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Best Practices

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Resource Title Taking Center Stage, Act II

This California Department of Education (CDE) Web portal focuses on middle schools and provides a wide range of extensive resources. Much of the information relates to 12 major recommendations, each of which has its own chapter. As a set, they are organized into four categories:

  • Academic excellence (rigor; time; instruction, assessment and intervention)
  • Developmental responsiveness (relevance; relationships; transitions)
  • Social equity (access; safety, resilience and health)
  • Organizational structures and processes (leadership; professional learning; accountability; partnerships)

Each of the 12 recommendations can be viewed in its entirety or by subsections. Vignettes describe specific actions implemented by schools and districts and brief video clips for each of the 12 recommendations, based on experiences in actual schools and districts, are available. The Web site includes links to many other relevant resources, examples of documents from school districts, a list of acronyms, a glossary, and learning tools. Self-study tools and rubrics aligned with the 12 recommendations are available at the CDE’s Web site Specific content sections include high expectations; academic literacy; reading and writing across the curriculum; ethics; state standards and frameworks; adopted instructional materials; assessment; pacing guides; instructional strategies; differentiated instruction; study skills; homework; educational technology, including Internet safety, podcasts, and distance learning; students with special needs, including gifted students; data management; before and after school programs; retention; interventions; teaming practices; tutoring and mentoring; professional learning communities; block schedules; adolescent needs; cross-curricular connections; leadership; small learning communities; peer relationships; competitions; celebrations; articulation with elementary and high schools; drop-out prevention; language acquisition; English learner supports; disaster preparedness; conflict resolution; classroom management; attendance; counseling; family life education; character education; school nurses; nutrition; fitness; local governing boards; compliance with the Williams case; safe and attractive facilities; site leadership; guidelines for principals; school site councils; parent, family, and student leadership; Academic Performance Index (API); adequate yearly progress (AYP); Program Improvement (PI); community partnerships.

Resource Area(s)
Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
Parent and Community Involvement
Data Systems and Achievement Monitoring
Professional Development
Culture and Professional Relationships
Type of Resource
Best Practices
Format Website
Related Service(s)
Facilitating Planning
Building Leadership
Supporting Curriculum, Instruction and Intervention