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Westside Middle School


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Title: Westside Middle School

Westside Middle School
  • Home of the Rockets
  • 2008 - 2009

Staff Engagement
  • Teachers, administrators, and support staff
    employed at Westside are satisfied with their
    work and they understand how their roles
    contribute to the school and districts

Westsides Faculty
  • In order to understand the culture and climate at
    Westside, it is important to understand the
    various factors that influence attitudes towards
  • The following are graphs representing the
    experience of teachers, total time at Westside
    and number of different schools teachers have

Total Years of Experience (certified)
As you can see, the majority of our staff has
taught at least 6 years. The largest portion of
individuals have taught more than 20 years.
Years teaching at Westside Middle School
This charts shows that the majority of our
teachers have taught six or more years here at
Westside. Eighteen of our teachers have taught
from eleven to more than twenty-one years at
Number of schools at which they have taught
This chart illustrates the number of schools that
different faculty members have taught. As you can
see, the majority have only taught at Westside
Middle School.
  • It is evident by the high retention rate of
    teachers that our schools focus on the students
    keeps the teachers engaged.

Staff Development
  • Staff development has been designed around the
    needs and desires of the staff here at Westside.
  • The following are examples of how the staff was
    surveyed and how the results were communicated.

Staff Development Survey
  • October 22, 2008
  • Function of the Design Team

Percent of time engaged
  • 16 at 90 100
  • 4 at 80 89
  • 3 at 60 79
  • 1 at 40 59
  • 3 Below 40

Requested topics to cover
  • More on Technology (2)
  • No response (12)
  • Allow time for subject areas to work together (2)
  • Classroom Organization/ Discipline Management (3)
  • Web Resources (2)
  • Fundraising
  • More Wow Framework (2)
  • Learn about Quizdom
  • Judy Loves idea lesson plan format
  • More on using smart board or promethean

How could have the information been presented
  • It was great or no response (19)
  • Send in email
  • Refreshments and caffeine would have made it
    better (2)
  • Could have got feedback from staff on Design Team
  • Unit Plan
  • Needs to be shorter- mind was on working in my
  • Entirely in song- I really respond to that well
  • Paper

Additional Questions or Comments
  • No (5)
  • No Response (17)
  • Too Long
  • David is the BEST!
  • Loved the music and power points
  • Does the temperature control work in the MP room
  • Love the Design Team and appreciate what you do
    for us

Prefer to complete survey online or paper
  • Does not matter (6)
  • No response (2)
  • Paper (4)
  • Like this!!! (13)
  • Computer is fine- but faster if on paper right
    after meeting before you get busy doing other
    things and forget (2)

Teacher Rewards
  • Once a month a teacher is selected to receive a
    fifty dollar gift card to Longhorn Steak House.
  • In order to receive this award, teachers must
    have completed duties and assignments.
  • The purpose is to support positive morale.

Teacher rewards continued
  • All teachers that had completed all assignments
    and duties were treated to one half day off
    during the month of December.
  • Rationale
  • Teachers are more focused and engaged when they
    feel appreciated.

Developing a Focus on Students
  • Throughout Westside there is a clear focus on
    students and on the quality of the work provided
    to students-work that students find interesting,
    challenging, and satisfying and that results in
    students learning what is expected by schools,
    parents, and the community.

Gender Based Classes
Rationale of Gender Based Implementing School
  • After experiencing success, we decided to
    implement gender based instruction school wide.
  • We decided to implement it school wide with two
    exceptions Alpha and Special Education.
  • Due to scheduling these two groups are not able
    to be divided by gender.

Rationale of Gender Based Instruction
  • The male brain secretes less serotonin than the
    female brain, making males more impulsive and
  • Oxytocin is one of the brain chemicals that is
    more constantly stimulated in female brains than
    male brains
  • This makes the female more capable of quick and
    immediate empathetic responses to others pain
    and needs
  • Girls bond first, ask questions later.
  • Boys aggression first, ask questions later.
  • Girls try to manage social bonds in a group
    situation through egalitarian alliances.
  • Boys try to manage social energy through
    striving for dominance or pecking order
  • Hormones influence learning ability

Source Boys and Girls Learn Differently by
Michael Gurian, 2002

Rationale of Gender Based Instruction
  • Females brains mature earlier than males
  • Females acquire verbal skills (complex) much
  • Females read faster, with a larger vocabulary,
    and speak better grammar.
  • The bundle of nerves connecting the two
    hemispheres of the brain are 20 larger in
  • The prefrontal lobes of the female brain is more
    developed at an earlier age. This is where the
    regulation of emotion occurs.
  • The occipital lobes in females is more developed,
    this is where sensory processing occurs.

