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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: RICHARDS MIDDLE           Principal: Mark McCain

District Strategic Priorities/Goals Rationale Action Steps
(Implementation Design)
How will you measure growth?
Growth Factors (Baseline & Targets)
Empathy 1.A - Cultural Competence

We will improve in cultural competence in order to demonstrate the innate value of each person in our school community, and to more effectively interact with and better serve each student, family member, and staff member in our school community. 

  1. The school will invite teachers and other staff members to be part of a new Cultural Competency Team in order to provide leadership and guidance for the implementation of this new work in the school. 
  2. All staff will participate in periodic professional learning experiences in order to increase knowledge, awareness, and sensitivity toward cultural differences. The school leadership team will begin a collaborative study on developing cultural competency in the public school setting.
  3. Collaborative Learning Teams will plan instructional learning experiences and activities for students through the lens of cultural competency.
  4. The school's PBIS and Advisement/SEL Teams will support the cultural competency goal with targeted lessons, activities, videos, and resources. 
  5. The school will use existing and new communication platforms for communicating effectively with families and the community about school programs and initiatives. We will also leverage our Title I Parent Outreach Liaison to support parents and families from different cultural backgrounds.    
  1. Student responses will increase from 71% to 75% on the EES survey question, "This school respects student differences".
  2. Staff survey responses will increase from 71% to 78% on the EES survey question, "We are provided training to meet the needs of a diverse student population in our school". 
Empathy 1.B - Staff and Student Well Being

To maximize the teaching and learning experience, Richards Middle School will prioritize the well- being of our staff and students, so they are in their optimal physical, mental and emotional frame of mind while in the classroom each day.

1. The Principal will meet with 6th-8th grade Student Advisory Council members to increase opportunities for student voice throughout the school.

2. The Principal will meet with members of the Teacher Advisory Council and Instructional Leadership Team to increase opportunities for teacher voice throughout the school. 

3. Student clubs and extracurricular activities will continue to expand based on the needs and desires of our students. At least four new clubs are being offered this school year. 

4. A wellness coordinator will be re-hired this year to support the emotional and mental well-being of our staff.  

5. Weekly advisement class lessons and PBIS programming will target students' social and emotional learning, self-management, and character development. 

  1. Student responses will increase from 68% to 72% on the EES survey question, "There's at least one adult in this school I can talk to if I have a problem". 
  2. Student responses will increase from 41% to 45% on the EES survey question, "I enjoy coming to this school". 
  3. Staff responses will increase from 75% to 80% on the EES survey question, "Staff at all levels are treated fairly here".
Equity 2.A - Multi-tiered System of Supports

To close learning gaps, accelerate student learning, and address the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of our students, it is imperative that we provide a multi-tiered system of intervention and enrichment supports.

  1. The school has selected an experienced staff member to be the full-time MTSS Coordinator, providing leadership for student interventions, student progress data management, SSTs, and RTI referrals.  
  2. The school will utilize data from the iReady screener to place students in the CQI Remedial Education Program and/or identify for possible gifted program eligibility. 
  3. Teachers will be provided with student data profiles, so they have quick access to prior year achievement and assessment performance levels. Teachers will set performance goals for student progress based on the information provided about students. 
  4. Students will continue to be offered opportunities for morning tutoring two days a week, as well as Saturday tutorial support on select dates throughout the school year. Targeted students will be scheduled for small group tutoring during daily CQI Titan Time class and other students will receive tutoring each week from a partnership with University Tutors.
  5. All Richards Middle teachers will receive GCPS led training in Restorative Practices to support positive relationships with students, conflict resolution, and improved socialization with peers. 
  6. The school will implement a student attendance recognition and incentive program to improve student attendance in school. 
  1. Richards Middle School will meet or exceed the GCPS middle school average on each grade level and academic content District Assessment.
  2. Richards Middle School will increase overall annual student attendance from 94% to 96%. 
  3. Richards Middle School will increase the percentage of students who are eligible to exit and/or be reclassified in the ELL system based on ACCESS scores. 
Equity 2.B - Opportunity and Access

Richards Middle students need unobstructed access to rigorous and relevant academic, enrichment, and extracurricular opportunities in order to help properly frame their thinking, learning, dreaming and planning for success in college, careers, and life.

