Graduation Matters...Middle School Counts
Time and again we hear from students (and sometimes, parents) that middle school doesn’t really matter. So why does middle school matter? “...students’ middle grades experiences are critical in launching them toward achievement and attainment or placing them on a path of frustration, failure, and, ultimately, early exit from the only secure path to adult success—finishing high school” (Belfanz 2012). We cannot overstate the importance of middle level education. The future of our students is largely determined by their educational experiences during these formative years (NMSA 2010). So middle school really does matter.
Because middle school counts, it’s really important that students attend on a regular basis. Did you know that chronic absenteeism is the leading indicator of high school dropout rates? We have learned that students who miss even a few days of school each month are at a far greater risk of academic failure and dropout than students who attend regularly. Studies also show that the best predictor of high school attendance is middle school attendance. By the time students leave middle school, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores (Allensworth & Easton 2007).
As part of our work to build understanding around the importance of middle school, we not only promote attendance, but also the Attributes of a Successful Learner:
- Universal Expectations
These attributes are part of our middle school standards-based reporting system along with Academic Score Descriptors. We invite you to join with us as we continue supporting our students' academic, social and emotional growth.