Applications Underway for Middle School Matters Institute

For the second year, the Bush Institute invites middle schools across the country to apply for our Middle School Matters Institute (MSMI). ...

For the second year, the Bush Institute invites middle schools across the country to apply for our Middle School Matters Institute (MSMI).  Chosen schools will receive national recognition, high-quality, research-based school improvement strategies from our national experts, yearlong professional support, and an invitation to our Middle School Matters Summer Conference.  Will your school apply to become a MSMI school and join our work to advance America’s middle schools?

Over the past several years the Bush Institute, in partnership with The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk at The University of Texas at Austin (MCPER),has convened numerous top national education researchers, who have taken strategies with solid research-based evidence into practice and created highly intensive support for schools that are chosen to be a part of this select group.

In June 2013, seven middle school leadership teams from across Texas and one from Pennsylvania were invited from a sizeable pool of nationwide applicants to participate in a three-day summer conference held in Austin, Texas – a major benefit of becoming a MSMI school.  The focus of this summer conference was based on our experts’ research-based recommendations for highly effective strategies that have been shown to improve educational outcomes for all students and provide them with the foundational skills needed to succeed in high school and ultimately earn a meaningful diploma.  Strategies include identifying students who are off-track for graduation and then designing a set of proven research-based academic and student support interventions to put students back on the path to success.  Each school’s leadership team left the summer conference with a specific plan for improving targeted areas that bolster long-term student achievement: reading, writing, mathematics, advanced reasoning, cognitive science, student behavioral supports and/or data collection/performance management. 

Over the last few months, these leadership teams have continued to think through the MSMI-provided research, along with their data and students, to refine their plans. In the beginning of the 2013-14 school year, MCPER and our Bush Institute education experts began to offer targeted support to help schools implement these plans.  Middle School Matters campus leaders have been positive in their collaborative efforts with our research experts.  Recently a campus leader shared, “I am so glad Middle School Matters Institute chose to work with us. It would have taken me a lot of time (that our scholars couldn’t afford) to figure out things that the Math Expert brought up for us to consider within an hour’s time. We are grateful and appreciative for the extra time and energy you are putting in to help us be successful.”

As our inaugural MSMI schools continue their hard work incorporating their plans with our experts, we are seeking middle schools interested in receiving such high level support and attending the 2014 Middle School Matters Summer Conference.  To apply or to learn more about the application process, please visit Online Application (due by 5 p.m. Central Standard Time on Monday, February 10, 2014).

*The Middle School Matters conference will be held June 17–19, 2014, at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin, Texas. Eight schools from across the nation will be invited to attend the conference (registration and meals will be provided for six members of each school’s leadership team), develop implementation plans aligned with school data and research based practices, and implement the plans with ongoing support throughout the 2014–2015 school year. For more information on Middle School Matters, please contact Gina D. Rodriguez at [email protected]