Farmwell Station Middle School
Loudoun County Public Schools
Comprehensive Needs Assessment - Executive Summary
School Improvement Team
Division Instructional Facilitator
Instructional Facilitator for Technology
Students at Farmwell Station Middle School (FSMS) are encouraged to set high academic goals. Teachers provide opportunities for students to reflect at regular intervals during the school year to identify past performance as well as to set goals for upcoming quarters. We encourage students to set SMART goals that are specific and measurable. These goals may be related to study and homework efforts, grades on assessments, interactions with teachers, and/or specific reading and writing goals.
Students are given opportunities and are encouraged to improve their performance. Farmwell follows an assessment cycle that includes formatively assessing students during the learning process. Teachers adjust instruction to address learning needs and misconceptions prior to summative assessments. Teachers work with students during resource to provide reteaching opportunities in order to ensure students have mastered the material prior to retakes.
The English department reinforces understanding of important concepts and essential skills through the use of book studies with common themes, such as character’s overcoming challenges, relationships, family struggles, and self-confidence. Students are encouraged to demonstrate their understanding through a variety of assessment and project options to show learning. This allows students to have voice and choice in showing their understanding while using a variety of platforms and media options. Students use journals and Google Forms to reflect on their learning and performance based on specific criteria given by the teacher.
Teachers in all content areas reinforce the importance of writing standards that are consistent across all subject areas. All teachers at FSMS display and reinforce consistent expectations of standards related to composition and our students know their teachers will hold them accountable to use standard writing practices across all disciplines.
Farmwell teachers use a variety of assessment tools to monitor student growth. Math and English teachers administer the MAPs assessment three times a year. The data from the MAPs assessments indicates student growth and shows if they are meeting projected learning targets. Science and social studies teachers use common assessments in Performance Matters to measure growth three times per year. In the classroom teachers use frequent check-ins and formative assessments during learning and prior to all summative assessments. In addition to traditional tests and quizzes students are given opportunities to choose how to demonstrate their learning using the 5Cs (Collaborator, Creator, Critical Thinker, Communicator, Contributor)
Students at FSMS are provided a resource block that aligns with their teachers’ planning time. This resource block provides students an opportunity to get extra help to master content, receive instruction due to absence, retake assessments after reteaching, and remediation opportunities. The resource block in the master schedule also provides opportunities for gifted students to take spectrum, a course offered to provide opportunities for higher-level thinking skills, problem solving, and decision making. The resource/spectrum block in the master schedule also allows teachers to plan team-building activities. Depending on multiple data sources to determine instructional needs, some students are also given an extra resource for math skill remediation, focused instruction, and math skill practice. These math resource times are facilitated and led by our math teachers.
At FSMS we want every student to feel connected to the school community and to the adults who support them each day. Counselors and deans move up each year with students throughout their middle school years to provide consistency. Students are placed in grade-level teams which allows the core content area teachers to share a group of students. Instructional teams (ITs) plan special events and activities during the school day as well as outside of school to encourage students to be involved and to get to know each other. Special education students are scheduled to team taught classes with a content area teacher and special education teacher for support in the classroom. The counseling team and grade-level dean attend team meetings to gain valuable information and insight from teachers regarding student concerns or successes. The grade-level dean and counselor work alongside teachers to develop strategies to support student growth. Counselors are able to follow-up and meet with students as needed.
We have a system in place to provide emotional and mental health support to students during their middle school years. FSMS’ Unified Mental Health Team is composed of school counselors, psychologist, social worker, student assistance specialist and school nurse. This team offers mental health services and supports to enhance student social, emotional, and behavioral growth. The UMHT and Pupil Services Support team meet monthly to identify students in need of services and to provide and monitor those services. The counseling team holds a small group session one day a week after school which focuses on students who are struggling academically. During the meetings students learn about setting goals, study habits, organizational strategies, and also have the opportunity to complete homework assignments. The group also focuses on building the student’s self-esteem and how to build positive working relationships with his or her teachers.
FSMS has several initiatives to encourage and support students including Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS) and Sources of Strength (SOS). Both play a key role in the student performance and overall atmosphere at FSMS. SOS is a youth suicide prevention project designed to harness the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, ultimately preventing suicide, bullying, and substance abuse. The mission of SOS is to prevent suicide by increasing help-seeking behaviors and promoting connections between peers and caring adults. Teachers and staff are provided details about the program and information on what to expect throughout the year. Training is provided to a student leadership group who coordinates activities, campaigns, events, and advisory lessons.
The tenets of FSMS Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) system are Strive, Own, Achieve and Respect (S.O.A.R.). We challenge all students to STRIVE to be/do their best; OWN their own behavior, mistakes, and successes; ACHIEVE to the best of their own ability; and RESPECT themselves and others. In other words, we teach all FSMS Falcons to S.O.A.R.! These tenets are taught directly to our students and they are given examples of what it looks like to S.O.A.R. in different school settings (hallway, classroom, restroom, cafeteria). Additionally, students can earn S.O.A.R. tickets for demonstrating actions that support the tenets. These S.O.A.R. tickets can be redeemed at our S.O.A.R. Store for prizes. The tenets are also taught and supported by Positivity Project Advisory lessons that focus on twenty-four character strengths.
