Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School was the recipient of a $35,000 grant for the MVMMS Skills Plus Program from the City of Melrose during the 2011-2012 school year. The purpose of the grant was to target specific students and support them in increasing their Math and English Language Arts scores on MCAS and provide for after school recreational and structured activities that would reduce benefit at-risk children.
With these dual purposes in mind, several programs were offered to middle school students. The Skills Plus Academy, targeting students who had received a needs improvement on either the Math or English Language Arts MCAS, ran for 24 weeks and served more than 80 children with an average class size of 10 students. During the February and April vacation another 48 students, who had scored in the warning category on the MCAS, received intensive small group (four or five students) instruction on foundational Math and English Language Arts concepts, as well as open response strategies.
In addition to the academic programs volleyball, field hockey, wrestling and fitness were all offered after school, at a subsidized cost, allowing 187 students to participate. Twenty-five students were also allowed to participate in one or more structured afterschool program due to scholarships the grant provided.
All of the grant funded programs produced improved results such as increased MCAS performance, improved attendance at school and decreased disciplinary referrals.
For the 2012-2013 school year the Melrose Middle School is seeking to continue building on the programs successes from the past two years. In addition to maintaining and improving the Skills Plus and Accelerated Academy programs, we would like to introduce guided study/homework help options, separate academic and non-academic programs, implement a new diversion program and expand their programing to cover all three grades at the middle school.
For more information, contact Melrose Middle School Assistant Principal John Muldoon at email@example.com.
—Contributed by Tom Brow, principal of Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School.
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