Upcoming Events: 

 PresenterWorkshop Title Link to resources 

Past Events
Did you miss the #MSchat on Urban Schools and the MS Philosophy? led by Reggie Davenport?  Check it out on Storify.
2015 Summer Conference Workshop Resources & Presentations

Shared Presentations from the Meet Me in the Middle Conference 2014
 Work Smarter Not Harder: Finding ELA Resources
 Bullying Needs to be taken Seriously Building Synectics & Using Poetry
Using CCSS, PARCC and Educator Evaluation to Improve Student Achievement Obstacles or Opportunities
 Internet Search Saavy
 Tell Your StoryPresentation
 How We Flipped the Script
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This We Believe!  What We Do and What We Need

A Conversation with New Jersey Middle Level Educators

Topics covered in conferences are directly related to "This We Believe."

Curriculum and Instruction


Characteristics: What We Believe

Programs and Services: What We Do

What We Need

Value Young Adolescents

Recognize students at Board meetings/student of the month

Make appropriate references to relate materials to students

Character education, peer leadership, and student government

Team model with weekly guidance


Academic support and tutorials

Life skills classes

Be able to access more visuals of modern people and places

Implementation of anti-bullying law

Advisory and mentoring

Personnel for life skills classes

Active Learning

Extended math class of 63 minutes for students below 205 NJASK

Use project-based learning and technology across content areas

Use Kagan activities

Engage students as Participants not Recipients

Outdoor education and field trips

Hands on Learning


World Cup Soccer



More time for articulation both horizontal and vertical

More supports for struggling learners

More project-based learning

Challenging Curriculum

Dual literacy block and literacy specialists

Incorporate problem solving and learning centered-tasks

STEM partnerships with schools around the world

Student choice for projects

Accelerated courses and differentiated instruction

Youth Teaching Youth

Common Core Standards implementation

More common assessments

Address scheduling issues

Gifted and Talented criteria

Multiple Learning Approaches

Dynamic math rotation and after school math lab

Homework club

Successmaker, IPad lessons and learning labs

Kinesthetic approach

Digital learning




More digital equipment

Teaming Options

Varied Assessments

MAP testing twice per year

Use rubrics and benchmarks

Self-assessments and goal setting with follow-up

Skill mastery

Learnia and Study Island

Performance assessments

Exit cards


Use technology for more assessments

More frequent assessments and data analysis

More consistent use of assessments

Leadership and Organization


Characteristics: What We Believe

Programs and Services: What We Do

What We Need

Shared Vision

Mission and vision statement on website

Learning statements and beliefs

Building objectives

Pep rally for character education

Conflict resolution

Collaborative mentorship program for teachers with colleges

School Leadership Committee

Practice it

Teacher driven

Better communication and more time to come together

Central administration needs to involve more teachers and stakeholders in initiatives and improve communication

Remind all stakeholders

Release time

Data and surveys

Need PLC  across middle schools in the district

Committed Leaders

Mentoring and teaming

Professional Learning Communities

Team leaders

Student Council and peer leadership

Teen/Team support groups

Administrators were middle level teachers and have expertise

Teacher leaders

Visible administrators who collaborate with teachers

House model

Data analysis team

Department chairs and team leaders

Listen to teacher input

More acknowledgement of student advocacy

School culture and climate committee

Need extra support for new initiatives

Need buy-in for new initiatives

Commit to common assessment

Courageous & Collaborative Leaders

Initiative overload: we switch things very quickly

Daily meeting of grade level team

Articulation with other middle schools and the receiving high schools

Teacher partnerships to develop programs and strategies

We recognize and embrace change when we see a need (e.g., data)

Instructional leadership seminars

Sister school collaboration

Consistency and reflection

More teacher feedback

PLCs across grades within departments

Cohesive vision and sharing

There will always be some reluctant people but we need to increase the positive people

More teacher/staff member healthy development

Risk takers

Teacher and Union buy-in

Professional Development

Building-based decisions

District inservice opportunities

Individual workshops

Faculty workshops

Idea sharing at meetings

University partnerships for PD


Use data from student management system

Surveys to guide instruction

Content area PD with knowledgeable consultants and administration present

Tech PD

Too much PD-it’s overload

Data wall every cycle



Authentic implementation

Instead of faculty meeting, use staff to teach each other

We have room to grow

Data-driven workshops and data analysis

More vertical alignment


Improve PLC work across grades and content areas

Increase articulation

Continuity of 1-2 activities or initiatives at a time

Ongoing sustained PD and scheduled PD

Organizational Structures

Schedule is opportunistic for students

Strong teams within grade levels

Team model and advisory

No gym after lunch

Common planning time

Data evaluation time

Job-embedded workshops, frequent staff meetings

Whole child approach

Block scheduling

Advisories across grade levels 2 times per month

Interdisciplinary teams

Need passing time

Consistent co-teaching placement

Targeted staff meetings

Meeting for co-teachers and inclusion teachers

Listen to teachers, general ed and special ed, about schedule and placement

Need full-time middle school supervisors

Culture and Community


Characteristics: What We Believe

Programs and Services: What We Do

What We Need

School Environment

Character education

Peer leadership

Safe school ambassador

Town hall meetings


Helping Hearts


All school picnic

AM breakfast

Caught doing something good program

Praise referral program


Peer mediation


School is used by community for outside events

Morning Splendor/Evening Song

Peer tutoring

Money and time

More effective peer medication

More time in schedule

Funds to host functions

Adult Advocate



Crisis team



STAR (Students Taking Academic Responsibility)

Every certified person has 10-12 students assigned

Advisory program

Intervention services

Money and time

Reestablish plan

Guidance Services

School counselor: goes into classrooms

Social groups

Student assistance counselor

Whole class instruction

Lunch Bunch

In School Success

Social skills groups

1:1 intervention and peer groups

Money and time

Lower student-counselor ration

Make guidance a class

Health & Wellness

Health curriculum

CAPS: outside consultant


Rutgers program

Nutrition: Breakfast, snack and after care

Fun Run

Rec sports/intramurals

Student choice in PE

Think Purple

Red Ribbon

Money and time

Morning sports

Family Involvement


Education Foundation

Family night for math and reading

Home school council

Rewards cards

Parent volunteers

Back to school night

Multi-cultural night


CHILD organization

Money and time

Better system to update parent contact info

Established transportation for parents

Community & Business

Athletic associations

Local grants

Eva’s Village

Reading to elementary students

Candy sale

Service projects

Bi2 World

Council of 10 community service projects

University partnerships


Partners to sponsor events

Perkins Center for the Arts

Ronald McDonald’s House

Education Foundation


Template to help us reach out to businesses and for them to reach out to us

Money and time

Consistent support

More contacts