Source Boys and Girls Learn Differently by
Michael Gurian, 2002
General Information
  • Females take in more sensory data than males.
    They hear and smell better than males, and take
    in more information through their skin and
    fingertips than males.
  • Females tend to self-monitor high-risk and
    immoral conduct better.
  • Males tend to rely more on non-verbal
    communication and are less able to verbalize
    feelings and responses as quickly as females.
  • Males are more developed in the right hemisphere
    of their brain which provides them with better
    spatial skills, such as measuring, mechanical
    design, geography, and map reading.

Source Boys and Girls Learn Differently by
Michael Gurian, 2002
Gender Based Class Rooms
Rotating Schedule
  • The primary factor behind implementing the
    rotating schedule was the time of day that
    students had certain subjects. Some students tend
    to learn best in the morning when they are fresh
    and rested and tend to wear down as the day goes
    along and lose focus. Other students, however,
    have a hard time getting motivated in the morning
    and do not get focused until later in the day.
    With a rotating schedule, students do not have
    math, reading, or language arts during at the
    same time every day of the week.
  • The goal is that an optimal time is achieved for
    all students at least twice a week.

Fridays Schedule
  • You will notice that Friday is not listed on our
    schedule because every other Friday we have our
    Advisement or Club activities.

Friday Schedule
Advisement Program
  • This year was the first year that Westside
    Middle had an Advisement program. The counseling
    department along with the graduation coach
    designed this new program by developing its
    curriculum for the first semester.
  • During the second semester, the Advisement team
    paired up with Junior Achievement to help our
    students focus on career awareness and
    post-secondary education.
  • Our students were placed into small advisement
    teams with an advisor that would meet every other
    week for an hour and a half.
  • Our main goal for the Advisement Program was for
    the advisor and advisee to develop a respectful
    and caring relationship, while the advisor would
    focus on academic achievement, personal and
    social development, and career awareness.

  • Our Advisement Program also allowed for a Large
    Group Advisement time that the counselors and
    graduation coach teach during every advisement
    time. These guidance lessons are chosen by the
    needs of the students at that time. We have
    focused on stereotypes, gossiping, bullying, and
    suicidal awareness during these large group
    times. When we have large group advisement time,
    this also allows those advisors to vertically
    plan, since we have their advisees for 45 min.
    This schedule has worked well with our teachers
    and students to overall promote student
    achievement, student character, and their career
    opportunities for the future.

Advisement Times!
  • In trying to provide more opportunities for
    students to form relationships with adults here
    at school, Westside has implemented a club
    schedule on a bi weekly basis.
  • Students participate in the club of their choice.

Club Choice
  • At the beginning of the year, we brought each
    grade level in and called out random names.
    Students were given a sticker to place on a sheet
    of paper labeled with the club name.
  • The second semester students were given the
    option of staying in their club.
  • If they did not they were given the opportunity
    to indicate their favorite three choices on a
    sheet of paper. As much as possible, we tried to
    give the students their choice.

Clubs offered at WestsideInsert List here
Fly Tying and Entomology Basketball
L.A.S.O.  - Latin American Student Organization
Art Club Cartoon Viewing Club Cake
Decorating Movie Club Travel Club Coloring
Club Anime Club Chess, Checkers and other
board games Soccer Club Westside Ambassadors
FFA (Future Farmers of America) Origami
Scrabble and Boggle Club Digital
Scrapbooking Songwriters Club Yearbook club
Crafts, board games, and Cards Drama Club
T-shirt painting club Video Games Club
Outdoors Club Science Club Student
Cake Decorating
Digital Scrapbooking
Middle School Design Academy
  • Westside Middle School participated in the first
    ever Middle School Design Academy for the
    Whitfield County School System.

Design Academy Pictures
Middle School Design Academy
Supper _at_ Westside
  • Westside Middle hosts four Have Supper with
    Westside nights.
  • The first two were held in October and February.
  • The first was an open house and the second was to
    inform parents about registration for 2009
    freshman at Northwest.

Extra Curricular Activities
  • Here at Westside, we believe in developing the
    whole child. In order to help students to be well
    rounded individuals, a variety of activities are
    sponsored after school.