  1. The school will continue to expand extracurricular clubs and activities for students to increase opportunities for school engagement, peer socialization and personal enrichment. 
  2. Students will be offered a wide range of rigorous and enriching CTAE courses to build relevant and meaningful connections to technology, engineering, computer science, business, and fine arts. 
  3. Teachers and support staff will continue leveraging PBIS, Restorative Practices, Advisement-SEL lessons, and other strategies and resources to support students with their behavioral choices, and decreasing student suspensions and time away from the classroom.   
  4. Students will continue to benefit from having personal Chromebook devices for use at school and home, and the school will be providing additional hotspots for families in need of that technology support. 
  5. Screening assessments will be utilized to help identify students for gifted program testing, in order to increase this opportunity for a greater number of Richards Middle School students. 
  1. Richards Middle School will decrease the discipline disproportionality for Black students receiving ISS suspensions from 30.8 to 27%, and OSS suspensions from 18.5% to 16.5%.
  2. Richards Middle School will increase the percentage of Gifted program students from 10% to 11%. 
Effectiveness 3.A - Results-Based Evaluation System

Planning and working within a Results Based Evaluation framework will enable our teachers and leaders to utilize the plan, do, check, act process for setting goals and monitoring/measuring incremental student progress at key intervals during the school year. 

  1. LSPI goals are designed, shared, implemented and monitored to ensure both supportive community and academic press practices are evidenced through teacher practices and student learning outcomes.
  2. GCPS District Assessments will be given quarterly to students as a measure of academic progress, and a means for providing appropriate reteaching opportunities. 
  3. The iREADY screener is being utilized to identify student learning levels and to ensure students receive remediation or enrichment instruction in math and language arts instruction. 
  4. Daily CQI Titan Time classes and academic connections classes will support targeted math and language arts interventions for students who are learning below grade level.
  5. Weekly collaborative learning teams meetings will continue to serve as the place where instruction and assessment are aligned and the instructional variance between classrooms is reduced. 
  1. Richards Middle School will meet or exceed the GCPS middle school average on each grade level and academic content District Assessment.
Excellence 4.A - Preferred Education Destination

Students in our school and families in our community deserve the very best educational experience we can provide for them. It is incumbent upon us to ensure a positive, vibrant and rigorous school experience which will excite students for future learning and extracurricular opportunities and help to secure a successful trajectory for their lives.

  1. A parent outreach liaison will facilitate communication, outreach, resources, and training opportunities for parents, in order to foster greater parent engagement with their child's education.  The school will implement the new GCPS Parent Square communication platform to streamline communication and resources for students, parents, and faculty. 
  2. Students will be offered opportunities to thrive in academic, art, athletic, and career/technical education settings in order to foster greater relevance and excitement for the overall educational experience. 
  3. Families will be able to participate in culturally relevant celebrations, fine arts events, completive athletic activities, and an array of parent informational and feedback meetings. 
  4. The school will ensure timely and effective communication regarding important school notifications, events, resources, or programs. Teachers will ensure parents are kept abreast of their child's educational progress through proactive communication practices. 
  5. Teachers will plan collaboratively each week in order to facilitate highly engaging learning experiences and multiple different ways for students to learn the AKS standards. 
  1. Richards Middle School will increase from 77% to 80% the percentage of students responding positively to the EES survey question, "The school communicates effectively with my family".
  2. Richards Middle School will increase from 64% to 70% the percentage of students responding positively to the EES survey question, "My teacher helps me learn in more ways than one". 
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. Richards Middle School will offer multiple opportunities for families to attend and participate in school-wide open house, parent curriculum night, Title I parent workshops, cultural celebrations, fine arts presentations, feedback meetings, and competitive sports events. 
  2. Richards Middle School will attempt to communicate all information with parents in a language and format they understand and whenever possible we will provide interpreters during parent workshops and academic events.
  3. Richards Middle School will keep parents informed throughout the year about what their child is learning, through parent meetings, conferences, eCLASS, parent portal, ParentSquare, and the school website.  
  4. Richards Middle School will provide professional learning training for all teachers, to support growth in cultural competence with students, families, and all other persons within our school community. 
  5. Richards Middle School will provide academic curriculum resources for families, as well as resources to support the social, physical, emotional, and mental well-being of all students, as needs arise during the school year.
  1. Family survey responses will increase from 77% to 80% on the EES family survey question, "This school communicates effectively with my family".
  2. Family survey responses will increase from 68% to 77% on the EES family survey question, "My student enjoys going to this school".