Creating a Collaborative to Focus on the Middle Grades

Dr. Rodriguez, Mr. Schmerelson, Ms. García, Ms. Ratliff- Creating a Collaborative to Focus on the Middle Grades (Res-018-15/16) (Noticed November 10, 2015) POSTPONED TO 01/12/2016 

Whereas, The middle grade years in K-12 education play a pivotal role in high school success, and they are part of LAUSD’s plan to eliminate dropouts and ensure students graduate high school college prepared and career ready;

Whereas, The middle grade years are a time of heightened vulnerability, as the years between 6th and 8th grade are known for an increase in disciplinary problems, motivational decline, and initiation in risky behaviors; 

Whereas, Chronic absenteeism and behavioral problems in middle grades are clear warnings signals of leaving high school, and without early intervention, struggling middle school students will continue to leave school;

Whereas, Los Angeles County has some of the largest middle schools in the nation, with some grade sizes at least seven times larger in middle school than in elementary school. These large environments can be intimidating for both students and parents and can impede learning;

Whereas, In response to The Forgotten Middle report that described how critical it is for students to be on target for college and career, the U.S. Department of Education now recommends that students begin planning for college as early as 6th grade;

Whereas, Middle grades education is the first step in the secondary to post-secondary pipeline, and the last chance to get students on track for a high school curriculum that will make them college and career ready;

Whereas, Students not adequately prepared in the middle grades for core high school subjects, such as mathematics and English Language Arts, can have difficulty catching up on college readiness requirements; and

Whereas, The demand for workers with postsecondary education in California is projected to grow in the 21st century economy, college and career planning needs to begin in the middle grades, so that students are prepared for the rigorous curriculum of high schools; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the creation of a collaborative team of parents, students, educators, school leaders, researchers, District staff, and other experts on the Middle Grades will work together to create a framework for collective action on reimagining the middle grades;

Resolved further, That the collaborative team’s membership should include, but not be limited to, a representative from each of the following:


  • A middle school parent  
  • A middle school student 
  • United Teachers Los Angeles  
  • Associated Administrators of Los Angeles  
  • LAUSD Division of Student Health and Human Services  
  • The LAUSD Division of Instruction 
  • The LAUSD Office of Educational Services


Resolved further, That the collaborative team will identify best practices in LAUSD and across the nation around social emotional supports, grade level configurations, and practices that motivate and engage our middle grade students, and how the intermediate years impact the success of students in the middle grades, in order to provide recommendations on next steps to improve and support middle grade education across LAUSD; and, be it finally

Resolved, That the collaborative team will be formed by January 2016 and will present the framework for collective action to the Board of Education by June 2016.