Middle School Matters Institute


Our Projects

Each spring, eight middle grades schools from across the nation will be chosen to receive Tier II support from the Middle School Matters Institute (MSMI). This support is designed to enhance each school’s implementation of research- and evidence-based practices to improve student outcomes and prepare students for successful high school and postsecondary experiences. To be considered, each school must submit an online Tier II Application (open only during the application period) and a Middle School Matters School Readiness Assessment.

Schools chosen for participation will receive the following:
  • Recognition as a Middle School Matters Tier II School
  • Free registration for six members of the school leadership team to attend the MSMI Summer Conference
  • Access to MSMI staff members and national researchers throughout the school year to support implementation of research-based practices
  • Conference calls with MSMI staff members and other Tier II schools to share implementation updates, problem solve, and share helpful resources
  • Online professional development (i.e., webinars) with national researchers to further support school staff members as they implement their action plans
  • The Middle School Matters Research Digest, where each school’s implementation will be featured at least once
  • Continuing professional education credits for those who attend MSMI professional development events
  • Ongoing announcements of learning and professional development opportunities, access to the Tier II Portal (resources and discussion boards), and possible invitations to additional conferences and summits
  • Eligibility for Tier III support (including intensive support in executing the Implementation Plan)

Learn more about the 2013 MSMI Summer Conference and download materials.

Expectations of Tier II Schools

  • Attend the full MSMI Summer Conference (dates for the summer of 2014 to be determined) with a six-person leadership team; leadership team may consist of school and district staff members
  • Bring existing school data to the Summer Conference to examine during workshops and inform the development of an Implementation Plan
  • Develop (during the Summer Conference) and implement (during the 2014–2015 school year) a responsive Implementation Plan that focuses on research-based practices specific to the school’s needs, based on the school’s current data
  • Participate in other Tier II support efforts (described above)
  • Commit to continued implementation of evidence-based practices in all content dimensions during the following school year (with ongoing support)

Application Process

Middle grades schools from across the nation should consider applying for Tier II support from MSMI if they:
  • Have begun the process of implementing research-based instructional practices that build a support structure for middle grades learners;
  • Would benefit from additional support in the areas described in the Middle School Matters Research Platform and Field Guide; and
  • Are motivated to improve practices for all students.

We are interested in a variety of schools (urban and rural; public, private, and charter; large and small). Contact Christy Murray (christymurray@austin.utexas.edu), project director, with any questions.