We are so excited and proud of the students and staff at Menominee Indian Middle School in Neopit, Wisconsin! The school was recently notified by the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators that they have been named an Exemplary Middle School! They received the award for student achievement for high growth in math scores earned by a school that has a high poverty population.

As one of three schools in the Menominee Indian School District, the middle school has been involved with us through the Payne School Improvement Model (PSIM) since Fall 2005. The PSIM is a comprehensive and systemic approach to improving student achievement while building relationships of mutual respect between students and staff. Built on a foundation of concepts from A Framework for Understanding Poverty, Learning Structures, and Meeting Standards and Raising Test Scores, the model provides a highly collaborative and collegial approach to addressing the needs of students.

Over the years we have worked with teachers on relationship building, developing mental models, and creating a consistent problem solving model. Our processes help teachers grid their data, align their curriculum, and develop quarterly assessments to continuously monitor student performance. We are so proud of the teachers and students at Menominee Indian Middle School, and we celebrate their achievement!

In addition to the work being done throughout the schools, we’ve also been engaged with the community through the Bridges Out of Poverty and Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World trainings. This marks the first time aha! consultants have worked with a community to engage educators and community agencies in a collaborative effort to address issues of poverty.

We applaud the entire Menominee Indian School District, as well as the community, for the hard work and dedication of the administration, teachers, staff, and community agencies. This is truly representative of what happens when people pull together in a team effort to improve their community!

– By Donna S. Magee, Ed.D.