Extended Learning Opportunities
Students are encouraged to make connections in their learning between their own lives and the world around them. Eighth grade Family and Consumer Science students compete in Lead4Change which is a nationwide organization that encourages students to find ways to make change in their community. Students submit leadership projects and Lead4Change recognizes the best projects. Farmwell students took 2nd place for their project called “Push to Care” which provided necessities to Afghan refugees in Loudoun County
FSMS partners with businesses and organizations to bring outside experts and experiences to our students. The Amature Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) organized a live contact with our students and an astronaut on the International Space Station. Loudoun Amature Radio Group (LARG) supplied radio equipment and radio experts to teach our students about sound transmission and the technology needed to make a live audio contact to the ISS. Students also learned about the ISS and space travel. In preparation for the ISS contact, experts in technology and space engineering fields from the Aerospace Corporation come to Farmwell to teach students about space concepts and topics. In May 2022 a team of experts from Microsoft hosted a “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day”. Women in technology fields shared their career paths and experiences to encourage young women to pursue careers in technology.
Parent and Community
There are opportunities for parents to be actively involved with the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). The PTA plans events and activities for the school community that include Bingo Night, outdoor movie night and spirit nights at local restaurants. Our counseling staff also organizes parent coffee meetings with experts on adolescent behavior and development. Parent coffee meetings are held in the school library and are also live streamed. Topics this past year included Signs of Suicide and Substance Abuse Trends in Teens. Farmwell hosts an annual event called “Donuts with Grownups” where students can bring an adult to school for breakfast. The EL department supports families by hosting “Saturday School''. They focus on building an awareness of culture and it allows parents to build an understanding of the routines and practices in our school.
Opportunities for Students
Students have an opportunity to take on leadership roles at FSMS. Each morning the student-produced news show called the Breakfast Bunch starts the day with the pledge, moment of silence and daily announcements. The Breakfast Bunch students learn how to run the hardware and software behind the scenes as well as take turns in front of the camera. Another way students can be leaders at FSMS is to be a Student Equity Ambassador. These students meet with student equity ambassadors from other schools during the school year. Students discuss their role and identify action steps to support equity in their school. The students have generated many ideas that include recognizing foods from different cultures through food services, creating advisory lessons regarding diversity, developing a session on how to create a safer and more accepting environment, organizing affinity groups, and raising awareness during Black History Month, Women’s History Month, and Arab-American Heritage Month. Student Equity Ambassadors provided input into the new equity statement for LCPS.
Farmwell provides opportunities for students to get involved with after school clubs and activities. Here’s a list of ways students can extend their learning in areas of interest.
As a school and district, we are continuously reflecting on our curriculum and instructional practices to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our diverse student population. Throughout the year, teachers participate in district-wide professional development. They also participate in on-going professional development at our school, which is focused on building our practice around Personalized Learning.
As a professional community, we reflect on our teaching and adjust instructional practices to mirror the needs of our students. At the start of this school year, our licensed staff assessed their level of practice for each of the Core Four areas within Personalized Learning and have created goals as they relate to Personalized Learning. If they work within CLTs, they created a CLT Personalized Learning goal; if they teach as a singleton, they created their own Personalized Learning goal. Every professional learning session is developed and led by the school facilitator team to support faculty’s growth around Personalized Learning.
Teachers at FSMS plan, design, and execute a variety of targeted instructional practices in order to meet the needs of our diverse student population. This can be related to classroom models such as station rotations, small group instruction, and providing opportunities for diagnostic and formative assessments to check for understanding. Providing opportunities for flexible path and pace allows students choice in their learning and gives students the space they need to take ownership of their learning.
As a professional community, we believe that learning is a continuous process. Our leadership team consistently supports the growth of our teams and provides meeting structures in place to support collaborative practices and to support team and individual capacity-building. Our teachers, administrators, and counselors also engage in annual book studies to further their knowledge in current educational practices.
Areas of Strength
Social Emotional Strengths
Areas for Growth
School Improvement Goals
Strand 1: Teaching for Learning
DOMAIN 2: MATH
By May of 2024, 80% of all students grades 6-8 will score proficient on their grade level SOL exams.
Outcome Goal Progress
By May of 2023, 75% of all students grades 6-8 will have met or exceeded their projected growth score in mathematics by 10% as determined by the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test.
By May of 2024, teachers will create lesson plans that provide instructional expertise that leads to a passing rate of proficient for 80% of all FWS students.
Process Goal Progress
By August, 2023 FWS will create a system of programs that provides extra help opportunities to support all students in mathematics achievement so that 77% of them will have met their RIT on the math MAP scores.
DOMAIN 1: ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS
By May of 2024, 85% of all students grades 6-8 will score proficient on their grade level SOL exams.
Outcome Goal Progress
By May of 2023, 75% of all students grades 6-8 will have met or exceeded their projected growth score in reading by 10% as determined by the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test.
By May of 2024, teachers will create lesson plans that provide instructional expertise that leads to a passing rate of proficient for 85% of all FWS students.
Process Goal Progress
By August, 2023 FWS will create a system of programs that provides extra help opportunities to support all students in reading achievement so that 77% of them will have met their RIT on the reading MAP scores.
School Improvement Goals
Strand 2: School Environment
DOMAIN 8: SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENTS
By May of 2025, 90% of FWS students will positively respond to the climate survey regarding their connection with a trusted adult.
Outcome Goal Progress
By May of 2024, 100% of FWS students will participate in an SEL related advisory group and practice self reflection skills.
By May of 2025, FWS will have a structured Advisory system school wide to provide an adult connection with every student.
Process Goal Progress
By August of 2024, FWS will enhance and improve an existing advisory program that provides a connection for every student with a trusted adult.