There has been much discussion in our community regarding Midland Public Schools. We are providing information to assist with understanding on a few topics and data points.
Midland Public Schools provides many resources for our stakeholders to gather information or ways to seek clarity. Our MPS website is loaded with information. For example, you can find:
- transparency section on financials and student achievement
- Board of Education meeting recordings, Agenda, and Minutes.
- course descriptions and curriculums
- MPS Connect (submit a message and receive an answer within 24 hours)
- contact information for any Principal or Administrator
Information in regards to MPS Curriculum
Elementary Science Curriculum
Midland Public Schools utilizes two primary curriculum resources for elementary science, which align with the Michigan science standards and performance expectations. Cereal City Science and Project Lead the Way (PLTW) are both kit-based curriculum resources. The Midland Public Schools Science Resource Center (SRC) staff procure all of the supplies and materials needed for each science unit, including PLTW Launch Logs. Teachers can also request additional supplies if they wish to enhance any units. The SRC team organizes the materials in teacher-friendly kits and delivers the kits to each school on a defined grade-level specific schedule. Upon completion of the unit, the kit is collected and taken back to the SRC, where it is replenished for future use. There is currently a team of 4th and 5th-grade teachers collaborating with the Elementary Curriculum Specialist to resolve a few curriculum alignment concerns. When that plan is finalized, it will be fully resourced.
Midland Public Schools is currently in the early stages of implementing new elementary literacy curriculum resources. The Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Units of Study are aligned to the Michigan English Language Arts standards and the Essential Literacy Practices. The writing units were implemented for all grades in the 2021-2022 school year. The phonics units are currently being implemented for grades K-2. The publisher has delayed the reading units. An order has been placed for grades K-2, and those should be received this school year yet. The reading units for grades 3-5 will be implemented in fall 2023.
For each unit, teachers are provided a kit that includes the teacher materials. The supplies and materials needed for each unit are standard classroom supplies provided by each school, such as paper, cardstock, pencils, and such. Access to texts is an essential component of the curriculum. The trade book packs were purchased for both the reading and writing units to ensure alignment and support for teachers. Each school’s media center has a robust collection of texts, as do most classroom libraries. Over the past several years, funds have been strategically used to purchase additional classroom textbooks. To support student learning, the district subscribes to the digital tool Raz Kids, which is used in grades K-3 with optional components for grades 4 and 5.
Midland Public Schools utilizes Envisions Math for elementary math curriculum resources. The curriculum is aligned with Michigan math standards and practices. Every elementary teacher has a teacher guide that details the units and lessons to be taught. Annually, the district purchases math workbooks for student use at each grade level, and those are distributed to each teacher. Teachers have full digital access to the curriculum materials. Students have digital access to student materials. To support the implementation of each math unit, teachers have a variety of supplies and materials in their classrooms such as snap cubes, counting chips, clocks, dice, and other math manipulatives, as well as their typical classroom supplies and materials. This fall, MAP Accelerator was purchased for grades 3-5 as a digital intervention tool.
Midland Public Schools utilizes various grade-level curriculum resources in elementary social studies classrooms. Those are listed below. Curriculum resources are aligned with Michigan social studies standards and the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework. The curriculum resources listed below combine print and digital for both teachers and students. The units of instruction typically require standard classroom supplies and materials. The district recently purchased maps and other supplemental supplies that teachers requested.
1st grade People and Places from McMillan/McGraw Hill
2nd grade My Community from Teachers’ Curriculum Institute
3rd grade Michigan Studies from Michigan Open Book Project
4th grade United States Studies from Michigan Open Book Project
5th grade Social Studies Early United States from Harcourt Brace
Information in regards to mental health services
The Michigan Department of Education expects schools to support student social-emotional wellbeing and mental health, and they provide specific grant funds for schools to implement mental health services. MPS has a team of Student Support Specialists who are licensed professionals. They provide social-emotional and mental health services to students with identified needs. There is a clear process for assessing the student's needs and determining if the student will receive services at school from a Student Support Specialist or if the student should receive services from an external organization. Students requiring intensive ongoing support and therapy are referred to external partners in collaboration with parents. Parent consent is required for the student to receive services for students under fourteen years old. For students fourteen and older, the Michigan Mental Health Code does not require parental consent for services; however, MPS staff work closely with the student and encourage parent engagement as a collaborative approach is best. MPS social workers are licensed professionals who support students in accordance with the student's Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The IEP is created in collaboration with parents.
Information on learning loss during the pandemic
MPS students received in school instruction on more school days than other state public schools. In the 2019-2020 school year, the Governor ordered all state schools closed in March. In the 2020-21 school year, MPS held in-school instruction and offered parents an option of virtual learning if they chose. Parents chose in-school education for 85% of MPS students. During the school year 2021-22, MPS used four days to extend four pre-built breaks by one day each. This assisted us in increasing staffing levels. The learning loss during the pandemic was smaller than 95% of state schools as our students were learning from our teachers in school at a higher rate. MPS has added several interventions and additional staff to assist students in learning. Examples: Summer schooling, before and after school tutoring, literacy coaches, retired educators tutoring, instructional coaches, and student support specialists.
