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ERIC Number: EJ851788
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
Daniel Webster Middle School: More than Cosmetic Improvements
Rourke, James; Boone, Elizabeth
Principal Leadership, v9 n10 p16-19 Jun 2009
"Webster needs an extreme makeover," students told Principal Joan Brixey upon her arrival at Daniel Webster Middle School in Waukegan, Illinois, three short years ago. The message came in a student-produced video that highlighted things that needed repair at Webster. Brixey was already a firm believer in the proposition that students need to feel pride in their school to reach their highest potential, and that video was all the impetus she needed to get moving. She organized the students, the staff, and the community to beautify their building--and in so doing, she began the effort to improve student achievement. Webster fosters individual leadership development and collaboration through its teaming structure and by encouraging teachers to pursue leadership opportunities on the building leadership team and its action teams. Support for teaming has taken many forms, including providing adjacent classrooms for team members; common planning time to discuss goal setting, behavior issues, and academic achievement; and time for team leaders to meet every Tuesday to discuss issues that have been raised in team meetings. Among the programs that Webster has identified as fostering connections are the sixth-grade transition program, the advisory program, the student leadership program, the service learning program, peer mediation, advanced mathematics and science classes, and athletics. Another innovative effort to personalize the school experience for students includes the Waukegan Arts Integration Project, which is designed to captivate and motivate all students--especially those who are at risk of failure--in the quest for improved academic achievement and social development. To increase the challenge for all students and with the cooperation of the Illinois Math and Science Academy, Webster is piloting E2K+ for Gifted and Talented, which was designed to help students develop a deeper understanding of specific units of study and encourage them to continue in higher level mathematics and science courses.
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois