No Work Left Behind!
Everyone is at least somewhat familiar with the new federal education law commonly referred to as No Child Left Behind. Well, Mabry Middle School is introducing a new "law" of our own, No Work Left Behind!
Based in the deeply-held belief in our school community that homework completion is essential to our school goal, maximized student academic achievement, we are instituting a new homework policy at Mabry. And I must take a minute to brag on the extreme level of professionalism this represents in our certified staff! I have never heard of a group of teachers who were willing to give so much to their students as this policy represents! Your teachers at Mabry are unparalleled in their professional commitment to maximizing student academic achievement!
Having said that, let me take you through this new policy. All homework at Mabry must be completed on time as assigned by teachers. Period. We believe this is critical to our school goal. In most schools around the nation, when a child does not do their homework on time, they simply get a zero, or perhaps a greatly reduced grade when the assigned work is turned in late, irrespective of what they learn or do not learn.
When a child does not do his/her homework, that child fails to practice and master the educational objectives the teacher is expecting of all students. Our teachers are no longer willing to accept this lack of learning and initiative by dismissing this lack of commitment from students as a zero, which has been our standard practice. Teachers will require every child to complete all homework assignments. On the day a students fails to satisfactorily complete homework, s/he will stay with the teacher during PE and Connections time until the work is done satisfactorily. And while the student may not receive complete credit for the work, they will get partial credit as well as the practice the learning objective requires.
If a student fails to complete 3 homework assignments in a given 9 weeks for a teacher, the student will spend a day with the ISS teacher catching up on work and receiving an intensive help session with organizational skills and time management strategies. In fact, many of you are familiar with Stephen Covey's, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The help session these students will experience is based in that same work which he re-wrote for kids! Our goal is to facilitate work ethic, self-direction, and academic success. This will not be entered as an ISS assignment in your student's record.
At Mabry, we have excellent students who do what is expected of them. Becoming self-directed problem solvers is critical to their future success. We anticipate that once students understand that an integral part of Mabry's school culture is adequate and timely work completion, they will rise to this challenge and meet this expectation.
Since this is a new local school policy that initially requires more of the teachers' planning time, we will monitor it closely. Parents should never allow their child to fail to complete homework at home anticipating that they will be required to do it at school the next day. If we believe that the program is being abused or does not prove to be as successful as we anticipate, we may modify it or discontinue it altogether. And, this is a two-way street. If you feel you would prefer to not have your child participate, you may send in a note to that effect to the front office, and your child will receive zeros for homework not done. More detailed operational components of the plan are included in the student folder.
We appreciate your support in making certain that your child achieves to the best of his/her ability. And in that regard, we appreciate your support in making certain that your child does his/her homework. And I appreciate our teacher's professionalism in providing this opportunity to increase student success through accountability for timely and adequate homework completion. Managed appropriately, the No Work Left Behind policy at Mabry will greatly benefit your child!
posted on: August 10, 2005
Our mission at Mabry Middle School is to maximize student achievement in a culture of caring.
We have three school goals, two are focused on student achievement, and one on general school improvement. Our school goal is to promote teachers as instructional leaders. We have several strategies in place to accomplish this. The most significant areas of this goal include continued training of our teachers in the new state curriculum standards, the Georgia Performance Standards, which are being phased in over time. We are also continuing to train our teachers in technology implementation, data-driven curriculum planning, and vertical teaming through curriculum mapping.
Our two student achievement goals focus on increasing student achievement in mathematics, Mabry's area of lesser strength (which is a state-wide issue), and literacy (reading and writing). We will continue emphasis on the Accelerated Math program, a computer-assisted, teacher-led program that identifies individual student achievement gaps while continuously reviewing previously learned skills to make that learning permanent. We will also continue our emphasis on reading and writing across the curriculum, a school-wide focus on specific reading and writing skills, and increasing the number of students meeting the state expectation that all children will read 25 books (150 pages per book) or 1,000,000 words per year.
Our school improvement plan (SIP), which details the summary presented here, will be online when it is completed at the beginning of each school year. The link will be placed on this post.
posted on: June 11, 2005