We know what works in middle level school in programs. The things that work are called the Essential Elements of Standards-Focused Middle Level Schools and Programs, usually referred to simply as the Essential Elements. The Essential Elements provide us with the guidance to deliver research-based, proven programs for our early adolescents. What are the Essential Elements? They are:
A philosophy and mission that reflect the intellectual and developmental needs and characteristics of young adolescents.
An educational program that is comprehensive, challenging, purposeful, integrated, relevant, and standards-based.
An organization and structure that support both academic excellence and personal development.
Classroom instruction appropriate to the needs and characteristics of young adolescents provided by skilled and knowledgeable teachers.
Strong educational leadership and a building administration that encourage, facilitate, and sustain involvement, participation, and leadership.
A network of academic and personal support available for all students.
Professional learning and staff development for all staff that are ongoing, planned, purposeful, and collaboratively developed.
To find about more about the Essential Elements, just click on the Middle Level Essentials button to the left. You'll find details, ready-to-use presentations, protocols for implementation, etc. Visit the Essential Elements wiki to join in a discussion.
Join the NYS Middle School Association Today!
As an active member of NYSMSA you:
1. Receive timely information on issues of importance to middle-level educators and keep pace with New York State’s rapidly changing middle-level landscape through regular publications (e.g., In Transition), Twitter, Facebook, a weekly “newsblast”, and special, in-depth reports on timely topics.
2. Become part of a collegial Statewide network of middle-level practitioners available 24/7 for advice and encouragement.
3. Have access to cost-effective, quality professional development opportunities tailored to your specific needs.
4. For schools engaged in systemic school improvement, receive expert mentoring and guidance on best practices and current research from administrators and teachers of recognized Essential Elements: Schools-To-Watch® schools.
5. Build connections and personal contacts among the middle-level professional community.
6. Have priority for serving on EE: STW® site visit teams and/or presenting at the annual NYSMSA Conference.
7. Receive special registration rates for attendance at the Annual Conference and regional workshops.
8. Support the only organization in New York State whose sole purpose is to promote middle-level education (e.g., Essential Elements) and the academic and personal development of young adolescents.
9. Become part of the solution by working with the NYSMSA Board of Directors and its regional networks to advocate for middle-level education, middle-level educators, and young adolescents locally and statewide.
10. Have an opportunity to “give back” to the profession, to help others as well as yourself. Demonstrate your middle-level professionalism today by joining NYSMSA.
Essential Elements: Schools-to-Watch Click on the Schools-to-Watch button from the navigation menu on the left of the page for all you need to know about the Essential Elements: Schools-to-Watch school recognition program.
Help for Implementing the Essential Elements A set of three protocols have been developed to guide a school's use of the Essential Elements of Standards-Focused Middle-Level Schools and Programs. Taken together, the three protocols represent a comprehensive set of tools and guidance for beginning and sustaining a system of continuous reflection and improvement based upon the research-based Essential Elements and their rubrics. Each protocol can be used independently of the others.