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Ardis Ann Middle School


  • Designated in - 2013

  • Re-Designated in- 2016

  • Community Size - Rural Community of 5,504

  • School Enrollment - 535

  • Grade Levels - 5,6,7,8

  • School Calendar - A/B Block

  • Free and Reduced Lunch - 22.32% 

  • English Learners 1.87%

  • Students With Disabilities 3.23%


  • Hispanic 2.46%

  • White  59.33%

  • African American 37.13 %

  • Asian .37%

School Characteristics and Replicable Practices

Academic Excellence

  • Expeditionary learning interdisciplinary unitsprovide opportunities for student voice and choicein authentic project-based learning experienceswhich strengthen engagement with requiredcurriculum expectations. Research, reading,writing (multiple drafts), and oral communicationskills are integral components of each EL unit.

  • Learning opportunities within the community areconnected and provide authentic opportunities for students to experience the power of service learning.

  • Multiple data sources, including adaptive technology programs, academic performance, habits of work and learning (HOWLs), attendance, and discipline are used to support personalized learning for each student.

  • School wide processes, including daily advisory and teacher team meetings, continuously identify students who are struggling academically and provide support structures for RtI interventions.

  • An academic honors banquet for students who excel in academics, attendance, and leadership is provided as an end of year celebration.

  • Students in need of intensive academic support are identified weekly as part of our ICU program, then provided time to make up missing assignments before and after school and during lunch times.

  • A schoolwide expectation for learning objectives is evident in classroom instruction as daily learning targets, beginning with “I can” provide clear language to support students in understanding their learning goals.

  • Students establish and monitor academic goals by checking their grades and attendance each week and discussing with advisory teachers.

  • Academic expectation processes are outlined in Habits of Work and Learning (HOWL) and are used to change the lens from teacher to student ownership.

  • Students are equipped and empowered of as “Leaders of Their Own Learning” with various opportunities for student voice and hands on learning throughout multiple courses of study.

  • Explore/activity teachers and athletic coaches value the schoolwide ICU system communicating missing work and intervene to support students turning in work is being turned in on time.

  • Real life experiences being taught in the school (budgeting, water conservation, natural disaster preparedness, speaking skills) are interwoven throughout academic classroom expectations.

  • Project Lead the Way (PLTW) courses are integrated in science classrooms (medical detectives, magic of electrons, flight and space) as well as during activity times (design and modeling, robotics, technology coding) providing opportunities for all students to learn through problem-based learning units.

  • Students have one-to-one chromebook access, as well as iPad, smartboards, and interactive VR tools available to enhance learning experiences.

  • The core curriculum includes readers/writers workshop and conceptual math units infused with engaging instructional practices to support student problem-solving and independence.

  • Teachers meet in content and interdisciplinary team meetings to review curriculum expectations and design engaging instructional experiences and assessments to strengthen academic learning.

Developmental Responsiveness

  • Students meet daily for advisory time (Students, Teachers, and Relationships - STAR) which includes team building activities, conversations about “sticky situations,” goal setting,reviewing academic and behavioral progress, and other activities designed to meet the needs of the whole child (healthy, safe, engaged, supported, challenged).

  • Small communities of learning for students in each grade level (Discoverers, Pathfinders, Imagineers, Innovators, Adventurers, Challengers, Ignitors) are designed to strengthen relationships and personal connections with each student.

  • Students feel they are valued, accepted and connected to adults and others in the school with daily advisory time and smaller team learning communities.

  • 1:1 student technology is available and utilized daily by students in the learning process as a classroom tool for research, reading, and accessing/creating information as well as to address adaptive learning needs through programs such as ST Math, LightSail, Mindplay, etc.

  • Student-led conferences where students take the lead role in communicating their learning are scheduled in the Fall and Spring which has increased family involvement to 90% parental participation.

  • Health and Wellness (Whole-child) focuses are facilitated by numerous programs including a clothes closet, nurse, mentors, backpack meals, and our School Resource Officer (SRO.

  • Habits of Work and Learning (HOWLs) learning targets are posted in classrooms in addition to academic Learning Targets, addressing student social and emotional needs.

  • Sponsors and teacher teams are deliberate to ensure all diverse groups are represented on committees.

  • Counselors have means for students to access them through various platforms.

  • Flexible seating is used to meet students developmental needs.

  • Parents request Butterfield Trail Middle School because of the way the school responds to students academic and social needs and the level of innovation embedded in the academic culture.

  • Transition to middle school from elementary school is supported through a “That’s How Butterfield Does It” 6th grade learning expedition, culminating with a celebration of learning where students teach their families about Butterfield Trail Middle School.

Social Equity

  • All students, including English language learners, gifted and advanced, students with disabilities, multiple ethnicities, etc., participate in heterogeneous classes with high expectations for all students.

  • Students earn tokens through positive behavior supports (PBIS) to buy items from the school store and earn incentives, encouraging both positive behavior habits and economic learning experiences.

  • Student voice is integral to the school culture evident in student led leadership meetings.

  • STAR (Students, Teachers And Relationships) advisory program is implemented daily in all grade levels focused on ongoing dialogue with students in a safe environment to talk and share, including team building, sticky situations, school safety, Habits of Work and Learning (HOWLs) and academic/behavioral goal setting.

  • Student council is nominated by students and faculty and aligned to 4 areas to best meet identified needs across the school (Social, Service, Student Voice and Support).

  • Leadership Council students meets once a month to support growth of student leadership through their STAR class built around the H.O.W.L. character attributes.

  • Students learn through learning expedition units as equality and respect are interwoven components of each unit.

  • Two way communication with families occurs through conferences, remind 101, surveys with feedback, email, newsletter, social media and student agendas.

  • Habits of Work and Learning (HOWLs) ideals (Respect, Responsibility, Perseverance) are visible and evident throughout the school. Parents articulate how the HOWLs are modeled across the school by students and faculty.

Organizational Support

  • Exploratory/activity teachers are paired with core teachers for STAR Advisory to ensure a smaller teacher to student ratio to strengthen relationships.

  • Distributive leadership practices for school initiatives is evident as staff members are encouraged and invited to participate in leadership roles and articulate ideals to improve learning across the school evident in the STAR advisory program, Live School, scheduling, etc.

  • Transition documentation and dialogue with elementary school support seamless services for high need students

  • Teachers participate in weekly team meetings with school counselors to review student data (academic, attendance, behavioral) and make RTI referrals.

  • Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) meet weekly for both content and interdisciplinary planning utilizing team structures including agendas, setting norms, roles for team members, and access to student data and curriculum resources.

  • Annual evidence of staff, student, and community contribution to the school vision and mission process resulting in a school mantra of “Igniting a Passion for Learning-NOW!”

  • Evidence of distributive leadership across the school to strengthen academic and social responsive areas, including the school leadership team and sub-committees for various school initiatives.

  • The school is connected and supported by the community through a partnership with a local university for the Professional Development School as well as the Van Buren High School Teacher Cadet Program, and project based expeditionary learning opportunities with multlple community supporters.

  • Parents are offered involvement in the school through P.T.A., after school extra curricular activities, and sub committees to support school initiatives such as the PBIS committee.

  • Leadership is continuously involved and responsive to parents, students and staff concerns as issues and questions are addressed immediately, often with phone or face-to-face communications.

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