Richmond Middle Schools

School data circa 2013

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Richmond Community Data

Of the 36,345 Richmond residents, 79.5% have graduated high school, and 17.2% have graduated college. This means that students are statistically more likely to know an adult who hasn’t finished high school than they are to know an adult who has finished college. Additionally, 26.7% of the community is living below the poverty line, so more than 1 in 4 students may not have easy access to certain resources, particularly technological resources.

Hibberd Intermediate School Data

As a Title I School Corporation, Richmond qualifies for and receives additional federal funding designed specifically to help reduce the achievement gap between low income and other students. At the middle school level, more than 3/4 of the students are eligible for free or reduced lunch (68.3% free, 8.7% reduced). Coupled with the Richmond demographic information above, this data suggests that many students face challenges beyond the arena of academics. This suggests that many of these students could come from families which may not share the cultural capital of a value system that prioritizes education. This can be addressed by emphasizing the importance of high school graduation, and modeling what a professional post-college career looks like.

Standardized Testing Data

While 80.6% of Richmond’s 8th Graders passed their Math ISTEP (just shy of the Statewide average of 81.3%), only 72.2% passed the Language Arts ISTEP (compared to a Statewide average of 76.3%). As a Language Arts teacher I would like to see those scores improve. My hope is that by emphasizing the ubiquity of language and communication in our world, students will begin to interact academically with everything they read and write. I intend to demonstrate how intersectional Language Arts skills of reading and writing are, and to help students see how they are using these abilities in every subject area. Fortunately, the school seems to boast a high attendance rate (96%) and having students in class consistently will be a tremendous benefit.

Questions

I would like to know how much time the students spend writing for classes outside the Language Arts curriculum, and to what expectations that writing is held. Additionally, I am interested to learn how the arts are integrated at the middle school level in Richmond, and what sorts of extracurricular activities the students typically enjoy. I believe this is a way to encourage participation in Language Arts, by tailoring the curriculum in ways they find interesting.