The middle school model in Mounds View Public Schools provides a wide range of educational experiences to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. Every student has a Personal Learning Plan focused on post-secondary success. The comprehensive, standards-based curriculum includes math, social studies, language arts, and science, as well as allied (non-core) classes such as art, Spanish, integrated sciences, health and physical education, coding, and music. Middle School is a place where students link to the larger real world.
- English Language Arts
- Social Studies
- Art & Music
- Physical Education
- High Performing Learners
The Mounds View Public Schools literacy experience fosters life-long readers and writers who engage in real reading and writing for real purposes. Students are engaged in authentic reading and writing, worthwhile literacy tasks, and accountable conversations across all content areas. All students will see themselves as readers and writers and value their continuous growth in those areas. There is a balance between whole-group instruction, small-group instruction, and independent practice.
From 2020 English Language Arts Standards Minnesota Department of Education, pg. 2
The organization and structure of the standards communicate how ELA education is conceptualized for Minnesota students. The standards are organized into three strands:
- Reading – Taking in information from a wide variety of sources through reading, listening, and viewing.
- Writing – Sharing information with a variety of audiences through writing, speaking, and presenting.
- Listening, Speaking, Viewing, and Exchanging Ideas – Communicating and collaborating with others through speaking, listening, and viewing.
Each standard will have one to four benchmarks that are grade-level specific. The benchmarks are placed at the end of the grade level where mastery is expected with the recognition that a progression of learning experiences in earlier grades builds the foundation for mastery later on.
At Mounds View Public Schools, the math experience ensures that each student has access to high-quality mathematics instruction and understanding. Teachers meet the unique needs of each student by engaging them in critical thinking, problem-solving, and discussion. Students will work collaboratively to persevere when solving complex problems. We are committed to building a strong conceptual foundation so that each student has opportunities at the secondary level to succeed in their chosen math pathway. Each student will see themselves as mathematicians and be able to make mathematical connections to the world in which they live.
The Minnesota Academic Standards in Mathematics are organized by grade level into four content strands:
- Number and Operation
- Geometry and Measurement
- Data Analysis and Probability
At Mounds View Public Schools, the standards-based science curriculum fosters the natural curiosity children have. Students will ask scientific questions about the world around them and investigate how and why things work the way they do. They will collect and analyze data to construct explanations for what they investigate and experience. Using an inquiry model and hands-on learning, students develop the ability to use science practices to independently explore and investigate scientific phenomena.
The Minnesota Academic Standards in Science are organized by grade level into four strands:
- Exploring phenomena or engineering problems
- Looking at data and empirical evidence to understand phenomena or solve problems
- Developing possible explanations of phenomena or designing solutions to engineering problems
- Communicating reasons, arguments, and ideas to others
At Mounds View Public Schools, we believe in developing students to become informed citizens, who are able to participate in a democratic society. Instruction focuses on inquiry, critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication. Lessons at each grade level are grounded in MN State standards.
The Minnesota Academic Standards in Social Studies are organized by grade level into four strands:
- Citizenship and government
At Mounds View Public Schools, the visual arts curriculum is delivered through instruction in art and/or music. It is grounded in MN State Standards and provides students with the opportunity to explore different materials and technical skills. Students will create and share a variety of artwork throughout their time in elementary school.
Students grow as musicians by creating, analyzing, and performing musical pieces from many different cultures while developing their creative potential. Band, Orchestra, and Choir are elective courses at the middle school level.
From 2018 Arts Standards Minnesota Department of Education:
Artistic literacy, which includes visual and performing arts, is the ability to combine foundational knowledge and skills in an art form with four processes fundamental to the arts:
- Performing or Presenting
At Mounds View Public Schools, physical education is an integral part of a child’s education. We believe in promoting social development, mental health, and lifelong physical activity by providing opportunities that emphasize teamwork, personal and team achievement, and character.
The Mounds View School District Local Literacy Plan ensures that there is a process to assess students’ level of reading proficiency, notify and involve parents, and intervene with students who are not reading at or above grade level. This plan is a systematic approach to provide every Mounds View School District student with scientific-based literacy instruction, assessment to determine instructional need and to support professional learning for staff across the district.
Our goal is to have every student able to read at or above grade level by the end of grade 3. This plan supports our Equity Promise and ensures that all students have a solid foundation of literacy skills and are college and career ready when graduating. Our equity promise guides us in providing high quality literacy instruction for each student, including those who have been diagnosed with dyslexia.
What is Dyslexia?
Minnesota Statute 125A.01 states:
" ‘Dyslexia’ means a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate or fluent recognition of words and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”
- Dyslexia is a neurologically-based disorder which interferes with acquiring and processing language.
- Dyslexia varies in degrees of severity.
- Cognitive ability is not impacted and intelligence can be in the above to superior range with high verbal reasoning ability
- Dyslexia may or may not be accompanied by other learning disabilities like dysgraphia, a writing disability, or dyscalculia, a mathematical disability.
How does Mounds View Public Schools identify and address students with reading difficulties including those with dyslexia?
We have three tiers of support for students who are not progressing in their reading. Clear exit and entrance criteria have been established to determine students grade level proficiency and then provide them with the support and structures needed to support their growth.
- Letter Naming Fluency
- Letter Sound Fluency
- Oral Fluency
- NWEA RIT
- Guided Reading Level
Assessments are intended to identify students who may have characteristics of dyslexia. These data points determine focused explicit instruction that may be needed for students who are not making progress. The process is used to identify students who need additional systematic and explicit instruction in phonemic awareness, decoding, morphology, fluency and comprehension.
Students who have shown difficulties with learning to read are referred to the intervention for additional support and instruction in reading. If the student does not show growth, they are then referred to the sites team to determine next steps for support The team includes classroom teachers, administrators, and student services assistant who work to address the learning needs of the each student who is referred. Students who have shown difficulties in recognition of words, poor spelling abilities and decoding abilities, slow or inaccurate reading are assessed for appropriate interventions based on the needs.
Should students with dyslexia receive special education service?
Dyslexia is a medical diagnosis and alone it does not indicate that students will be eligible for Special Education Services. The performance of students with Dyslexia covers a wide range. Our identification and intervention plan addresses the needs of each student to ensure they progress in their reading proficiency.
Students who have a dyslexia diagnosis must meet state and federal eligibility criteria in order to qualify for special education services - Link to eligibility checklist.
What may help my child in the classroom:
- Explicit direct instruction
- Assistive technology
- Extra time
- Accommodations for homework (amount and/or task)
- Personalizing instruction
What may help child at home and in the community?
- Word play
- Tutoring services
- Library programs
The documents and links found here are intended to provide a resource for families and staff working together to create rich learning opportunities for students with dyslexia.