SUMMIT IN ACTION

Collaboration and Shared Vision Drive Learning at Franklin Middle School

 

If there’s one thing that teachers at Franklin Middle School know, it’s the power of strong and consistent collaboration to help turn around student outcomes. This commitment, along with a shared community vision for delivering the best education for its students, have been instrumental in Franklin’s success with the Summit Learning Program and recognition as a Spotlight school for the 2017-18 school year.

Franklin Middle School is a suburban school located in Greeley, Colorado, which serves about 577 students in grades 6-8. With support from staff and the community, Franklin Middle School implemented the program school-wide in 2017.

Shared Community Vision for Innovation

Once labeled a turnaround school by the Colorado State Board of Education, Franklin Middle School decided to become an official innovation school. In preparation, they prepared an innovation plan to present to the State Board of Education, with the Summit Learning Program as a central component.

“We met every week with our entire school community. On our innovation team we had parents, students, teachers, community members, business leaders come together with us to try to develop a plan that we thought would be sustainable and effective for our students,” says Principal Christine Joseph.

Reaching this level of consensus on strategy and vision across key stakeholders before implementation provided a solid foundation for rolling out the Program with confidence.

Strong and Consistent Teacher Collaboration

Franklin Middle School teachers have worked with their principal to schedule weekly formal meetings — once a week with their grade-level team and twice a week with their subject-matter teams. Making every second count matters, which is why more informal collaborations in the hallway are also a part of teachers’ daily routine, says Science Teacher Machin Norris: “We do a little ‘hallway holler,’ collaborative planning daily and that’s wonderful.”

In preparation for and during these team meetings, teachers are analyzing student data, creating Cognitive Skills workshops, and using Mentoring sessions to better understand student needs. Teachers are using this information to better align their teaching strategies and provide students with what they need to be successful, self-directed learners.

Watch the video above to see Summit Learning in action at Franklin Middle School!

This post is part of our Summit Learning Spotlight series. Follow the Summit Learning Spotlight tag to get the latest Spotlight school and teacher stories.

About the author

A storyteller and former educator, Lauren Faggella is dedicated to turning the Summit Learning community's stories and ideas into great content that informs and inspires a range of audiences. Prior to joining Summit Public Schools, Lauren was a professional freelance writer and third-grade teacher in Rhode Island. She earned her MEd from the University of Rhode Island and BA in English from Elon University.