Middle Level Education Plan
Frequently Asked Questions
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1. Why is AISD transforming its middle schools?
While many middle level students have benefited from continuous improvements in teaching and learning, not all students have experienced the same gains. The Office of Middle School presented the Districts’ Middle Level Report about student performance in middle schools to the AISD Board of Trustees, as the Board of Trustees has identified middle school improvement as one of its highest priorities. The report included student academic performance on state and national assessments as well as attendance, discipline, dropout rates, and teacher experience and retention.
This Middle Level Report identified three key challenges that currently exist in middle schools:
- Achievement gaps among student groups;
- Inconsistencies in student performance across subject areas and across schools; and
- Inequities in discipline rates among student groups.
The District's response to this report included:
- The implementation of academic best practices;
- Regular review of performance and interventions at academically unacceptable campuses;
- The addition of support staff and programs;
- A special focus for English Language Learners; and
- Strategies to enhance social and cultural development.
AISD is now beginning a middle school improvement initiative to develop a middle level education plan for improving student achievement and high school readiness. The transformation of middle schools will also strengthen the bridge between elementary school and high school and ensure a seamless high quality educational experience for all students.
2. How does middle school transformation fit with the District’s overall strategic plan?
The elements of middle school transformation are closely aligned with the district strategic planning process and recommendations based on stakeholder feedback.
3. Who will be involved with this initiative?
Every phase of this initiative will include input and collaboration with parents, community members, teachers, and administrators.
4. What will be the role of the task force?
The Task Force will develop the middle school transformation plan with assistance of Action Teams, and will then present that plan to the Superintendent of Schools for his review and approval.
5. What will be included in the middle level education plan?
The Task Force identified the following strategies for the plan to close the achievement gap and provide every middle level child with a high quality education:
- Quality Educators
- Rigorous, Relevant Curriculum
- Partnerships with Outside Resources
- Healthy and Safe Lifestyles
- Character Education
- Structure of Learning Environment
- Academic Support and Interventions
In the second phase, Action Team Members consisting of parents, teachers, administrators, and business and community members will work on the development and implementation of the education plan in our middle schools based on the strategies listed above. The Action Teams will meet from February through April.
6. Which campuses will be affected by this plan?
All AISD middle schools will be impacted by the transformation of middle schools. Also, due to the structure of middle schools, high schools, and elementary schools will also be impacted at transition grade levels.
7. What is the expected timeline for middle school change?
The process to transform middle schools began in December 2007 with data gathering and the release of a community survey. The Task Force will present the plan to the Superintendent of Schools in May 2008 for his review and approval. The plan will then be presented to the AISD Board of Education in June 2008 for their review and approval.
8. How can I find out more information about the plans for middle school transformation?
The AISD website will carry ongoing updates about the progress of the middle school initiative. If you would like to be part of the planning process, please contact Dr. Paul Cruz, Associate Superintendent for Middle Schools, at 512-414-4481.
9. How can I give my input on the middle school education initiative?
Please use our online contact form to submit any feedback or questions regarding the plans for AISD middle school improvement.