  • We offer a variety of sports opportunities
  • for students here at Westside. The
  • following graph represents student
  • participation.

Number of students participating in sports at
Sports at Westside
Homecoming Dance 2008
Christmas 2008
Sweetheart Dance 2008
Halloween Dance 2008
Patterns of Engagement
  • Nearly all classes are highly engaged, and when
    they are not, teachers make every possible effort
    to redesign the pattern of activity in the
    classroom so that more students are engaged.

Student surveys
8th Grade Language Arts Teacher Jan. 2009
Student Surveys
8th Grade Social Studies December 2008
8th grade Science November 2008
Fine Arts
  • Here at Westside we pride ourselves in the
    quality of fine arts instruction offered to our
    students. The following are artifacts to support
    the quality of the work.

Visual arts
  • To celebrate Student Arts EXPO, the Creative Arts
    Guild sponsors an arts competition for
    collaborative classroom projects. Each school may
    submit up to one entry per classroom. Each
    winning classroom in their category (grades 6
    8) will receive 100 cash award to be used
    for art supplies or other classroom art
  • AWARDS Festival September 20, 2008
  • 1st place - collaborative 3-D sculpture
  • 2nd place - collaborative 3-D sculpture
  • Student Art EXPO March 9-13, 2009
  • 1st place - grade level 6
  • 1st place - grade level 7
  • Art Together Student Art EXPO, 2009
  • 1st place- grades 6-8 collaborative project
  • 2nd place- Art Club collaborative project

(No Transcript)
The 60th Annual North Georgia Agricultural Fair
was held October 16-25, 2008
  • AWARDS 8th Grade
  • 1st chalk pastel, 1st woven textiles, 1st
  • 2nd woven textiles, 2nd computer art, 2nd
  • 3rd computer art, 4th calligraphy
  • 7th Grade
  • 1st collage, 1st graphic design, 4th computer
  • 4th chalk pastel
  • 6th Grade
  • 2nd printmaking, 2nd sculpture, 3rd
  • 3rd oil pastel

(No Transcript)
Westside prides itself in having a strong band
program. The band usually performs 4 5 times a
year with the attendance ranging from 100 250
parents in attendance.
During the 2008 2009 school year, eight
students represented Westside at District Honor
Westside also prides itself in having a strong
choral program. In grades 6 8, we have a total
of 117 students that participate in the choral
program. The chorus performs an average of 4 6
times during a year. Average 100 250 people
attend performances
District VII Honor Chorus has 19 students
representing Westside. 6th Grade Statewide Honor
Chorus was limited to 3 representatives per
school in Georgia. We had four representatives at
the All State Chorus Festival,
Industrial Technology
  • In Tech Ed we study the development of technology
    in the areas of transportation, communication,
    construction, and manufacturing.  Computer
    literacy skills are also taught to prepare eighth
    graders for software they will encounter
    throughout life. The industrial technology
    teacher serves as the technical director
    responsible for the proper functioning of the
    equipment used to broadcast morning announcements
    on channel 15 each morning.

  • The Industrial Technology teacher also assists in
    the trouble shooting and repair of the technology
    in academic classrooms.

Morning Announcements
Industrial Technology
Agriculture Education
  • Here at Westside, we take pride in the work of
    the students who participate in the agricultural
  • Along with the Agricultural program, students
    have the opportunity to join FFA.

Agriculture Information
  • Contests
  • Creed Public Speaking
  • Wildlife Management Contest, 4 students all
    ranked 40th or better in state
  • Dairy showing
  • Poultry judging
  • Floral design
  • Floriculture contest, 4h in region, 4 students, 1
    of which ranked 4th highest in region
  • Dairy judging
  • Horse judging
  • Participation
  • 161 total FFA members
  • 3 students attended Student Leadership Camp in
    Covington, Georgia
  • 12 students attended Discovery Conference in
    Covington, Georgia
  • 5 attend State Capitol function during Ag.
    Awareness Week

(No Transcript)
Content and Substance
  • Teachers and administrators have a clear,
    consistent, and shared understanding of what
    students are expected to know and to be able to
    do at various grade levels. This understanding
    is consistent with such official statements of
    expectations as state standards and standards
    established by local boards. Teachers and
    administrators also have a reasonable assessment
    of student interest in the topics suggested by
    these expectations and standards.

