Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) took another step to ensure that the transition from elementary school to middle school is a seamless, rewarding, and exciting experience for students and parents. Teachers, school-site and district administrators, and staff met in early December to discuss progress and refine the Middle School Redesign (MSR) process.
In 2016, after careful analysis of student performance data and school climate surveys in K-8 centers and traditional middle schools, it became evident that there was a need to redesign the middle school experience. Throughout the 2016-2017 school year, M-DCPS launched an exploratory process that included meetings, student shadowing days, student panels and surveys, research, and presentations. During that process three focus areas emerged: ensuring students develop social and emotional competencies; creating and/or enhancing academic offerings, scheduling, and collaborative structures that lead to improved student achievement; and engaging student-centered, 21st century learning environments that foster communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking.
This year, M-DCPS launched several initiatives targeting some of the principals of the redesign effort, such as a visit by all seventh-grade students to a live performance of “Kitty Hawk” at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. “Kitty Hawk” provides both a musical experience and science lessons. Additionally, Amplify, an English Language Arts (ELA) blended curriculum for middle schools, will be expanded, and through the District’s Digital Convergence initiative, sixth-grade ELA classrooms will be the main recipients of this year’s deployment of devices to enhance personalization and engagement in this important transitional grade level.
Currently, M-DCPS is exploring opportunities for MSR initiatives, including professional development for middle school principals, materials for innovative spaces, and a summer professional development academy for school-site teams.
Stay informed about the M-DCPS MSR efforts by searching the hashtag #MDCPSMSRedesign on social media.