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MJH Model PLC

Magnolia Junior High is one of 350 schools and districts across the United States to be recognized as a Model Professional Learning Community (PLC). MJH was recognized by Solution Tree for its sustained success in raising student achievement. The school’s successful implementation of the Professional Learning Communities at Work® process was a major contributing factor in the improved achievement of its students.

PLCs are schools and districts in which educators recognize the key to improved learning for students is on-going, job-embedded learning for the adults who serve those students. The three big ideas of a PLC call upon educators to:

1. Focus on learning.

2. Build a collaborative culture.

3. Create a results orientation.

Responding to news of the recognition, Principal David Slater said, “This is a great honor for MJH and reflective of our faculty’s passionate commitment to student success. Our campus culture is rooted in the principles of PLC, and I could not be prouder that the tireless and inspiring work of our staff that makes that culture possible is being recognized through this distinction.” 

Schools are recognized based on strict criteria, including demonstration of a commitment to PLC concepts, implementation of these concepts for at least three years, and clear evidence of improved student learning over that period. Once measurable results can be seen, the school must explain its practices, structures, and culture and submit its application for consideration by the PLC Review Committee.

According to the Champions of PLC at Work®, educators in the schools and districts selected for this recognition have shown “a sustained commitment to helping all of their students achieve at high levels. They have been willing to alter the structure and culture of the organization to reflect their commitment. We applaud them and congratulate them for achieving this very significant milestone on the never-ending PLC journey.”

Recognized model PLC schools are listed on allthingsplc.info, where they share implementation strategies, structures, and performance with other educators interested in improving their schools. Tools for team collaboration, articles and research about PLCs, blog posts, and other related resources are also available on the site. The site was developed and is maintained by Solution Tree, a leading provider of educational strategies and tools that improve staff and student performance. For more than 20 years, Solution Tree resources have helped K–12 teachers and administrators create schools where all children succeed.

STAAR Testing This Week

Eighth grade students will be taking the Science and Social Studies STAAR tests this week.

The Science test will be given on Tuesday, April 23rd.

The Social Studies test will be given on Wednesday, April 25th.

These are important assessments of students’ academic progress and the primary way the state of Texas evaluates our campus, so we want each student at their very best when they take them. Getting a good night’s sleep and eating a healthy breakfast certainly helps, since the testing period each day is approximately four hours.

It’s important to note that students who are testing cannot be signed-out of school during the testing period, which ends at 11:45 a.m.

Students are welcome to bring water in a screw-top or sport-top container, but every tester will be provided a small snack and bottled water as they test and may take breaks as needed to get water or use the restroom. During this week’s testing day, there will be no morning tutorials or other before-school activities.

It's important to note that seventh grade students will follow their normal schedule during the days eighth graders are testing.

If you have any additional questions about testing, please contact our Assessment Coordinator, Holly Robertson, at hrobertson@magnoliaisd.org.

Eighth grade students will be taking the Science and Social Studies STAAR tests this week.

The Science test will be given on Tuesday, April 23rd.

The Social Studies test will be given on Wednesday, April 25th.

These are important assessments of students’ academic progress and the primary way the state of Texas evaluates our campus, so we want each student at their very best when they take them. Getting a good night’s sleep and eating a healthy breakfast certainly helps, since the testing period each day is approximately four hours.

It’s important to note that students who are testing cannot be signed-out of school during the testing period, which ends at 11:45 a.m.

Students are welcome to bring water in a screw-top or sport-top container, but every tester will be provided a small snack and bottled water as they test and may take breaks as needed to get water or use the restroom. During this week’s testing day, there will be no morning tutorials or other before-school activities.

It's important to note that seventh grade students will follow their normal schedule during the days eighth graders are testing.

If you have any additional questions about testing, please contact our Assessment Coordinator, Holly Robertson, at hrobertson@magnoliaisd.org.

A High Probability of Success!

The 7th grade math students at MJH are reviewing key skills and concepts from the year to show what they know before moving on to 8th grade. Students competed with each other in a showdown of probability practice starting with a minute to work each problem individually before working as a team to determine the correct answer. As the groups work through the game, the teacher highlighted important academic vocabulary and possible approaches to solving the problems.

MJH Teachers of the Third Quarter

Right before Spring Break, students were given the chance to nominate a teacher at MJH who has made a positive impact on their lives. When the final nominations were tallied, Mrs. Coldwell, Mrs. Adami, Mrs. Betts, and Mrs. Skinner were our students' choice for the MJH Teacher of the Quarter Award!

New Surfaces for Math Practice Engaging Students

The MJH Math Department has been focused on research-based instructional practices to improve the depth and retention of key grade-level concepts. One practice is using Vertical Non-Permanent Surfaces (VNPS) to get kids up and interacting with the content and each other. Based on Liljedahl’s book, Building Thinking Classrooms in Mathematics, using various types of VNPSs helps students have less fear of taking risks because mistakes are easily erased. The strategy also gives teachers better access to watch students’ thinking and processing, which increases opportunities for feedback. Students can be seen using the whiteboards inside and outside the classroom daily at MJH!