MS Activity Elements

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Dear Visitors,

Based on the findings of our middle school study, we developed this survey as a tool for school- and district-based educators to take the pulse of their own organizations in terms of the 5 key elements of What Makes Middle Schools Work.

For more about each element, see the full report (available as a PDF) on the NYKids Website. To access it, please copy and paste the following URL into your Web browser:

http://www.albany.edu/nykids/files/MiddleSchoolReport.pdf

and we invite you to use this survey with colleagues in your own setting.

Note that absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed due to the limited protections of Internet access. As you will see in this brief survey, no questions as to your name or other identifiable personal information is required.

Thank you for your responses.

Sincerely,
The NYKids Team
Element 1: Relationships Are Built on Mutual Trust and Respect.

Please indicate how well you think your school or district is addressing the following:
[not at all well][somewhat well][well][very well]
(1) Struggles and successes are shared among everyone (no finger-pointing).
(2) Everyone -- including students, community members, teachers, and administrators -- are held to high expectations for respect for others.
(3) When problems arise, teachers and administrators receive support by way of professional development, consultants, materials, more data, etc.
(4) In general a sense of security and safety is fostered and pervasive.
(5) Staff feel safe to voice disagreements about important issues and through discussion reconcile their differences.
Element 2: Nurturing Emotional and Social Well Being Is a Central Goal.

Please indicate how well you think your school or district is addressing the following:
[not at all well][somewhat well][well][very well]
(1) Adults take responsibility for connecting and guiding at-risk students.
(2) Preparing students for the transition from elementary to middle school (and then middle to high school) is a top priority.
(3) Expectations for behavior inside and outside the classroom are clear, consistent, and reinforced.
(4) We define success as more than academic performance, but as supporting children to be emotionally and socially healthy.
(5) We view diversity as an asset.
Element 3: Teachers and Administrators Consistently Collaborate Re: Raising Student Achievement.

Please indicate how well you think your school or district is addressing the following:
[not at all well][somewhat well][well][very well]
(1) Teachers frequently share information about student performance and needs.
(2) Teachers share materials, instructional approaches, and curriculum.
(3) Teachers and administrators across grade levels communicate regularly (at least two times per year), by department or committee, regarding curriculum, instruction, changes to state assessments, etc.
(4) Teachers and administrators work in teams on special projects meant to target areas in need of improvement informed by assessment data and teacher input.
(5) Teachers meet in teams during common planning times and often include special area teachers (e.g., special education and ESL).
Element 4: Decisions Are Made Using a Variety of Evidence.

Please indicate how well you think your school or district is addressing the following:
[not at all well][somewhat well][well][very well]
(1) We consistently analyze a variety of data to identify strengths and weaknesses in the curriculum and in instruction.
(2) We use data to inform innovations in curriculum and make programmatic changes.
(3) Teachers feel empowered to make instructional decisions based on what they and other teachers experience in their classrooms.
(4) Teachers use data to tailor instruction to students’ specific needs.
(5) We use data sources that go beyond the state assessments and include teachers’ ongoing reflections, and even student feedback.
Element 5: The Vision Is Clearly Articulated, Widely Shared, and Focused on Student Success.

Please indicate how well you think your school or district is addressing the following:
[not at all well][somewhat well][well][very well]
(1) We share a vision of what success looks like.
(2) That vision is aligned from district to school building to classroom.
(3) Everyone from the school board to the central administration to the school(s) understands what to do to enact that vision and why.
(4) Community members, teachers, administrators, and students have opportunities to engage in dialogue around and shape goals.
(5) Well-articulated plans for action that are consistently monitored and revised help us adhere to our vision.
Please indicate your:
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