Shroder High School’s 7th and 8th grade has received a national Making Middle Grades Work (MMGW) Award for Depth of Implementation, based on the progress of local school leaders and teachers in improving school practices and raising student achievement. The award was presented by Dave Spence, president of the Southern Regional Education Board, at the 26th Annual HSTW Staff Development Conference in New Orleans on Wednesday, July 11, 2012.
Spence praised the school for its achievement, noting the crucial role of these middle grades schools in preparing more students for success in high school, further studies, work and citizenship. Spence presented the award before an audience of more than 5,000 educators from across the nation attending the HSTW Conference.
The school is one of only eight middle grades schools in the nation receiving the MMGW Depth of Implementation Award in 2012. This designation is given to schools that deeply implement the MMGW design, have at least 50 percent of eighth-graders completing a rigorous curriculum in one or more subject areas and meet the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) criteria of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
“This school has shown what can be accomplished to raise student achievement by deeply implementing the Making Middle Grades Work model for strengthening curriculum and instruction,” said SREB Senior Vice President Gene Bottoms. “The school illustrates the spirit of change and the gains in performance that Making Middle Grades Work advocates to get students ready for challenging academic and career/technical courses in high school.”
“Research shows that the ninth grade is a critical transition point for students,” Bottoms said. “Students who struggle in the ninth grade are much more likely to drop out of high school. For that reason, schools in the SREB Making Middle Grades Work initiative devote time and effort in preparing students to be successful in high school.”
More than 450 middle grades schools in 21 states participate in the MMGW school improvement initiative to create a culture of high expectations and prepare middle grades students for challenging high school courses and productive careers.
The largest SREB program, High Schools That Work is a national, comprehensive school improvement design based on the premise that most students can master rigorous academic and career/technical studies if school leaders and teachers create a school environment that motivates all students to make the effort to succeed. The HSTW initiative is the nation’s first large-scale effort to engage state, district and school leaders in partnership with teachers, students, parents and the community to equip all students with the knowledge and skills needed to graduate from high school and succeed in college and the workplace. More than 1,200 high schools in 30 states and the District of Columbia participate in the HSTW school improvement initiative.