teachers and administrators at both levels with ideas and opportunities to enhance the education, performance, and evaluation of educators.
- Each student will have a Personal Plan for Progress that will be reviewed often to ensure that the school takes individual needs into consideration and to allow students, within reasonable parameters, to design their own methods for learning in an effort to meet high standards.
- Each student will have a Personal Adult Advocate to help him or her personalize the educational experience.
- The school will engage students’ families as partners in the students’ education.
- Schools, in conjunction with agencies in the community, will help coordinate the delivery of physical and mental health as well as social services.
- Teachers will design high-quality work and teach in ways that engage students, cause them to persist, and when the work is successfully completed, result in student satisfaction and acquisition of knowledge, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, and other abilities.
- Teachers will be adept at acting as coaches and facilitators to promote more active involvement of students in their own learning.
- Teachers will integrate assessment into instruction so that assessment is accomplished using a variety of methods that do not merely measure students but become part of the learning process.
Recognizing that schooling is a continuum, educators must understand what is required of students at every stage and ensure a smooth transition academically and socially for each student from grade to grade and from level to level.
Middle School ReDesign Reference Files
Click below for the link to SCHOOLS TO WATCH and the Forum to Accelerate Middle School Reform:
The results of the surveys and interviews (Phase I report):
Phase I Report
PowePoint Summary & Overview of Surveys/Interviews:
WPMS Faculty Survey
WPMS Student Survey
MS ReDesign Presentation to Parents - March 14, 2013
MS ReDesign Presentation to the Board - Jan. 22, 2013
MS ReDesign Committee - Feb. 21, 2013 Meeting Notes
MS ReDesign Committee - Jan. 9 & Jan. 16, 2013 Meeting Notes
2012-13 MS ReDesign Committee - Oct. 17, 2012 Meeting Notes
2012-13 MS ReDesign Committee - Oct. 3, 2012 Meeting Notes
2012-13 MS ReDesign Committee - Aug. 27, 2012 Meeting Notes
2012-13 MS ReDesign Committee - Aug. 15, 2012 Meeting Notes
Should Sixth Grade be in Elementary or Middle School?
An Analysis of Grade Configuration and Student Behavior
Putting MS Students on Graduation Path
Middle School Redesign Rubric
The Transition Years
Breaking Ranks in The Middle: Strategies for Leading Middle Level Reform
Answers to Parent Questions Regarding Middle School ReDesign - This document reflects some of the questions parents have brought up to Mrs. Diane Cassidy, a member of the MS ReDesign Steering Committee. They will all be discussed by the committee.
College Readiness Begins in Middle School-ACT Policy Report
Public Forum Presentation - September 2011
Public Forum Presentation - November 2011
Public Forum Presentation - February 2012 (En Español)
How EQ Is Key to Mental Health and Student Success
Middle Schoolers Getting Prepped for College
Gaining Ground in the Middle Grades: Why Some Schools Do Better?
Academic research overwhelmingly finds that 6th grade students are better off staying in elementary school