Technology Embedded
  • Technology is an integral part of the instruction
    that takes place at Westside Middle School. The
    majority of academic classrooms are equipped with
    Active Boards and LCD projectors that allow for
    whole group presentation of material. Classrooms
    are, also, equipped with a mini-lab of 3
    computers for student use. The media center has
    nine computers that students are able to use
    along with four mobile laptop labs that teachers
    can check out and take to their room. The
    computer lab, equipped with 28 desktop computers,
    is available for whole classes to use, as well.
    The in-school suspension program has eight,
    Internet functional computers, where students get
    assignments online. The instructional focus of
    our school is heavily embedded with technology
    and we are always looking for way to expand its

(No Transcript)
Teacher Lessons
  • Battlefield Math
  • Propaganda
  • Dry Ice
  • Did you know

Lesson Plan Template
Unit Plan Template
Writing Rubric
  • In order for our students to feel confident and
    be able to perform at their best level, we use
    the state writing rubric as we prepare for the
    8th grade writing test.

Writing Rubric
Total Score is ____________ out of 25.
Middle School Design Academy
  • The Middle School Design Academy was created this
    year to provide teachers the opportunity to
    collaborate with colleagues from all over the
    county. Hard to teach concepts were identified in
    each subject area and days were set aside for
    those teachers to come together and design
    lessons that would engage and challenge students.
    Teachers were able to discuss various strategies
    and ideas for promoting student comprehension in
    the areas of their subject that were most
    difficult. The lessons that were created were
    imparted to everyone through the countys
    Sharepoint website.

  • The idea for the Design Academy came from the
    middle school principals while attending a
    conference through the Schlechty Center. The
    intentions behind developing this academy were to
    impact the level of student achievement. Areas of
    deficiency on the CRCT were used to recognize the
    areas that needed the most attention. Teachers
    collaborating together and sharing ideas will
    improve the level of instruction therefore,
    positively impacting student achievement.

Student Achievement
  • Parents, teachers, the principal, and the Board
    of Education, as well as others who have a stake
    in the performance of the schools, are satisfied
    with the level and type of learning that are

Benchmark Testing Dates
  • Math/Science
  • 1 - September 4th
  • 2 October 2nd
  • 3 November 4th
  • 4 December 16th ( 1st Semester Final)
  • 5 February 10th
  • 6 March 17th
  • 7 May 19th ( 2nd Semester
  • LA/Rdg/SS
  • 1 September 9th
  • 2 October 7th
  • 3 November 6th
  • 4 December 18th
  • 5 February 12th
  • 6 March 19th
  • 7 May 20th

Graph of Honor Roll
Writing Test
  • Several times during the school year, the
    special education teachers met with school
    administration to discuss students receiving
    services. As each students name was called,
    teachers shared data and anecdotal information
    pertaining to student academic progress,
    performance in class activities, and behavior.
    The committee also discussed any out of school
    issues that may influence behavior or impact
    learning while at school. The Issues discussed
    and information shared was also used to help
    develop each students report on his/her Present
    Level of Performance which is a part of the IEP.

Coaching for Design
  • Dr. Stewart, Cheri Mahan and Larry Farner have
    all been trained in Coaching for Design.
  • We are looking for ways to implement this during
    faculty design times.

Safety Nets
  • Here at Westside, we realize that not every child
    learns at the same pace. We also realize that
    extra help and encouragement is needed. The
    following are artifacts about the Safety nets
    provided here at Westside.

A Safe Environment
  • Students and parents feel that the school as well
    as each classroom is a physically and
    psychologically safe place success is expected
    and failure is understood as a necessary part of
    learning. There is mutual respect between and
    among faculty and students, and the fear of harm
    or harassment from fellow students and demeaning
    comments from teachers is negligible.

Monday Night Math
  • For the last four years Westside Middle School
    has provided Homework help for students having
    trouble in math or students who have fallen
    behind in math.  
  • In the past Homework help has provided a net for
    students to retake Benchmarks they have not done
    great on. Homework help has also provided
    parental help in concepts covered in class.
    Students who attend Homework Help have proven to
    become more responsible about their education.
  • Sessions are held on Monday for 2 hours 6 p.m. to
    8 p.m. Parents are required to attend with the
    student.  The students either bring the material
    they need help with, or the teacher provides the
    material for the Homework Help instructor.  This
    is a drop-in situation, so students do not
    usually stay for the entire time.  Attendance
    ranges from 12 to 2 students, but the average
    attendance is around 8 per session.  Feedback
    from teachers, students, and parents is always
    overwhelmingly positive.

