Beavercreek Transition to Middle Schools

Guide to the Middle School Transition Discussions

As a result of passing the 1995 bond issue for renovating schools, Beavercreek's junior high schools will be converted to middle schools.

The resolutions, reports, and consultants of the National Middle School Association (NMSA) have guided this effort since the beginning of the transition. The administration has not "assuaged fears" of parents that the direction proposed (based on NMSA input) meets the needs of the community, as expressed prior to voting on the original bond issue. The original PRIDE mandates, the transition committee recommendations, public concerns and NMSA recommendations are provided below.

Recommendations of the PRIDE Committee

PRIDE Recommendations and the Middle School Concept
Can the Middle School Concept Deliver? There is little reason to believe middle schools will encourage strong academics.
Currently approximately 600 students - nearly 10% of the student population - require some form of special education as mandated by state and federal laws. Beavercreek schools have also had to expand the menu of courses available for the student who has a broader spectrum of needs. This has increased the number of students who are involved in honors classes, advanced-level classes, and advanced placement classes involving the equivalent of college credit.
Some of the major preferences identified by the community during the first community meeting were: Support for an academically strong educational program at all educational levels;... Preference for increased use of technology in the delivery of instruction;... Supports an increased emphasis on computer literacy.

Recommendations of the middle school transition subcommittes

Middle School Committee Recommendation Synopsis
Academic Placement Committe Recommendations

Community Dialog and Feedback

Dr. Bickert's comments from the November, 1997 board meeting
I want to take an opportunity to—kind of—to assuage some of [parents] fears by saying that the change to middle schools is a paradigm shift for us ... I'm a firm believer that everyone should have the opportunity to get to two standard deviations above the mean.
Dr. Sinclair's Presentation to Parents
... parents should not expect to understand the literature of professionals in education ...
Notes from PTO Executive Board Meeting
Discussion concerned the PRIDE committee and the issue of their mandate of the middle school concept. All this committee agreed to was the grade structure, 6-8, called a middle school,--not the mandated middle school concept.
Beavercreek Press Releases and Parent Responses
... columns and letters to the editor ... arranged in chronological order.
Unanswered Questions

Recommendations of the National Middle School Association.

National Middle School Association Beliefs
... a Middle School ... is appropriately designed to meet the distinct developmental needs of young adolescents.
Resolution Adopted by the National Middle School Association
Therefore, be it resolved that NMSA urge school personnel to implement flexible grouping practices which place student needs above organizational and instructional convenience.
National Middle School Association Research Summary #6: Heterogeneous Grouping
...among the "factors critical to program success" enumerated in the summary is the following: students were grouped by ability and/or performance for language arts and mathematics instruction.
An anonymous guide to help traditionally organized schools move beyond tracking.
...hire-or groom-a well-informed, progressive, conscientious, dedicated courageous principal to facilitate their school's campaign for better education. ... take risks and to be willing to accept negative consequences on the occasions when innovative initiatives fail to pay off.

See Also:

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