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Summer Hours

Posted in News & Announcements

 During the summer months, office hours are from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm, Monday - Thursday. We will be closed July 20th - the 24th.

MMS Literacy Block Presented at UMTSS Conference

Posted in News & Announcements

litblockOn June 25th, Literacy Coaches, Sara Allen and Dan Ashbridge, along with Assistant Principal Karen Moore presented the development, implementation, adjustments, and results of our literacy block introduced during the 2014 - 2015 school year.

UMTSS stands for Utah Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports, which refers to a whole-school, data-driven, prevention-based framework for improving learning outcomes for EVERY student through a layered strategies of evidence-based instructional practices and systems.

In the spring of 2014, Midvale Middle School had 54% of its student population reading below proficiency. With such a large population in need of reading intervention, a commitment to try something new was required from the entire staff. As a result, a plan was developed by the school leadership to set a school wide goal of increasing students reading comprehension and basic reading skills. Students would be instructed in the skills necessary to tackle and make meaning out of difficult texts. This goal will empower students to take on new challenges, with a growth mindset that will enable them to control the forward movement in their lives. To set this goal in motion a systematic change needed to take place. Starting in the fall of 2014, a 30-minute “Literacy Block” was created for every student and was to be taught by every teacher, counselor and administrator. Within this block all students would be exposed to challenging texts from multiple genre’s and be given the necessary instructional support to build reading comprehension habits and skills that are required to be college and career ready in the 21st century.

This also required teachers to become proficient at teaching reading comprehension skills. Many secondary teachers are taught how to teach a specific content and have limited experience teaching specific reading comprehension skills. Teachers, counselors, library specialists and administrators all committed to professional development provided by instructional coaches focused on high yielding instructional strategies along with literacy development instructional techniques.

What started small, has grown to unite the entire school around common goals and focus. Every student has been taught common language, annotation symbols, and engagement strategies. This commonality has made it easier to transfer literacy skills to all aspects of the school day. For example, annotation can easily be used in all core and elective classes increasing students exposure and instruction with complicated texts. Another benefit has been a school-wide shift in thinking of reading practice being necessary for struggling readers to a new focus on literacy as a way to reach future goals that all students need no matter their current proficiency levels.

As a result, Midvale Middle has seen accelerated growth in their students reading comprehension both in the classroom and during formal assessments. All students are making gains, some of them for the first time. Students’ attitudes about reading and literacy have changed to a more “can do” attitude. It is evident, with the dedication and commitment of the teachers and staff at Midvale, students are moving toward the path of success.

While we have made plans to adjust some components of the Literacy Block for this upcoming school year, we were highly pleased with our individual student growth as shown in this linked slideshow.

KSL did stories on our "experiment" both in January and May. It is wonderful to see such growth and greatness from our students and teachers!