Tippecanoe School Corporation

Welcome to Southwestern Middle School

Southwestern is set in a rural part of Tippecanoe County and is 10 miles southwest of Lafayette, which is a growing and thriving city. The school was built in 1956 as a high school, but the Tippecanoe School Corporation converted it into a middle school in 1985. The building underwent major renovations and improvements after a tornado damaged the building in 2013. Southwestern Middle School serves approximately 450 students in grades 6-8. The goal of Southwestern is to serve all students in a way that prepares them for their path to high school and beyond.

Many opportunities are available for students within the school day and beyond. Southwestern provides ample chances for students to gain exposure and develop skills in STEM areas. Literacy is taught across the curriculum, and the dedicated and caring teaching staff uses student data to drive instruction. Students are each equipped with Chromebooks, which helps Southwestern create a 21st century learning environment.

SMS offers students a chance to participate in a variety of clubs such as Robotics, Student Council, National Junior Honor Society, and Wildcats for Change. The Bands and Choirs also provide many co-curricular opportunities for students to develop their musical abilities. Southwestern competes in eight sports throughout the school year.

Above all, the staff at Southwestern understands its duty to provide an excellent education to all students. The staff at SMS is very student-centered, and students’ opportunities are at the heart of all decision-making. To that end, the staff is committed to building rapport with students and differentiating instruction to meet the needs of all learners.

Academics

Academic needs are being addressed in 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-2016 & 2016-2017 school year by developing an academic committee that directs the attention of teachers to state and local data trends and the development of interventions to meet the individual academic referrals of students’ needs. State data reveals a need to increase individuals’ English and Language Arts, Math, and combined scores in achievement by targeting students who have not had growth from their past data trend lines. These students are to be identified from the growth model, be locally assessed through NWEA map testing, be scheduled time for Tier 2 interventions utilizing IXL®, peer tutors, learning lab supports and standard aligned homerooms & classrooms. Students will be scheduled Tier 3 interventions, utilizing reteaching through individualized teaching methods of content area lessons and specialized programs such as Read Naturally® and Fast Math®. Action Plan 1 addresses the needs to accomplish academic improvement through the exploration, implementation, and review of existing programs and the possible adoptions of new programs and practices to directly meet the individual needs of all students in the areas of Literacy and Numeracy.

Academic goals will be accomplished by providing the necessary resources to enhance and reinforce student achievement based on the data provided from local AIMSWEB probes, NWEA assessments, and ISTEP data linked to the growth models of each student. Data will be at the fingertips of all teachers through the analysis at weekly Instructional Improvement Block (IIB) set aside at the beginning of the day. One day will be directly devoted to academic analysis of data while another day will be devoted to grade level teams to address the individualized needs of students. During team time students who are identified will be referred to interventions in order to provide programs and practices that give direct feedback to the student and teacher to better track the growth of referred students.

This Action Plan is designed to create a three year cycle of improvement trends by adopting a systems approach to continual analysis of the data, individualized student achievement, and the programs and practices in place to address the needs of the students identified on a weekly, quarterly, and annual basis.

School-wide Assessments

Assessment instruments to be used in addition to ISTEP+ are as follows for grades 6, 7, and 8.

  • NWEA
  • AIMSWEB
  • English Language Learners - LAS (Language Assessment Scales)

Technology as a Learning Tool

Instructional technology in the Tippecanoe School Corporation will provide and encourage an atmosphere for life long learning. Technology strives to meet the educational goals of the corporation, supports the curriculum, and provides avenues for assessment of student progress. Technology should facilitate creativity and productivity as well as expand communication. Learning opportunities for staff and students involving technology are provided on a regular and ongoing basis. TSC maintains a standard of equal access for all and legal use of all forms of media. ( Adopted by the TSC Technology Council, April 1993, revised February 1998, September 2000)

Every classroom contains an interactive white board, laptop docking station, student clickers, document scanner and camera, DVD player, and training has been provided on how to maximize training through the use of these various technological devices.

Every teacher has a classroom webpage to communicate effectively to the public their policies, classroom expectations, homework and test calendar.

Every student has a chromebook with a universal instructional platform providing resources, textbooks, assignments, and assessments.

Southwestern has one stationary lab that provide classrooms of 30 students or more with internet access, Mircosoft Office tools, academic intervention programs, and testing programs. Special education classrooms have access to mobile carts to provide intervention and enrichment programs for students to meet their individualized needs and testing needs.

Instructional Support

In addition to covering all TSC and Indiana specified state standards, Southwestern Middle School teachers include the following in their classrooms:

Math

  • Create your own tessellation
  • Problem-based learning
  • Class surveys
  • Internet activities
  • Statistical activities
  • Pi Day activities
  • IXL remediation programs
  • Cotaught Math classes at each grade level
  • Math Counts extracurricular competition
  • Countdown to ISTEP review weekly

Science

  • Essay questions such as: “Describe in detail how electricity gets from the power plant, including how they generate electricity, to yourhouse” are included on tests and/or in-class assignments.
  • Hands-on lab work
  • Notebooks kept in class, containing notes, lab work, and daily questions
  • Alternative energy and volcano research projects
  • Physics Quest
  • Current events in science articles and written using the 6+1 Traits of Writing
  • Conversions and measurements using the metric system
  • Cross-curricular, interdisciplinary topics

