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The George W. Bush Institute today announced the selection of eight middle schools to participate in the Middle School Matters Institute, designed to improve school outcomes in the middle grades (grades 6-8) and leverage the best available research and practices to support student improvement.

The Middle School Matters Institute, a key component of the Bush Institute’s Education Reform Initiative in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin’s Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk, is designed to translate proven research into practical applications, with a tiered method of supporting charter schools, districts, and non-profit organizations.

The selected schools are:

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

“Our goal is to deliver the knowledge and support these schools need to ensure their students have the academic foundation to stay in school, improve their academic performance and put themselves on paths to success,” said Kerri Briggs, Director of Education Reform at the Bush Institute.

The schools will receive targeted support by participating in the first annual Middle School Matters Institute Summer Conference June 9-12, 2013, in Austin, Texas, where school leadership teams will have the opportunity to attend development sessions with researchers and practitioners. This guidance will help each school develop a Middle School Matters Implementation Plan tailored to its strengths and areas of growth. The schools will also participate in continued support efforts with researchers throughout the year.

The eight schools were chosen from 44 applicant schools of varying sizes from across the country. Eight schools will be chosen annually to participate in the Middle School Matters Institute.

Three of the eight schools will be selected at the summer conference to receive additional intensive support and targeted assistance with their Implementation Plan.

About Middle School Matters

The Bush Institute launched Middle School Matters as part of its Education Reform Initiative in February 2011 to focus on the crucial middle grades (grades 6-8) where children gain the skills needed to succeed in high school and beyond.  By intensely focusing on the improvement of the middle grades and leveraging some of the best available research and practice, the Bush Institute seeks to increase the number of students who are prepared to complete high school and earn a diploma.

The mission of GWBI Middle School Matters initiative is to act as a catalyst for transforming the middle grades. We will do this by promoting the use of research-based tools, practices and solutions and driving policy development to support improved student outcomes. Middle School Matters has two primary elements that will help achieve its mission: 1) promote the urgent need to reform the middle grades by a Coalition with leading organizations and individuals that influence decisions made for/in the middle grades, and 2) integrate research into the work of other middle grade reform initiatives, school districts and middle school campuses by developing practical tools and offering escalating levels of support through the Middle School Matters Institute.

Middle School Matters is made possible because of the generous support of our funding partners: Harry W. Bass Jr. Foundation, Meadows Foundation, Sid W. Richardson Foundation, The Brown Foundation, Inc., Bank of America Charitable Foundation, and the Esping Foundation.

For more information on Middle School Matters, Middle School Matters Institute’s approach to support middle school educators, and to learn more about the Education Reform Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute, please visit www.bushcenter.org.

About the George W. Bush Institute: 
The George W. Bush Institute advances freedom through education reform, global health, human freedom and economic growth. In all its programming, the Institute integrates initiatives that empower women and military service personnel. The Bush Institute is the policy arm of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which includes the Presidential library and museum, located on the campus of SMU in Dallas.

For more information, please visit www.bushcenter.org, Facebook and Twitter.