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Short-Term Strategies

As part of MPS’ shift to transform the educational experience for students, a number of schools will receive additional midyear supports and resources. These are designed to accelerate student achievement and kick start student growth in the second half of the school year. Across the school district, the extra support will benefit 50 percent of the students of color in the district and one-third of students who are partially proficient.

The schools identified to receive supports are: Andersen, Anthony, Anwatin, Bancroft, Bryn Mawr, Folwell, Jefferson, Nellie Stone Johnson, Pillsbury, Sanford, Seward, Sullivan and Whittier. These schools receiving extra support does not in any way take away resources or staffing from any other school in the district. Likewise, the identified schools are not the only schools receiving additional support this year. The efforts at the 13 schools will function as a learning lab that can benefit schools across MPS.

In addition, associate superintendents will provide more direct support to principals to drive instructional acceleration, implement strategies and monitor interventions. Four current principals will serve as assistant associate superintendents through the 2013-2014 school year to supplement this increased support to principals. The interim assistant associate superintendents are: Ron Wagner, Anne Sullivan Communications Center, Joe Rossow of Dowling Urban Environmental, Lucilla Yira of Windom Dual Immersion and Leadriane Roby of Nellie Stone Johnson. They will continue to lead their schools in addition to these additional responsibilities.

We know that a ‘one-size fits all’ approach is not the answer. The direction we are headed is to provide targeted and customized academic supports and interventions to accelerate students who are below and borderline proficient. The following district strategies outline potential support for the 13 schools, as well as all schools through the 2013-14 school year:

Short-term strategies for improving achievement in 2013-14:

  1. Customize core instruction according to student needs; examine the structure of the core instructional block, current schedule and student data.
  2. Reallocate a percentage of elementary math specialists’ time to implementing “Do the Math” interventions in small groups with students who are partially proficient.
  3. Deploy literacy intervention specialists to lead classwide and/or small group interventions with students who are partially proficient.
  4. Match student grouping strategy to instructional strengths of teachers in each school building.
  5. Implement Saturday school for students not projected to be proficient on the MCAs.

Strategies for all MPS schools:

  1. Strengthen implementation fidelity and oversight of existing interventions, including math and literacy interventions (LLI, EIR, Read 180, ST Math, AMC/DNC).
  2. Embed explicit strategies for addressing stereotype threat and building understanding of malleable intelligence in all grades through professional development cohorts.
  3. Examine reports for first cycle of after-school interventions and make necessary adjustments to programs and students invited to attend.
  4. Identify courses with high rates of failure and remove (where possible) contributing grading practices.