Southmoreland Middle School

  1. PLC Story
  2. PLC Practices
  3. Achievement Data
  4. Awards
  5. Resources

In 2003, Southmoreland Middle School was in AYP Warning status because of the poor performance in math of our economically disadvantaged students. In the first year of implementation of the collaborative team model, proficiency rates of our ED students doubled in both reading and math. Ten years later, proficiency levels have quadrupled in math and tripled in reading among economically disadvantaged students. Today, the gap in performance between the economically disadvantaged subgroup and all students has nearly been eliminated.

In collaborative teams, teachers cycle through the "team learning process" to identify essential outcomes, map curriculum, develop common assessments, analyze data and make decisions as a result of the data, and develop SMART goals to target improved learning. Southmoreland Middle School is a leader in the Commonwealth in reducing non-proficiency as measured by the state assessment, the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA).

SMS has made amazing progress in moving students into the highest learning quartile (Advanced). In 2012, 75% of 6th grade students, 75% of 7th grade students, and 76% of 8th grade students were advanced in math. In 2012, 42% of 6th grade students, 44% of 7th grade students, and 63% of 8th grade students were advanced in reading.

The following chart indicates how Southmoreland Middle School has progressed from 2003, the first year we implemented the Professional Learning Community model. The chart shows the percent of SMS students who scored proficient or advanced on the PSSA in grade 8.

Year Math Reading ED Math ED Reading
2003 39% 57% 23% 34%
2010 87% 85% 82% 80%
2011 91% 91% 84% 95%
2012 92% 88% 90% 88%

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

Teams of teachers give common formative assessments on a continuous basis to monitor student learning and measure program effectiveness. Both struggling and advanced learners are identified for intervention and enrichment (I/E) periods which are scheduled as a regular part of the school day. As part of the district's goal of improving reading performance, Individual Student Learning Plans (ISLPs) were implemented in 2012 to target specific skill deficiencies of individual students.

2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.

Southmoreland Middle School implements a tiered system of intervention to support student learning as follows:

  • Daily student support period to assist struggling students and to provide enrichment activities.
  • Twice weekly intervention period for core subjects during the school day.
  • Two (2) hours of after school tutoring per week in literacy and mathematics for students identified as non-proficient learners.
  • Weekly guided study sessions to support the intentional non-learner.
  • Weekly after-school extended learning sessions for the intentional non-learner.
  • Saturday Session assigned to students who need additional support.
  • Academic support team created for struggling students to get support from guidance counselor in two 40 minute sessions per week.
  • Academic support homerooms are assigned to struggling students to work with their content area to teachers.
  • Grade level teams meet with parents and students on a regular basis to resolve issues that impede learning.

3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.

Southmoreland Middle School has transformed from a culture of teacher isolation to one in which collaboration is the hallmark of the organization. Grade level and department teams meet daily in the six-day cycle for:

  • Curriculum and assessment planning
  • Intervention and Enrichment planning
  • Regular Ed & Special Ed inclusion planning
  • Student Support (guidance counselor led)

In 2012-13, principal-led book talks provide teachers with practical research and powerful professional development. All Southmoreland district teachers are engaged this year in the reading and discussion of Learning By Doing, (DuFour, DuFour, Eaker, Many), and Mindset, (Dweck).

Additional Achievement Data

Percentage of students passing - School Scores/Comparison Scores

Grade: 6 Math Reading
2009-10 89/78 73/69
2010-11 92/79 72/70
2011-12 >93/77 77/69
Grade: 7 Math Reading
2009-10 93/78 78/74
2010-11 88/79 75/76
2011-12 94/80 87/76
Grade: 8 Math Reading Writing Science
2009-10 87/75 85/82 58/75 67/57
2010-11 91/77 95/82 92/73 67/58
2011-12 92/76 88/80 82/73 76/60
  1. 2013 MetLife Foundation – NASSP Breakthrough School Award (One of ten nationwide)
  2. Keystone Achievement Award from Pennsylvania Department of Education for making AYP in years 2005-12.