•  Gray Middle School

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    Gray Middle School Profile

    Gray Middle School is a sixth through eighth grade facility located one block south of SR 50 in Groveland, Florida. Gray Middle School is housed in older buildings – one of which was built in 1937. During the past five years, twenty-six portables have been added to the facility to accommodate growth. Gray Middle School currently has a feeder pattern that consists of seven elementary schools.

    During the 2006-2007 school year, five administrators and ninety full time instructional personnel were employed at the school. The student population for the 2006-2007 school year was 1,259. The student racial and ethnic demographics during the same time frame are listed below:

    1.9% Asian

    11.8% African –American

    23.5% Hispanic

    .87% Indian/Multi-Racial

    60.6% White

    1.27% Inter-Racial

    During the 2006-2007 school year, Gray Middle provided Exceptional Student Services for 13% of our students. In addition, 8% of our student population were considered limited English speakers and qualified for the ESOL program during the same school year. The free and reduced lunch program benefited approximately 39% of our students.

    Gray Middle School received a school performance grade of “B” on the 2007 Annual Report Card. The 2006-2007 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) results indicated that 62% of the students scored at or above Level 3 (proficient) in reading and 63% of the students scored at or above Level 3 in mathematics. The same data showed that 95% of the school’s eighth grade students scored at or above a Level 3 in writing. The FCAT results also indicated that 68% of the students in the lowest 25% made adequate progress in reading and 70% of them made adequate progress in mathematics during the 2006-2007 school year.

    Standard 1: Vision and Purpose

    The school establishes and communicates a shared purpose and direction for improving the performance of students and the effectiveness of the school.

    Quality School Indicators

    In fulfillment of this standard, the school:

    1.1 Establishes a vision for the school in collaboration with its stakeholders

    1.2 Communicates the vision and purpose to build stakeholder understanding and support

    1.3 Identifies goals to advance the vision

    1.4 Develops and continuously maintains a profile of the school, its students, and the community

    1.5 Ensures that the school’s vision and purpose guide the teaching and learning process

    1.6 Review its vision and purpose systematically and revises them when appropriate

    At Gray Middle School, our vision and goals are established through several means. Our School Advisory Committee (SAC), a diverse group of school personnel, community members, parents, students, and school staff developed our vision statement. The vision statement is reviewed annually by the SAC and staff and is modified as needed commensurate with the school needs and the community it serves. Our Leadership Team establishes the yearly goals – the vision for the year -- in consultation with our SAC based on student needs. These goals are disseminated through weekly cluster meetings, parent conferences, at faculty meetings, through the school newsletter and various other on-campus activities. 1.1

    Our parent newsletter and school web site are just a few of the primary ways in which we communicate our vision and purpose to the community. In addition, we provide parent orientation night in the spring for incoming students to Gray, Open House in the fall, Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) and SAC meetings monthly .1.2

    Our yearly academic goals are based upon the previous year’s FCAT results and on FCAT-styled benchmark tests administered to our students throughout the year. These goals are posted in the TAP center and communicated on a weekly basis among faculty. Collaborative efforts through cluster meetings (bi-weekly on site professional development), department meetings, team meetings, and orientation for new employees provide a single school culture toward the achievement of our goals. 1.3

    Our school develops and implements the School Improvement Plan (SIP) which profiles the school, its students and the community. Additionally, we gain a greater understanding of the community through student volunteer activities (such as one class visiting a neighboring elementary school weekly to read to students) and through participation in community events such as parades, performances, and contests. 1.4

    The schools vision and purpose guide the teaching and learning process. Results of the state FCAT, quarterly benchmarks, and pre-post assessments are disaggregated to determine modifications for daily lessons and instructional strategies. 1.5

    Our vision and mission statement is the foundation of our School Improvement Plan (SIP). Members of the SAC and school leadership teams work together in the development of the SIP. We monitor, evaluate, and revise our SIP as needed to ensure success for all students at Gray Middle School. 1.6

    Impact Statement:

    Gray Middle School successfully meets Standard I: Vision and Purpose. We align our goals and expectations to The Sunshine State Standards and high stakes testing. Gray Middle School utilizes the TAP program as a continuous improvement model to drive student achievement gains and increase teacher effectiveness.

    Standard 2: Governance and Leadership

    The school provides governance and leadership that promote student performance and school effectiveness.

