Sterling Middle School
Loudoun County Public Schools
Comprehensive Needs Assessment - Executive Summary
201 West Holly Ave
LCPS School Profile
Virginia School Quality Profile
School Improvement Plan
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Instructional Overview - Component 2
Sterling Middle School has been chosen to be a personalized learning school beginning the fall of 2018. The term personalized learning refers to a diverse variety of educational programs, learning experiences, instructional approaches, and academic-support strategies that are intended to address the distinct learning needs, interests, aspirations, or cultural backgrounds of individual students. Next year, during the 2018-19 school year, our school will focus on two of the four core tenets of personalized Learning: Targeted Instruction and Student Reflection and Ownership.
Targeted Instruction is instruction that is aligned to specific student needs and learning goals. Using data, teachers identify specific student needs and provide instruction to meet those needs. Teachers employ small group, 1-1, strategy group, or other targeted instruction to create a learning environment where all individual needs and interests can be met.
Student Reflection and Ownership promotes ownership of learning. Students have frequent opportunities to reflect on what they are learning and their success in learning. Students make goals to improve their learning outcomes and have opportunities to make authentic choices for their learning. Students have authentic choice and ownership over their learning. As we grow in Personalized Learning we would like to create spaces to become student learning centers. These spaces could potentially allow students to work in flexible in their own way and at their own rate. It would provide spaces for targeted enrichment and remediation.
In addition to personalized learning Sterling Middle will continue to foster students socio-emotional learning(SEL) through our Advisory program. This program strives to give students a consistent adult contact each morning to foster an adult connection in the building. In addition, various lessons and activities are done through advisory throughout the year to help students foster learning and growth.
Extended Learning Opportunities
COMPONENT 3: Professional Development
Sterling Middle School will continue to provide teachers with professional development that will help them grow with regard to school initiatives such as ExC-ELL vocabulary teaching; teaching collaboration (CLTs); Co-Teaching; Personalized Learning; and One-to-the World/PBL.
Approximately 80% of teachers have received training in the research-based ExC-ELL program with follow up visits by the program’s author and researcher. Dr. Margarita Calderon’s research defines high-quality instruction as strategic, systematic, and incrementally built on what students already know. She also says that making instruction explicit will boost English learner comprehension and participation in learning. The seven components that our teachers will continue learning about are: backward planning; parsing text; summarization; background building; review of previous learned material; explicit instruction of vocabulary; and formulation of questions.
Sterling Middle School has been an established, high functioning PLC for several years. Our teachers continue to receive professional development on the power of collaboration and data reflection. These professional development opportunities will continue during 2018-19 through quarterly PLC Summits and through various DROs (Data Reflection Opportunities) throughout the year within each CLT. This work is based on the Dufours’ research of effective and powerful teacher collaboration.
Loudoun County Public Schools implemented the initiative of One-to-the-World and PBL/PBA where all students work on a driving question in order to help students become proficient in the 5 C's: critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, cooperation and effective communication. Using the work done by the Buck Institute for Education, our teachers have sought to engage students in deeper thinking in which they must create something for the world. In 2018-2019, Sterling Middle School will attempt to grow in Personalized Learning by working with EdElements to create personalized instruction for students.
In 2018-2019 Sterling Middle School formed an RTI team to look at Tiered Interventions and supports for the students. This team will continue this work in 2018-2019.
COMPONENT 4: Family and Community Engagement
We continue to seek ways to have our students invested in their learning and school environment and in 2018-2019 we would like to increase family and community engagement in the school. Currently, when we have events for families and the community we have low attendance. We also find that when families and the community come in for conferences we spend part of the time providing guidance on how families can help their child at home to support learning.
We have also seen that there is an interest in parents coming in to the building when we give them choice and open the building for them to come in. For example, in the last two years during American Education Week we had 55 parents come in 2015 - 2016 and 119 come in 2016-2017. Families were more willing to come in 2016-17, when we opened up classrooms for them to visit. In 2017-2018, we opened our school up for a longer stretch of time for our Back to School Night and parents could pop in and out when they wanted. By doing this, over 90% of our 6th grade families were represented. In order to facilitate greater family and community engagement, we will provide parent education programs, more opportunities for parents to volunteer in classrooms and school activities and, host events planned for community and parent involvement.
These events may include:
- Principal Coffees
- Pioneer Family Night at the beginning of the school year
- Parents as Educational Partner (PEP) Meetings throughout the year
- SPED Case Manager Dinner with families
- Phoenix ParentVue Training Sessions
We also hope to support our families of English Learners, by providing increased hours for a Spanish-speaking Parent Liaison, who will help translate for families, and help provide support for families in need.
COMPONENT 1: Needs Assessment
Areas of Strength
Based on perceptual data, 97% of staff members indicated that they agreed that there is collaboration among the faculty. Moreover, 100% of teachers agreed that data is used in order make decisions. This indicates that collaboration in our Sterling Middle School PLC and the CLTs is evident to staff members. Our Instructional Facilitator has worked diligently to facilitate Data-Driven Dialogues within CLTs to help improve individual student performance. Additionally, over 80% of staff members have received Professional Development on the Core 4 of Personalized Learning, Playlists or Math Workshop.
Areas for Growth
Sterling Middle School’s SOL scores in Writing, Math and Reading have remained stagnant even though the school focused on providing resources to these departments this year. We are seeing considerably lower scores among our ELL and SPED students than our overall data. We are also seeing a disparity between the scores of our overall population and our Hispanic population.
• Increase personalized instruction for students to provide intervention and enrichment
• Increase the identification of students in need of intervention to facilitate their learning.
• School-wide focus on Professional Development to support personalized instruction
• The creation of personalized learning spaces in teacher’s classrooms and throughout the
building to facilitate instruction
• Focus on Math instruction especially for SWD subgroup
• Increase family and community engagement
• Continue to support student’s socio-emotional learning(SEL) and growth