New Prague Middle School

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

New Prague Middle School, similar to Adlai Stevenson High School in the early 1980’s, has several advantages over other school districts due to demographics.  Both school districts consist of primarily middle and upper class families with very few families living in poverty. The best indicator of student achievement is to compare our results with the state average.  Because of our demographics, New Prague Schools’ proficiency on the MCA’s should never be at or below the state average.  We should always be striving to increase the number of students above the state average, and ensuring academic growth of all learners.

In 2007, test scores in math and reading of New Prague Middle School were near the state average – not good enough when you consider 15% of New Prague students received free or reduced lunch, while the state average was 43%. 

Changes were needed.  Improving our student academic achievement became our school-wide goal. The focus shifted from teacher instruction to student learning, from working in isolation to collaboratively working interdependently within a team, from basing actions on opinion to basing actions on results.  Answering the four critical questions of a PLC began to drive the daily work of our school.

Scheduled collaboration time was already built into our school schedule.  Grade levels were divided into interdisciplinary teams and had scheduled time to meet five days per week.  In 2006, it was decided that interdisciplinary teams would meet 3 days per week and grade-level departments would meet 2 days per week.  Throughout 2006 and 2007, the focus for this collaboration time was a book study of Understanding by Design and creating essential outcomes within each grade-level department.  By 2008, all departments had created curriculum maps and common pacing guides, and common assessments became our focus.  All grade-level departments implemented a minimum of 4 common assessments per year.  Teams used their collaboration time to analyze student data from these assessments and the data from our state and national standardized tests to improve instruction, re-evaluate curriculum, and support those struggling students who needed additional time and support.

Our intervention and enrichment program organically grew and changed over this time as well.  Daily intervention time for students who are struggling academically has been a core part of our schedule, and continues to be today.  Students who score under proficiency on the state standardized tests or those who are struggling academically in their core classes are placed into a daily intervention class.  This intervention course is taught by the grade-level math and language arts teachers.  Tutorial time is built into our schedule for all academic and intervention areas providing support and enrichment, especially for reading and math.  In addition, all other students are given an opportunity for enrichment through a wide variety of course offerings.

Over the course of the next several years, grade-level departments have taken it upon themselves to do additional great things.  All of the departments within the building have a standards-based curriculum.  Several departments have created and use common assessments for all assessments given within their course, and several have common standards-based grading practices.  In recent years, literacy has become the focus throughout the building.  Currently all departments meet with our district’s secondary literacy and instructional coach on a regular basis to improve instruction and student learning.

Two things remained at the center of these changes: the four critical questions of a PLC and student data.  All building goals and changes in curriculum and instruction have stemmed from answering the questions and analyzing the data.  Individual teachers and teams have become students of the data and utilize the information to constantly and consistently adjust their instruction.

As you can see from the data, New Prague Middle School has made impressive gains on the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA’s) in math, reading and science every year.

            The tests also allow us to identify students who failed in specific proficiency areas and help teachers design interventions to help them improve.  Teachers will analyze MCA data and identify strategies to address these deficiencies.

            We are very proud of our students and staff for a job well done and for continuing the work in order to increase student achievement and become better professionals.  We believe all students can learn, and the goal is for all students to improve upon their proficiency level on the state MCA’s.  Some students may need more time and support to reach that goal.  We continue to look for ways to better our instruction and delivery system in order to help all learners reach their goals.  The ability to read, write, compute, and communicate is vital in today’s world.  We want all of our children to succeed.

 

Here are some highlights of the work being done:

  • Grade level departments meet twice per week for the purpose of clarifying essential learnings, creating and analyzing common assessments, and sharing or researching best practices.
  • Continual review and evaluation of our school-wide intervention plan that is systematic, timely, and directive.
  • We increased the level of time and instruction by automatically placing students in intervention if they did not pass the state tests in math and reading.
  • Tutorial time is built into the schedule for all academic and intervention areas to provide support and enrichment, especially for reading and math.
  • Providing staff with individual student test data that is user-friendly and informative.
  • Making a commitment to individual professional development – improving from within – implementing an initiative on literacy that is simple, focused, and continual.
  • Professional development is done in-house during collaborative team time, staff meetings, and district staff development.

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

  • One day per week is devoted to interdisciplinary teams meeting with our counselor and assistant principal to identify students who need additional time and support.
  • Standards-based grading systems are used to help identify students who are academically falling behind their peers.
  • Teachers conduct weekly informal formative assessments.
  • Principal routinely checks all teachers' grade books, watching for failing or near-failing grades.

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

We have created an effective and comprehensive academic intervention system, including the essential components of the response to intervention model.

  • We have a whole-school focus on improving tier 1 instruction and in-class intervention. Professional development is done in-house during collaborative team time, staff meetings, and district staff development.
  • Tutorial time is built into the schedule for all academic and intervention areas to provide support and enrichment, especially for reading and math.
  • Student data is analyzed by teachers and the school counselor to determine placement in intervention services. Data used includes math and reading scores of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment, NWEA MAP test scores from fall and spring, classroom performance scores, and anecdotal data from teachers.
  • If a student does not meet proficiency on the MCA math and/or reading test, they are automatically placed in tier 2 and/or tier 3 interventions.
  • Those students who are determined as needing additional time and support are closely monitored, given diagnostic tests, and also placed in tier 2 intervention. This consists of small-group instruction (10–15 students) taught by our language arts and math teachers.
  • Tier 2 intervention time is built into our daily schedule. Therefore, students receive tier 2 intervention for 45 minutes every day.
  • Those students who are determined to need even more time and support, who do not improve with tier 2 instruction, or who need very small group instruction are placed in tier 3 intervention. This is a very small group setting (1–5 students) and is led by our reading specialist or math specialists.

