1. A new class called Content Language was created to build background knowledge of academic language in social studies and science. Teachers of the Content Language class provide Level I & 2 ELLs opportunities to use and practice academic language that will carry over into the core classroom so that at least 70% of these students will score 80% or higher on their core class mastery checks.

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  2. Exploratory classes are yet another fundamental component of middle schools and ours not only give students opportunities to explore hidden talents but also address tested indicators with unique teaching strategies. Exploratory teachers focus their attention throughout the year on targeted indicators, those that are of most concern after master checks. These indicators are woven into the fabric of music, art, video, life skills and other exploratory classes. Students will often find a hook to a difficult concept in a class outside the core curriculum.

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  3. Another middle school component that was addressed in the NMSA survey was the advisory program. Dr. Neila Connors of the National Middle School Association worked with our professional development program last year to dialog with teachers on effective advocacy programming.

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  4. Professional Learning Communities have been a part our school system for years but DCMS has focused attention on PLC work on a weekly basis. Every Wednesday, PLC groups meet with coaches or administrators to take a critical look at mastery check scores, content objectives, classroom instruction for ELL learners, student placement and content specific plans and strategies. Building a strong, unified, collaborative teaching team is the goal of these groups.

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  5. There is probably no segment of activity in the education world attracting as much attention at present as that of knowledge management in terms of data driven decision making

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Breaking Ranks Framework

Mike King

School improvement requires more than a great idea. Transformations do not take place until the culture of the school permits it—and no long-term, significant change can take place without creating a culture to sustain that change. The Breaking Ranks…


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School improvement requires more than a great idea. Transformations do not take place until the culture of the school permits it—and no long-term, significant change can take place without creating a culture to sustain that change. The Breaking Ranks Framework provides a well-defined process that helps to foster a culture of excellence and continuous improvement within your school.

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