Middle Level Resources For All!

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Jill Spencer and I met recently with George Tucker and his intrepid team of Continuous Improvement Priority Schools (CIPS) consultants to share some of the work that has been happening around Bright Futures and school improvement. We greatly appreciated the time with them, realizing how busy everyone is!  We were also very encouraged by the team’s enthusiasm and interest in knowing more about Bright Futures resources, current research reports, and upcoming activities relating to improving teaching and learning in Maine’s middle schools.

George and his team asked us to compile and send them a list of some resources so they could share them as they work with their CIPS schools during the planning process and throughout the year. It occurred to us that this information would be useful and interesting to all middle level educators! So here is what we shared with George and his team.

And…Please feel free to add more!

Maine Association for Middle Level Education (MAMLE):
• Wally Alexander, Executive Director, wallace.alexander@umit.maine.edu

* Annual Conference: Graduation Paths in the Middle, October 21 & 22 at Sugarloaf. More information at http://www.mamleonline.org * Middle Level Education Institute at Thomas College, August 1-5 Website: http://melimaine.net Contact either Jill at jillspencer51@gmail.com or Chris at christoy.net@gmail.com

Middle Level Partnership meets monthly
• Blog https://brightfutures4me.wordpress.com/ Sign up to receive it with Argy Nestor at argy.nestor@maine.gov
* Argy is your easiest and best contact to share concerns or learn more
• DOE Bright Futures Site for more information about Maine’s latest report on Middle Level Education http://www.maine.gov/education/ml/ and webinars http://www.maine.gov/education/ml/dev.html

Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) http://www.maine.gov/mlti/index.shtml
• They have folks who will come into the school for free (Literacy, 21st century technology tools, Inquiry Learning, Math)
• They also have webinars http://maine121.org/webcasts/
• MLTI has Partnered with Common Sense Media–a good source of info to help parents (and schools) understand technology in their children’s lives http://www.commonsensemedia.org/

New England League of Middle Schools (NELMS) http://www.nelms.org
• In menu go to Conferences and Seminars. For example they have a Literacy Summit coming up in November with Janet Allen.

National Middle School Association (NMSA)     http://nmsa.org
• Their web site has research articles and other helpful resources.
• NMSA’s annual conference in Baltimore is in early November.
• They provide a variety of specific topic-focused mini-conferences throughout the year.
• Onsite professional development cadre of consultants is available.

National Association for Secondary School Principals.
• Contact: Patti Kinney kinneyp@principals.org
http://www.principals.org/MiddleLevelLeadership.aspx

Middle Web http://www.middleweb.com/ *Online resource and archive of good sites and conversations about issues pertaining to middle level topics

Interesting websites on homework that might help parents make connections between home and school:
http://www.homeworklady.com/
http://www.themomsbuzz.com/moms_buzz/homework/

Recent studies:
The Forgotten Middle: Ensuring that All Students Are on Target for College and Career Readiness before High School ACT http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/reports/ForgottenMiddle.html

Executive Summary – Gaining Ground in the Middle Grades: Why Some Schools Do Better http://www.edsource.org/middle-grades-executive.html

Putting Middle Grades Students on the Graduation Path: A Policy and Practice Brief
http://www.nmsa.org/portals/0/pdf/research/Research_from_the_Field/ Policy_Brief_Balfanz.pdf – 411.0KB

Oh, and don’t forget that elementary and high school folks have a stake in middle school improvement!  Share this list with your colleagues in K-5 and 9-12!

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