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

  • Ongoing professional development through peer-to-peer observations and staff development.
  • Daily collaboration time built into the contractual day.
  • Required reports of common assessment data analysis and continually collaborating and discussing best instructional strategies in meeting student learning of the standards.
  • Professional development led by district experts during staff meetings and district staff development time.

 

 

NEW PRAGUE MIDDLE SCHOOL

 

 

 

 

Percentage of students passing: School Scores/State Scores

Source: Minnesota Department of Education

 

 

 

Grade: 8th                   

Math

(NPMS/State)

Reading

(NPMS/State)

Writing

 

Science

(NPMS/State)

Social Studies

 

Year 2007-08

 57/56 (+1)

 79/66 (+13)

 n/a

 53/39 (+14)

 n/a

Year 2008-09

 64/58 (+6)

 73/67 (+6)

 n/a

 62/43 (+19)

 n/a

Year 2009-10

 71/57 (+14)

 78/68 (+10)

 n/a

 68/48 (+20)

 n/a

Year 2010-11

 72/53 (+19)

 84/68 (+16)

 n/a

 70/45 (+25)

 n/a

Year 2011-12

 89/61 (+28)

 86/72 (+14)

 n/a

 69/43 (+26)

 n/a

Year 2012-13

 86/59 (+27)

 79/54 (+25)

 n/a

 72/44 (+28)

 n/a

Year 2013-14

 85/60 (+25)

 76/56 (+20)

 n/a

 71/45 (+26)

 n/a

Year 2014-15

 88/58 (+30)

 75/56 (+19)

 n/a

 71/45 (+26)

 n/a

Year 2015-16

 89/58 (+31)

 80/57 (+23)

 n/a

 76/47 (+29)

 n/a

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percentage of students passing: School Scores/State Scores

Grade: 7th        

Math

(NPMS/State)

Reading

(NPMS/State)  

Writing

 

Science

 

Social Studies

 

Year 2007-08

 61/60 (+1)

 65/65 (+0)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

Year 2008-09

 72/61 (+11)

 72/65 (+7)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

Year 2009-10

 84/63 (+21)

 75/66 (+9)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

Year 2010-11

 73/51 (+22)

 84/69 (+15)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

Year 2011-12

 86/57 (+29)

 90/71 (+19)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

Year 2012-13

 81/56 (+25)

 74/54 (+20)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

Year 2013-14

 83/57 (+26)

 74/56 (+18)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

Year 2014-15

 82/55 (+27)

 78/56 (+24)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

Year 2015-16

 87/56 (+31)

 72/57 (+15)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

 

 

 

 

 

 

Percentage of students passing: School Scores/State Scores

Grade: 6th        

Math

(NPMS/State)  

Reading

(NPMS/State)  

Writing

 

Science

 

Social Studies

 

Year 2007-08

 73/63 (+10)

 74/70 (+4)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

Year 2008-09

 71/62 (+9)

 73/73 (+0)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

Year 2009-10

 78/68 (+10)

 76/72 (+4)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

Year 2010-11

 63/50 (+13)

 85/74 (+11)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

Year 2011-12

 78/59 (+19)

 87/75 (+12)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

Year 2012-13

 78/57 (+21)

 74/59 (+15)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

Year 2013-14

 79/57 (+22)

 81/61 (+20)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

Year 2014-15

 75/58 (+17)

 78/64 (+14)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

Year 2015-16

 74/56 (+18)

 72/62 (+10)

 n/a

 n/a

 n/a

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Multiple Measurement Rating (MMR) is a measurement of school performance used for holding schools accountable under Minnesota's approved No Child Left Behind waiver. The MMR considers the proficiency, growth, achievement gap reduction and graduation rates of schools. Points are assigned in each of the four domains based on how well the school performed, and the total MMR is the percentage of possible points that the school earned. The Focus Rating (FR) is a secondary measurement within the MMR that measures schools specifically on the performance of student groups that exhibit an achievement gap in Minnesota. 

  • The highest rating any elementary, middle school, or junior high can receive is 75 points. 
  • The rating is based on three evaluative domains – 1) student proficiency in reading and math, 2) student growth in reading and math, and 3) the achievement (racial/poverty) gap on the reading and math MCA’s.
  • Each domain counts for 25 points. 

New Prague Middle School MMR results:

  • 2013-14: NPMS = 67.71 out of 75 points possible
    This ranks at the 90.28 percentile for all middle schools in the state of Minnesota.
  • 2014-15: NPMS = 67.99 out of 75 points possible
    This ranks at the 90.65 percentile for all middle schools in the state of Minnesota.
  • 2015-16: NPMS = 66.57 out of 75 points possible
    This ranks at the 88.76 percentile for all middle schools in the state of Minnesota. 

This score ranked NPMS as the 3rd highest middle school in the state. In 2014-15, NPMS was ranked 5th of all middle schools in the state.

  • Certificate of Recognition for making significant progress in teaching students to read for 2 consecutive school years, 2009–2010 and 2010–2011, Minnesota Center for Reading Research, University of Minnesota, February 29, 2012
  • 5 Star School Digger Rating: New Prague Middle School ranked 8th out of 473 middle schools, schooldigger.com, November 15, 2013
  • MinnCan.org rating: New Prague Middle School report card rating A for student performance, A- for subgroup performance, B for achievement gap, minncan.org, November 15, 2013
  • Recognized by the local media for high academic performance.

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