Tuesday Night Language Arts
  • LA Homework Help meets one night a week to help
    students with a variety of tasks.  These range
    from help with Daily Language Practice to help
    making up benchmark and other tests to help with
    basic reading skills. 
  • Sessions are held for 2 hours, and a parent is
    required to attend with the student.  The
    students either bring the material they need help
    with, or the teacher provides the material for
    the Homework Help instructor.  This is a
    drop-in situation, so students do not usually
    stay for the entire time. 
  • Attendance ranges from 12 to 2 students, but the
    average attendance is around 8 per session. 
    Feedback from teachers, students, and parents is
    always overwhelmingly positive.
  • So far this year LA Homework Help has met 18
    times, and we plan to continue through Spring
    Break.  This will bring the total for the year to
    around 22 sessions.

Math Lab
  • Math lab met from September to December, Tuesday
    and Thursday mornings with an average attendance
    of 3 students.  We met for 30 minutes from 725
    to 755 for a total of 15 times.  Since January
    we have been meeting on Monday and Wed. mornings
    for the same time period but with an average of 4
    to 5 students a total of 7 times so far.
  • Math lab is an extension of the classroom
    providing help to students who are unable to
    complete class or homework assignments.  The
    student can come to math lab with these
    assignments and receive individual instruction on
    how to complete the work.  Many times we will
    also preview new material so when it is covered
    in class they can be immediately successful

Math II
  • For students who have failed the CRCT from the
    previous year, referred by teacher or requested
    by parent we offer a math class during
  • This provides small group instruction from
    struggling math learners. This also provides a
    double dose of Math. As soon as the student shows
    adequate progress, they are placed in a regular
    connections class.

Response to Intervention Program(RTI)
  • Tier I
  • Our universal screenings are the students CRCT
    test scores and their benchmarks every four and
    half weeks, which are created by our teachers and
    used across the grade level. Dr. Stewart and
    Larry Farner, our academic coach, collect this
    information to purposefully drive our
    instructional program. Tier I also includes our
    standards based classroom instruction by using
    GPS, WOW, differentiated instruction, flexible
    grouping, attendance monitoring, collaborative
    planning, re-teaching, and pre-teaching.

Tier II
  • Our Tier II interventions include behavior
    contracts, math connections, math lab, Study
    Island, language arts night and math night. Any
    student that did not pass the Math on the CRCT
    last year was automatically enrolled in a Tier II
    plan. They were placed in a second math class to
    receive an extra 55 minutes of math each day to
    pre-teach or re-teach skills. Behavior contracts
    were given to students to help them become more
    organized and motivated in the classroom.

Tier III
  • Our Tier III interventions include
    individualized general education with our
    language arts and math nights and Student Support

Tier IV
  • Our Tier IV interventions include special
    education and alpha classes. We also have a
    collaborative special education meeting every
    quarter to discuss the progress of every special
    education student.

Community Outreach
  • This year Westside Middle has participated in
    three fundraising projects for the Rocky Face
    Community. The three projects were our 2nd
    Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, Christmas
    Outreach, and Westsides Got Talent that
    supported the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Thanksgiving Food Drive
  • This food drive provided a complete Thanksgiving
    dinner for 13 families at Westside Middle. We
    received approx. 1000 during this fundraiser, so
    we reserved 500 to help with our Christmas
    Outreach in the upcoming month.
  • Cost 500

Christmas Outreach
  • The Christmas Outreach was established to help
    families that could not afford presents for their
    children. We supported 8 families at Westside
    Middle and included their siblings to help them
    have a wonderful Christmas. We also received a
    500 donation from a supporting church that
    helped us buy these gifts.
  • Cost 500 from school and 500 from the church

Westsides Got Talent Leukemia and Lymphoma
  • To help us raise money for this great charity,
    the counseling department held a Talent Show
    during school as well as a night performance.
    There were over 200 students who attended the
    show during the day and over 50 parents and
    students that night.
  • We raised 1100.00 to donate to this charity.

Demerit Policy
  • 1st Warning
  • 2nd Referral to Counselor
  • 3rd Phone call home
  • 4th Student assigned to ISS
  • 5th Behavior Contract / Parent Conference
  • 6th Student assigned to ISS
  • 7th and subsequent - Student assigned to ISS

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