Mercer Middle School
Loudoun County Public Schools
Comprehensive Needs Assessment - Executive Summary
42149 Greenstone Drive, Aldie, VA 20105
The Mercer Middle School program is predicated on the professional learning community model in which we share, receive, and assist in making decisions that are in our students’ best interest. Teachers are “teamed” by grade level content (CLTs), and they share a common planning period. They collaborate on instructional delivery and common assessments, both formative and summative. Teachers are also members of an interdisciplinary team where they share a common planning period on the alternate day. During this time, they diagnose learning deficits regarding individual learners and intervene with both appropriate high yield strategies and the use of our current Response to Interventions (RTI) Pyramid.
Extended Learning Opportunities
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of middle school is the opportunity for students to find their niche beyond the general curriculum. Our students are refining their peer groups, and our response to cultivating this growth is partnering with the PTSA to offer a wide variety of clubs and activities through PROWL (Pairing Recreational Opportunities with Learning) (see below). We have structured it so teachers or students can develop any club that peaks their interest. Two sessions lasting nine weeks each are available in September and January, and clubs meet before and after school to accommodate multiple schedules. One very important program we started this year is PEAK time. PEAK (Promoting Emotional and Academic Knowledge Toward Independently Maintaining Excellence) is a devoted time in a student’s morning schedule where we as a school aim to meet the academic, social, emotional and behavioral needs of our students. Students will meet daily with their same group of peers and their same teacher. PEAK TIME promotes opportunities for social development and promotes a positive school climate. It assists students with their academic programs as well as facilitates positive involvement among teachers, administrators and students.
Areas of Strength
Student achievement forms the core of our decision-making process and the heart of our school language, culture, and identity. It guides our day-to-day practices and is the vehicle through which we strive to meet the needs of our diverse student population. Our core values and mission statement are evident in the practices and beliefs that permeate our building each day. Our AMO rates for English and Math remain strong. All subgroups have met AMO. Rates remain strong and steady over the last three years.
Areas for Growth
In our practice at Mercer Middle School, we constantly strive to reflect, learn and look for areas in which we can make improvements. As a result, our goals are the following: 1) We will work hard to improve reading achievement and comprehension with all students by implementing an intervention framework. 2) For the 2018-2019 school year, Mercer is implementing a new program called PEAK time in an effort to increase the connection to our school community as well as help students improve on their executive functioning skills. 3) We will continue to reinforce our understanding of the four elements of personalized learning by running professional development sessions during CLT meetings and department meetings so that staff have a clear understanding at the end of the school year.