What Works in Middle Level Schools and Programs
We know what works in middle level school in programs. The things that work are called the Essential Elements of Standards-Focused Middle Level Schools and Programs, usually referred to simply as the Essential Elements. The Essential Elements provide us with the guidance to deliver research-based, proven programs for our early adolescents. What are the Essential Elements? They are:
- A philosophy and mission that reflect the intellectual and developmental needs and characteristics of young adolescents (more)
- An educational program that is comprehensive, challenging, purposeful, integrated, relevant, and standards-based (more)
- An organization and structure that support both academic excellence and personal development (more)
- Classroom instruction appropriate to the needs and characteristics of young adolescents provided by skilled and knowledgeable teachers (more)
- Strong educational leadership and a building administration that encourage, facilitate, and sustain involvement, participation, and leadership (more)
- A network of academic and personal support available for all students (more)
- Professional learning and staff development for all staff that are ongoing, planned, purposeful, and collaboratively developed (more)
Join the NYS Middle School Association Today!
- Receive timely information on issues of importance to middle-level educators and keep pace with New York State’s rapidly changing middle-level landscape through regular publications (e.g., In Transition), Twitter, Facebook, a weekly “newsblast”, and special, in-depth reports on timely topics.
- Become part of a collegial Statewide network of middle-level practitioners available 24/7 for advice and encouragement.
- Have access to cost-effective, quality professional development opportunities tailored to your specific needs.
- For schools engaged in systemic school improvement, receive expert mentoring and guidance on best practices and current research from administrators and teachers of recognized Essential Elements: Schools-To-Watch® schools.
- Build connections and personal contacts among the middle-level professional community.
- Have priority for serving on EE: STW® site visit teams and/or presenting at the annual NYSMSA Conference.
- Receive special registration rates for attendance at the Annual Conference and regional workshops.
- Support the only organization in New York State whose sole purpose is to promote middle-level education (e.g., Essential Elements) and the academic and personal development of young adolescents.
- Become part of the solution by working with the NYSMSA Board of Directors and its regional networks to advocate for middle-level education, middle-level educators, and young adolescents locally and statewide.
- Have an opportunity to “give back” to the profession, to help others as well as yourself. Demonstrate your middle-level professionalism today by joining NYSMSA.
Essential Elements: Schools-to-Watch
Click on the Schools-to-Watch button from the above navigation menu (or click here) for all you need to know about the Essential Elements: Schools-to-Watch school recognition program.
Help for Implementing the Essential Elements
A set of three protocols have been developed to guide a school’s use of the Essential Elements of Standards-Focused Middle-Level Schools and Programs. Taken together, the three protocols represent a comprehensive set of tools and guidance for beginning and sustaining a system of continuous reflection and improvement based upon the research-based Essential Elements and their rubrics. Each protocol can be used independently of the others.