GEORGIA LIGHTHOUSE SCHOOLS TO WATCH
UPSON-LEE MIDDLE SCHOOL—VISITOR’S GUIDE





Upson-Lee Middle School



Designated in 2005; Re-designated 2008, 2011
Upson-Lee Middle School • Upson County • Georgia • Rhonda GulleyPrincipal • 101 Holstun Drive Thomaston, Georgia 30286

Phone: (706) 647-6256
Fax: (706) 647-3631
Website: http://ulms.upson.k12.ga.us


2012-2013 School Statistics

Community: Rural with population of 25000+
Enrollment: 1038
Grade Levels: Six through Eight
School Schedule: 7 period day

Student Demographics
<3% Hispanic
60% White
34%African American
0% Filipino
<1% Asian
0% Pacific Islander
<3% Multiracial
72% Free/Reduced Lunch
1% English Learners

2005 AYP: Met 11 of 12 indicators*
2006 AYP: Met 11 of 12 indicators*
2007 AYP: Met 11 of 12 indicators*
2008 AYP: Met 12 of 12 indicators
2009 AYP: Met 12 of 12 indicators
2010 AYP: Met 11 of 12 indicators
*SWD Math-Improving but not meeting
2011 AYP: Met 12 of 12 indicators
2012 AYP: Met all criteria

School Characteristics and Replicable Practices


Academic Excellence

  • Standards-based Instruction delivered using research-based best practices with the support of Instructional Strategy Coach and Instructional Technology Coach
  • Differentiated instruction that engages students in active learning and is tailored to individual student needs and learning styles.
  • Incorporate literacy instruction in History/Social Studies. Science, and Technical Units
  • Extensive use of Thinking Maps and Write from the Beginning and Beyond for critical thinking processes
  • Gifted/Honors resource class in addition to the Cluster Grouping Model with all academic teachers holding gifted endorsements
  • Provide Extended Learning Time during regular school day two to three days per week for acceleration, extension, and remediation in addition to Lunch and Learn, After School Tutoring, etc.
  • Content collaboration to develop grade level units and common assessments
  • Data driven instruction and practices monitored through awareness walks
  • Every classroom equipped with state of the art technology (interactive whiteboards, student response devices, slates, Navigators, document cameras, and wireless capability)
  • High Impact practices, such as differentiation, assessment for learning, RTI, Higher Order Thinking Skills, and fluid/flexible grouping present throughout the curriculum
  • Science, Math, Technology, Engineering project-based learning – Solar Car and Robotics
  • Exceptional student achievement results in regards to closing achievement gaps

Developmental Responsiveness

  • Teaming model to create small learning communities
  • Interdisciplinary approach to reinforce important concepts and address real-world problems
  • Science, Math, Technology, Engineering project-based learning – Solar Car and Robotics
  • College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards
  • Connections classes including art, music, band/chorus, multi-media, agricultural science, math and reading strategies, and keyboarding
  • One to One student response devices in every academic classroom
  • Instructional Strategy Coach and Instructional Technology Coach
  • PBS- a school wide positive behavior plan that recognizes Knightly behavior
  • School wide Fight Free Program
  • Comprehensive Bullying prevention program
  • Advisor/Advisee twice per month -- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Stephen R. Covey
  • Celebrations of excellence for academics, attendance, citizenship
  • Strategies to promote student responsibility in good citizenship – SMART goals, Agendas/Organizers, Student Leadership Team, Service Clubs, etc.
  • Extra-curricular activities (clubs, dances, sports)
  • Parent Involvement Coordinators , Parent Mentor, Three Counselors, Graduation Coach, Behavior Interventionist, EL Teacher, Nurse

Social Equity

  • School wide heterogeneous grouping with differentiated instruction with all students held to high academic standards
  • All academic teachers certified in gifted instruction and trained in differentiation for all students
  • Team-based Co-Teachers
  • Accelerated short-term interventions for students
  • Grade-level collaborative planning for all curriculum groups ensures equitable teaching and learning opportunities
  • Love and Logic training
  • Full-time Behavior Intervention Specialist, Counselors, Graduation Coach, EL Teacher, and Media Specialists
  • Parent Involvement Room
  • Advisor/Advisee Program
  • Knight Buddies program to support students new to the school
  • Student of the Month nominations based on Knightly Behavior
  • At-Risk students provided with focus team support (RTI)
  • Multiple opportunities to develop leadership including Student Leadership Team, Peer Helpers, opportunities in support of the community, etc.
  • School/home communication via newsletters, School Reach, e-mail, outside information sign, on-line grade book, team correspondence and meetings, open houses, social media, etc.
  • Active PTO membership

Organizational Supports

  • 100% highly qualified staff with yearly on-campus professional learning opportunities to further the goals of the school improvement plan as part of a three year professional learning plan
  • The principal is the instructional leader, heading a leadership team that is representative of the faculty; the mission of the leadership team is to plan, document and guide school improvement
  • Instructional coaching program provided for all core academic subjects in addition to collaboration with colleges, regional agencies, and professional organizations
  • A Co-Teacher provides adaptive curriculum and instruction as a instructional strategist assigned to each academic team to support the SWD students
  • Common collaborative subject area planning three times per week with four to five release days for vertical planning throughout the year
  • Strong inclusion program; 95-100% inclusion for Science. Social Studies and Language Arts classes; 80-85% inclusion for math and literature/reading
  • Budget, professional learning, and resources aligned with School Improvement Plan
  • Network, online and physical resources are in central locations to foster collaborations
  • Timeline , support, and monitoring for implementation of instructional initiatives to foster pervasive, consistent, and effective practices