Midland Public Schools
2021-2022 Achievement Data Summary
MPS students continue to achieve at notably higher levels than other Michigan students. MPS remains a top-achieving district, performing well above state averages. While we celebrate our success, we strive to maximize growth and achievement for every student. Staying true to our vision statement, we continue to analyze our data and systems to learn what changes are needed to support learning and success for all students. Along with achievement data, we know that student growth data is also important in creating a clear picture of our status. Student growth data is just now being released by MDE, and we will dig into that data soon to inform our actions.
Achievement Data Highlights
- Science proficiency increased in every MPS school, with several schools experiencing more than 20 percentage points of improvement.
- MPS outperformed the state in all grades and content areas, ranging from 6 to 25 percentage points over the state proficiency average.
- Math scores for schools nationwide have dropped since the pandemic, yet all MPS grades except one increased in math proficiency over the previous year. By contrast, schools across Michigan decreased math proficiency in six out of nine grades of the prior year.
- MPS students with disabilities (SWD) outperform the state average for SWD at every grade level in ELA, Science, and Social Studies. In math, MPS students with disabilities outperform the state average for SWD in seven out of nine grades tested.
- MPS low socio-economic status (SES) students outperform the state average for SES students at every grade level and every content area.
Opportunities for Improvement
- Although still performing well above the state average, MPS ELA scores dropped in several grades in spring 2022 over the previous year. Notably, districts across the state of Michigan experienced a drop in ELA scores in every grade tested during the same period.
- Over the last several years, Midland Public Schools ELA and math proficiency scores have had a flat trend in all grades except for 8th, which has trended up slightly. Social studies proficiency has trended somewhat downward year to year. There are only two years of science data, so trend data is not advisable.
- Low socioeconomic status students in Midland continue to underperform compared to the district in general. This is true across the state as well.
Services, Supports, and Strategies
- Extensive summer learning opportunities for students in grades K-12
- Elementary paraprofessional interventionists providing tutoring in literacy and math
- Elementary retiree interventionists providing tutoring for literacy
- After-school tutoring, in partnership with Sylvan, for students who are identified as needing intensive support in literacy
- Elementary Literacy Specialists/Coaches to support teacher growth
- Individual Reading Improvement Plans for every student in grades K-3 who is not on track for proficiency
- Implementation of an evidenced-based elementary literacy curriculum and providing high-quality professional learning to support teachers
- Launch of the Advanced Learning Program for Students (ALPS)
- After-school tutoring at both high schools, in partnership with the Institute for Educational Excellence, for students who are identified as needing specialized support in math
- Increasing the number of math and English seminar classes in secondary schools to provide students with additional learning time and targeted support
- After-school tutoring at both middle schools for students who are identified as needing specialized support in English Language Arts
- Secondary learning coaches to support teacher growth - 1 coach per secondary school
- Continually improving our use of NWEA assessment data (3 times per year) to guide math and literacy instruction at the individual classroom level
- Student Support Specialists to provide social-emotional and mental health support to students - 6 SSS across the district
- Social Emotional Learning Specialist to support teacher growth and the implementation of core SEL practices - 8 SEL Specialist across the district
- Enhanced partnerships with community agencies to support student and staff wellbeing
- Use of the MPS Resiliency/RISE (Resiliency in Students and Educators) model to support teacher learning and wellbeing - currently bringing this to scale in the elementary schools in collaboration with Sarah Owens LLC.
- Enhancing our Multi-Tiered Systems of Support framework to ensure appropriate interventions and support for all students
- Implementation of School Success Teams - a collaborative approach where school staff, parents/families, and the student gather to develop a plan for students who need additional support
Information on teacher morale and staffing levels
Our teachers have been through 2.5 years of a global pandemic, a 500-year flood, and significant social unrest in our country. Public Education has been verbally under assault by organized groups in our country. This has led to an educator shortage and feelings of lack of appreciation. MPS has provided our educators with pandemic stipends, yearly pay increases at or above other school districts, high quality benefit packages, and wellness and employee assistance programs. Our BOE has recently requested MPS administration to bring information to our October BOE meeting in regards to a stipend to retain staffing levels. We have increased staffing levels. Elementary class size averages are currently at our lowest level in over a decade.
We honor a teacher monthly with our "Shining Star" awards and four educators yearly with our Gerstacker Awards. We know we must find many more ways to defend and advocate for the daily hard work and dedication public schools and educators provide. We believe that civility is key to attracting the best educators.
We hope the above provided information and additional information on our website assists our citizens. Please consider using our MPS Connect to send us questions or clarification you may still have.