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News from September 2014

Second cohort of schools selected to receive on-site support from Middle School Matters Institute
September 5, 2014

Three schools have been selected as the second cohort of Tier III sites to receive expert support from the Middle School Matters Institute. Advanced Studies Magnet–Haut Gap Middle School in Johns Island, South Carolina; Robert E. Lee Middle School in San Angelo, Texas; and Walter L. Wilkinson Middle School in Mesquite, Texas, will receive in-person, intensive support during the 2014–2015 school year from some of the nation's leading researchers in implementing research-based strategies for school improvement. The schools were selected from the eight schools invited to attend the 2014 Middle School Matters Institute Summer Conference, which in turn were selected from a large nationwide pool of applicants.

The Middle School Matters program is an initiative of the George W. Bush Institute in partnership with The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk. For more information, read the press release from the George W. Bush Institute.

Tags: Middle School Matters Institute 

News from August 2014

Middle School Matters Institute Summer Conference highlighted in College of Education news feature
August 25, 2014

A recent UT College of Education news feature detailed the 2014 Middle School Matters Institute Summer Conference, held from June 17 to 19 in Austin. Leadership teams from each of the eight Middle School Matters Institute Tier II schools joined national researchers, staff members from the George W. Bush Institute and The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, and other special guests at the second annual conference. Participants heard informative keynote addresses, engaged in interactive breakout sessions that focused on the research-based practices described in the Middle School Matters Research Platform and Field Guide, and worked collaboratively with their school teams to develop implementation plans specific to their needs. To read the full story, visit the College of Education website

Tags: Middle School Matters Institute 

News from May 2014

Eight schools selected to receive targeted support in second cohort of Middle School Matters program
May 30, 2014

The Middle School Matters Institute, an initiative of the George W. Bush Institute in partnership with The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, is pleased to announce that eight schools have been selected to participate in the second year of the Middle School Matters program. Of a large nationwide pool, the following were selected: 

  • Advanced Studies Magnet–Haut Gap Middle School of Johns Island, South Carolina
  • Baytown Junior School of Baytown, Texas
  • Grant Middle School of Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Lee Middle School of San Angelo, Texas 
  • Lyndon B. Johnson Middle School of Pharr, Texas
  • Trinity Middle School of Trinity, Texas
  • Wilkinson Middle School of Mesquite, Texas
  • Woodward Elementary School of Manteca, California

National experts will provide the selected schools with ongoing training and support in research-based school improvement strategies. The schools also will attend the second annual Middle School Matters Institute Summer Conference from June 17 to 19 in Austin, Texas. At the conference, school leadership teams will attend sessions with top researchers and practitioners in the field of middle grades improvement. This guidance will help each school develop a Middle School Matters Implementation Plan tailored to its strengths and needs. Three of the eight schools will be selected to receive further, more intensive support for their Implementation Plan.

For more information, see the Bush Institute press release.

Tags: Middle School Matters Institute 

Middle School Matters school in spotlight for piloting Pennsylvania dropout-prevention data system
May 12, 2014

Roosevelt Middle School in Erie, Pennsylvania, one of eight schools selected in 2013 to receive targeted support through MCPER's Middle School Matters Institute, was featured in the local news for its role in piloting a data system aimed at identifying middle schoolers at risk for later high school dropout.

Roosevelt is one of four schools piloting the Opening Doors Early Warning System, part of Pennsylvania First Lady Susan Corbett's Opening Doors initiative. Corbett toured the school on May 8. For a full story and a video on Corbett's visit to the school, visit the Erie Times-News website.

Tags: Middle School Matters Institute 

News from April 2014

MSMI staff to present at GradNation Summit, International Reading Association Conference
April 18, 2014

Christy Murray, project director of the Middle School Matters Institute (MSMI), will serve as a panelist at the 2014 Building a GradNation Summit from April 27 to 29 in Washington, DC. In the session “The Class of 2020: Betting on Middle School,” Murray will present an overview of Middle School Matters, discuss the research-based practices in the Middle School Matters Field Guide, and share the experiences of schools that participated during the 2013–2014 school year. Other organizations represented in the session will include Spark, the National Human Services Assembly, and After-School All-Stars

Jacob Williams, MSMI deputy director, will facilitate a roundtable discussion at the International Reading Association 59th Annual Conference on May 11 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Williams will share information on using MSMI Implementation Plan Templates for reading and reading interventions. 

