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Accountability and flexibility are hallmarks of Gwinnett County Public Schools' success. Key to that success is ensuring that each school community understands the progress being made by its schools, as well as what plans will drive improvement. Each school creates a collaborative Local School Plan for Improvement (LSPI) to increase student achievement results, with targeted goals based on the four strategic priorities within the district’s Blueprint for the Future: Empathy, Equity, Effectiveness, and Excellence. All schools across the district will focus on goals 2A- Multi-tiered Systems of Support and 2B- Opportunity and Access. Additionally, schools are required to select one goal from each of the other strategic priorities. LSPI goals are dynamic, like our schools, and are updated to reflect changes that occur in schools. Multiple data points are used to determine areas needing improvement and to identify specific, measurable, annual objectives. Schools then determine how to use research-based strategies to achieve these goals, using flexibility as needed. The LSPI development process involves teachers, parents, students, and community members, so the entire school community has the opportunity to be involved in conversations about school improvement.


2023 - 2024 Local School Plan for Improvement (LSPI)

School: COUCH MIDDLE           Principal: Cappy Douglass

District Strategic Priorities/Goals Rationale Action Steps
(Implementation Design)
How will you measure growth?
Growth Factors (Baseline & Targets)
Empathy 1.B - Staff and Student Well Being

Couch Middle School will promote student and staff wellbeing through prioritizing self-care, physical and mental health, and social emotional learning.  Students and staff who feel safe and connected are more likely to excel on all levels.

  1. SEL lessons will be implemented weekly.  
  2. Zen rooms will be established and maintained on each grade level.  
  3. 4 Staff members will earn National Growing Leaders Facilitator certification.  Those staff members will assist with the implementation of school wide practices that support the holistic wellbeing of all students.  
    1. ISS will be called Student Resource Room and the staff member will use Navigate 360 and/or Growing Leaders SEL lessons to support the holistic wellbeing of students in the Student Support Room. 
  4. Teachers will have the opportunity to participate in "Fun, Food, and Fellowship" team-building activities throughout the school year, including but not limited to, Pre-planning, Digital Days, and monthly grade level activities. 
  5. Continue service-centered activities to support stakeholders: 
    • Care Team, Community Closet, Food Drive, Holiday Share/Giving Tree
  1. Couch Middle School Student Health Survey will be administered in October and April. 
  2. Couch Middle School Staff Health Survey will be administered in October and April. 
Equity 2.A - Multi-tiered System of Supports

Couch Middle School will implement a comprehensive MTSS system to address the academic and behavioral needs of students so that all students have the opportunity to maximize their potential. 

  1. MTSS AP, MTSS Coordinator, Grade Level Counselors, and Tier 2/3 teachers will meet with MTSS AP bi-weekly to review student data and to create plans for students who have been identified as being in need of additional supports.
  2. MTSS Coordinator will attend district led trainings and meetings.  
  3.  Bi-weekly Team Talks and Ram Talks will be held to address the holistic needs of all students. 
  4. A Tier 2/3 behavior support class, Life Academy, will be offered during Connections to meet the needs of students who need behavior support. 
  5. CICO will be used for students who earn a 4th disciplinary STEP and/or students with major infractions, as needed. 
  6. Increase the number of staff who are trained in Restorative Practices. 
  7. RAM Time will be used to provide remedial support for students.  
  8. CMS will pilot an ML resource to gain access to additional resources to support our ML population. 
  9. Novice teachers will be provided with a mentor and Coaching Cycles. 
  10. All certified teachers and paraprofessionals will receive GCPS Restorative Practice training.
  11. Peer Observations will be completed by all novice (1st-3rd years) teachers or other teachers, as needed.  




% of Beginner Level Learners



% of Beginner Level Learners


# of CICO Students Restorative Practice Training

Baseline Data:  2022-2023 

43 41    
2023-2024 Target Data: 38 36    





Equity 2.B - Opportunity and Access

Couch Middle School will expand student access to high-quality, rigorous, Gifted, and Carnegie courses. 

  1. Increase the number of academic opportunities students have via RAM Time. 
  2. Increase Carnegie course options for 8th grade students. 
  3. Gifted Program:
    1. Continue to identify students for the Gifted program.
    2. Increase the number Gifted serves for all students in the Gifted program. 
  4. Expand student leadership opportunities. 
    1. Establish a Peer Leadership Program for all grade levels.
    2. Increase the number of students who participate in Student Council. 
  5. Increase the number of students who participate in Fine Arts courses.  
  6. Increase the number of PBIS activities. 


Per Student Data

Total # of classes

Carnegie Courses  Gifted Serves Student Leadership Science Fair
2022-2023 6     0 0
2023-2024 7        
Difference +1        


Effectiveness 3.A - Results-Based Evaluation System

To improve student achievement outcomes, RBES will be used as a tool to create measurable LSPI aligned goals for all staff.  

  1. All teachers will plan collaboratively, at least, one day per week. 
  2. Writing Across All Content Areas will be implemented school wide using the RACES and/or CER frameworks. 
  3. Professional Learning will focus on strategies that improve student achievement outcomes:
Who What When
Teachers Quality Plus Teaching Strategies Aug 203-Dec 2023
Teachers and Paras Restorative Practices Training June 2023-Dec 2023
1st to 3rd Year Teachers Teacher Support Meetings Biweekly to Monthly
All Teachers Teach Like A Champion Bi-Weekly to Monthly
ILT Backwards Design and Lesson PLC Lesson Planning Aug 2023-Nov2023
ILT Gradual Release Aug 2023-Dec 2023
ILT Instructional Coaching - GCPS Coaching Framework (Art of Coaching Teams)  Sept 2023-March 2024


1. 5% increase in levels 3 and 4 on the ELA GMAS. 

6th ELA
2023 2024 Grade
7th ELA
2023 2024 Grade
8th ELA
2023 2024

2. 5% increase in levels 3 and 4 on the Math GMAS. 

6th Math
2023 2024 Grade
7th Math
2023 2024 Grade
8th Math
2023 2024 Grade
2023 2024

3. 5% increase in levels 3 and 4 on the 8th Grade Georgia Studies GMAS. 

8th Georgia Studies
2023 2024

4. 5% increase in levels 3 and 4 on the Physical Science GMAS. 

8th Grade
Physical Science
2023 2024


Excellence 4.C - World-Class Communication and Engagement

Family Engagement, Building Parent Capacity. We will build our parents' capacity to support their children's academic achievement by implementing the activities identified in The Plan/The Promise.

  1. The CMS Parent Liaison will create a Parent University. 
  2. The CMS Parent University will hold quarterly parent support meetings that focus on building parents' capacity to support their student's academic achievement.  
  3. The CMS Parent Liaison will work cooperatively with the CMS PTSA to increase enrollment and parent/student engagement. 
  4. The CMS Parent Liaison will work collaboratively with Admin to create opportunities that support all stakeholders.  


  Parent University  Sessions Parent University Activities  Attendance  PTSA Enrollment P.U & PTSA Collaboration Activities  Community Partners
Baseline 0 0 55 0 8
Target 4 300 136