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Q. How will the school district improve support for middle schools?
A. Earlier this year, representatives from the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers, Saint Paul Public Schools, Minnesota Minority Education Partnership, Saint Paul Black Interdenominational Ministers Association, and other community leaders joined together to find common ground on the best conditions for learning. Called Solutions in Action, this ongoing workgroup will identify action plans for fair and equitable responses to inappropriate behavior, and to implement equitable, supportive discipline processes and practices for students and staff.

We look forward to learning about the district-wide recommendations this group will make. In the meantime, other teacher and classroom supports have been put in place in our middle schools.

Q. How will middle school teachers be supported?
A. New professional development opportunities will be available to teachers and support staff to help them:

  • Increase student engagement through personalized learning, technology integration and the 1:1 use of iPads;
  • Build classroom community among adolescents, since teaching grade 6 students can be different than grades 7 and 8;
  • Use PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports) to help ensure a safe and structured learning environment;
  • Co-teach with special education, general education, and English Language Learner (ELL) teachers;
  • Also, teachers will have access to a classroom management toolkit to learn how to better manage the classroom and build positive relationships with students;
  • A resource database is being organized for teachers to share strategies for classroom instruction;
  • Teachers can review and use the Student Rights and Responsibilities handbook to identify expectations and requirements for student discipline;
  • Literacy training workshops will help teachers implement a new middle school classroom model for small group instruction and more personalized learning