Tags: Middle School Matters Institute 

News from March 2014

Middle School Matters Institute Advisory Board reviews accomplishments, sets course for future
March 11, 2014

Staff members from the George W. Bush Institute, The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, and the Middle School Matters Institute (MSMI) eight-member Advisory Board met on February 25 in Austin, Texas, to review this year’s accomplishments and plan for the upcoming year. The meeting was productive, and MSMI looks forward to implementing the valuable feedback.

The following serve on the MSMI Advisory Board:

  • Robert Balfanz, Johns Hopkins University
  • David Chard, Southern Methodist University
  • Priscilla Collins-Parhms, Uplift Education
  • Mark Dynarski, Pemberton Research
  • Art Graesser, University of Memphis
  • Steve Graham, Arizona State University
  • Gina Rodriguez, George W. Bush Institute
  • Sharon Vaughn, The University of Texas at Austin

Tags: Middle School Matters Institute 

News from August 2013

Three schools selected to receive on-site support from Middle School Matters Institute
August 20, 2013

Three schools have been selected as the inaugural Tier III sites of the Middle School Matters Institute. Lindale Junior High of Lindale, Texas; Roosevelt Middle School of Erie, Pennsylvania; and Uplift Mighty Preparatory of Fort Worth, Texas, will receive in-person, intensive support from some of the nation's leading researchers. The schools were selected from the 8 schools invited to attend the MSMI Summer Conference, which in turn were selected from 44 schools that applied nationwide.

For more information, read the press release from the George W. Bush Institute.

Tags: Middle School Matters Institute 

News from May 2013

Eight schools selected to receive targeted support through Middle School Matters Institute
May 7, 2013

MCPER and the George W. Bush Institute are pleased to announce that eight schools have been selected to participate in the Middle School Matters Institute. Of the 44 schools that applied nationwide, the following were selected: 

  • Alpine Middle School of Alpine, Texas
  • Agnew Middle School of Mesquite, Texas
  • Ann Richards Middle School of Dallas, Texas
  • Lindale Junior High School of Lindale, Texas
  • Martin Middle School of Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Revere Middle School of Houston, Texas
  • Roosevelt Middle School of Erie, Pennsylvania
  • Uplift Mighty Preparatory of Fort Worth, Texas

The schools will participate in the first annual MSMI Summer Conference from June 9 to 12 in Austin, Texas. At the conference, school leadership teams will attend sessions with top researchers and practitioners in the field of middle grades improvement. This guidance will help each school develop a Middle School Matters Implementation Plan tailored to its strengths and needs. Researchers will continue to support the schools throughout the year. Three of these eight schools will be selected to receive further, more intensive support for their Implementation Plan.

Tags: Middle School Matters Institute 

MCPER researchers attend dedication of George W. Bush Presidential Center
May 1, 2013

Sarojani Mohammed and Christy Murray, directors of MCPER's Middle School Matters Institute (MSMI), and Sharon Vaughn, an MSMI fellow, congratulate the George W. Bush Institute on the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which includes the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. Mohammed, Murray, and Vaughn attended the dedication on April 25, and they were in good company. In addition to George W. Bush, President Barack Obama and all of the other living former presidents were in attendance: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George H.W. Bush. MSMI is part of the Bush Institute's Middle School Matters program.

Tags: Middle School Matters Institute 

News from April 2013

Three MCPER staff members to receive UT Staff Service Awards
April 1, 2013

Christy Murray, a director of MCPER's Middle School Matters Institute; Greg Roberts, executive director of the Vaughn Gross Center and associate director of MCPER; and Debbie Van Loan of MCPER's Administrative Team will each receive a UT Staff Service Award in recognition of their many years of excellent work at The University of Texas at Austin. Murray will be recognized for 10 years of service, and Roberts and Van Loan will be recognized for 15 years of service. The Staff Service Awards Program "celebrates and recognizes the contributions of committed staff who are responsible for transforming lives for the benefit of society," according to the UT website. Both the centers and the university thank Murray, Roberts, and Van Loan for their valuable contributions to our success.

Tags: Dropout Prevention Institute Middle School Matters Institute Reading Institute Mathematics and Science Institute for Students With Special Needs