Language Arts

  • Culture comparisons
  • Historical fiction writing and screenplay writing
  • Computer use: Word, Excel, Publisher, Front Page, PowerPoint
  • Debate
  • Accelerated Reader at each grade level with reading contest
  • Spelling Bee
  • Spell Bowl extracurricular competition
  • Weekly writing prompts
  • School-wide writing program with rubric using the metric system
  • QAR comprehension strategy used school-wide

Social Studies

  • Geography projects using primary sources
  • On-line research over topics covered in class
  • Inner workings of the U.S. government
  • Web quests
  • Poetry, ballads, elegies - song lyrics
  • National Geographic Geography Bee
  • Historic role plays and simulations
  • Cross-curricular writing prompts
  • use of graphic organizers, study guides, and review games

Related Arts

  • Gateway to Technology curriculum
  • Use a variety of computer programs (search engines and Internet) to help students become computer literate
  • Students write reports on health-related careers, drugs, diseases, and present information on first aid topics
  • Students are tested, using the Presidential Physical Fitness Test, to see where they measure up to the national physical standards
  • Students create and design 2D and 3D art objects
  • Students use problem solving and critical thinking skills to revise and refine their work
  • Students use a variety of resources to develop careers in art and how art affects them daily
  • Students learn about the history and types of art
  • Lessons are based on measurement in the English system and are basic vocabulary driven
  • Band/Choir district solo/ensemble contests
  • Lego League extracurricular competition
  • Use if Inventor software to design 3D objects and make physical projects based on their designs

Safe and Disciplined Learning Environment

Several initiatives have been implemented over the past few years and remain active.

  • Updated emergency Planning Guide (copies given to police and fire depts. w/maps)
  • Safety Flip Chart for staff and administrators
  • To-Go Kits for each classroom teacher (first aid kit, vinyl gloves, etc.)
  • Corporation Safety Committee
  • Tippecanoe County Safe School Commission (Meets quarterly)
  • The use of We Tip to provide an anonymous way for student and/or parents to report potential school safety problems.
  • The use of sheriff’s deputies at each high school as school resource officers. The officers also serve the feeder schools on an as needed basis.
  • The addition of an SRO (Student Resource Officer) who will be assigned full time to TSC schools.
  • The use of video technology, which enables each school to operate on a “limited accessibility” basis. All doors are locked during the school day except for the main entrance, which is video monitored.
  • Tippecanoe County Sherriff’s Department K9 video
  • A collection of resource materials centered on school safety are available at CO upon need/request. Materials currently available are on the topics of: bullying, conflict resolution, crisis response, hostility, parents, peer pressure, school safety, violence, weapons.
  • Buildings have an electronic building access system to allow for a more secure key system and the ability to monitor access on a building and/or district level.

Parental Participation

Southwestern Middle School parents participate in and around the school in a variety of ways. Parents volunteer to help teachers withcopying materials and newsletters.

In the athletic realm, a meeting is held with all parents of participants at the beginning of each sport’s season. Parents have been used to operate concession stands, as statisticians, public address announcers, the football “chain crew”, for videotaping, as ticket takers, line judges in volleyball, clock and scoreboard operators, and as timers and scorers in track.

During the school day, many teachers involve parents in the following manners:

  • Parent/Teacher conferences held each October and March or anytime at the request of the teacher or the parent.
  • Email and/or telephone conferences with parents as necessitated by grades and/or discipline.
  • Progress reports mailed home mid-grading period (4 times per school year).
  • Student Citizenship Ice Cream Social each quarter
  • GEI conferences
  • Booster Club supports academic, activity, and athletic activities of our students
  • Parent Portal
  • SMS Newsletter
  • Open House
  • Scouts

Business and Community Involvement

To help prepare students to succeed in the ever-changing world, it has become necessary to have students become involved with the people and businesses of our community. Southwestern Middle School teachers help bring the following business and community leaders into their classrooms:

  • Purdue students observe, interact, and student teacher
  • Guest speakers share career and health related topics.
  • Current events are attended and discussed.
  • Members of the community are invited to concerts, athletic events, fundraisers, awards ceremonies, and other special events.
  • Teachers utilize local vendors for our book fair and incentive trips.
  • School Resource Officer – representatives from local law enforcement agencies volunteer in schools/classrooms
  • Wabash Valley Human resource counselors and case mangers.
  • Greater Lafayette Area Special Services (G.L.A.S.S.) cooperative, which the TSC provides a variety of services for students with special needs.

Professional Development

The Tippecanoe School Corporation prides itself on the organizational structure given its staff development funding. Each building is given an allocation for staff development activities of specific importance and pertinence to the school’s staff. In addition, schools have received Staff Development Grants from the DOE as part of PL221.

Staff development occurs daily during the 30 minute Instructional Improvement Block (IIB) from 8:158: 45 A.M. Weekly Topics are focused on the three School Improvement Goals, the teaming approach to improving student academic, behavioral, and emotional achievement, and providing with structural, political, human, and structural resources to meet the goals.

A Scaling Up model and All Systems Go approach has been designed to maximize the effectiveness of the IIB time and streamline the use of committees to address all the objectives under each of the school improvement goals. This is displayed in the above Action Plans.

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