    Quality Indicators


    In fulfillment of this standard, the school operates under the jurisdiction of a governing board that:

    2.1 Establishes policies and procedures that provide for the effective operation of the school

    2.2 Recognizes and preserves the executive, administrative, and leadership prerogatives of the administration head of the school

    2.3 Ensures compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws, standards, and regulations


    In fulfillment of this standard, the school has leadership that:

    2.4 Employs a system that provides for analysis and review of student performance and school effectiveness

    2.5 Fosters a learning community

    2.6 Provides teachers and students opportunities to lead

    2.7 Provides stakeholders meaningful roles in the decision-making process that promote a culture of participation, responsibility, and ownership

    2.8 Controls curricular and extracurricular activities that are sponsored by the school

    2.9 Responds to community expectations and stakeholder satisfaction

    2.10 Implements an evaluation system that provides for the professional growth of all personnel

    The Gray Middle School administrative team fosters the development of professional and ethical standards to ensure the effective operation of the school. The administrative team is led by a Principal, two Assistant Principal Is and two Assistant Principal IIs. The principal is responsible for the overall operation of the school. The principal manages the school based upon state laws, standards, regulations and local School Board policies and procedures. The Lake County School Board Policies can be accessed from the district’s website. As a school, the faculty handbook, faculty meetings, and electronic communication are utilized to reinforce a single school culture and emphasize policies and procedures. Faculty meetings, team meetings, and department meetings are held monthly to communicate matters dealing with student affairs and maintain compliance with local and state regulations. 2.1, 2.2

    Gray Middle School operates according to the Lake County School Board policies, regulations, and procedures as evidenced in the Board Policy Manual. The school complies with all local, state and federal laws. 2.3

    The TAP leadership team consists of two of the school’s administrators and eleven mentor and lead teachers. Gray Middle school plays a vital role in driving the school’s curricular needs. Initially, the leadership team analyzes the FCAT data and benchmark tests to determine the school goals. The leadership team follows the TAP protocol for determining the appropriate strategies for the students based on proven field testing by the mentors and leads. An interim report based on mid-year benchmark tests is used to determine areas of refinement and areas of reinforcement regarding student achievement. Teachers meet bi-weekly in clusters to determine the success of the strategies implemented in the classroom and document each student’s progress on a formative tracking sheet. Teachers, counselors, and administrators meet as needed to review student data and make curricular decisions for each student. 2.4

    Gray Middle School fosters a single school culture where faculty and staff believe in the processes and procedures that produce consistency in practices regarding behavior, academics, and climate. New teachers to Gray are provided with an induction program and on-going monthly meetings to promote the rituals and traditions of Gray and celebrate student accomplishments and teacher innovation. This shared sense of purpose is also evident in the TAP program. Our small learning communities which meet at least twice a week ensure the implementation of research-based strategies, the analysis of data and collaboration among the faculty. 2.5

    The sustained quality of Gray Middle School is evidenced by stratified yet interwoven leadership roles. Leadership roles at Gray Middle School include the Administration, TAP leadership team of mentors and leads, department chairs, grade level team leaders, club sponsors, literacy coach, potential specialist, and special education specialist. Student leadership opportunities include student council, safe ambassadors program and leadership roles in many of the after school clubs and activities. 2.6

    The School Advisory Committee (SAC) is the means for stakeholders to network with the school to provide input and support. SAC is made up of administration, teachers, parents and community members. Members assist in the preparation and evaluation of the School Improvement Plan and provide input in the preparation of the school budget. Parents and community members support the school by volunteering their time for field trips, performances, band concerts, art shows, sports, and class functions to name a few. 2.7

    Curricular and extracurricular activities are approved by the principal. The principal maintains fiscal approval and control of all activities. Records are kept by the school’s bookkeeper. The school’s Athletic Director oversees the inter-scholastic and intra-mural sports programs for GMS. All school activities are put on a school-wide activities calendar which is posted in the share folder and approved by administration (2.8)

    The principal attends all Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) meetings and School Advisory Committee (SAC) meetings to ensure that all possible concerns and ideas voiced by stakeholders are heard and responded to. A climate survey, which gives feedback regarding all areas of GMS, is given to a random sample of teachers, students, parents and community members near the end of each school year. The information derived from this survey is used to determine areas of refinement and reinforcement for our SIP. 2.9

    Teachers at Gray Middle are evaluated in a variety of ways. Administration conducts formal evaluations using the district’s evaluation instruments in accordance with School Board Policy. Teachers at Gray are observed multiple times during the year using various instruments by both peer teachers and administration. Members of the TAP leadership team have been trained and certified to observe and provide feedback on effective instruction in the classroom based on the TAP Instructional Rubric. Classroom walk-throughs are conducted throughout the year by administration and the leadership team. Each teacher at Gray Middle maintains an Individual Growth Plan (IGP) based on their students’ area of need and the teacher’s professional growth. 2.10

    Impact Statement:

    Gray Middle adheres to all School Board policies and procedures under the leadership of the Principal. Administration and the leadership team work together with a shared sense of purpose to maintain high standards of student achievement and teacher effectiveness.

    Standard 3: Teaching and Learning

    The school provides research-based curriculum and instructional methods that facilitate achievement for all students.

    Quality School Indicators

    In fulfillment of this standard, the school:

    3.1 Develops and implements curriculum based on clearly-defined expectations for student learning

    3.2 Promotes active involvement of students in the learning process, including opportunities for them to explore application of higher-order thinking skills and investigate new approaches to applying their learning

    3.3 Gathers, analyzes, and uses data and research in making curricular and instructional choices

    3.4 Designs and uses instructional strategies, innovations, and activities that are research-based and reflective of best practice

    3.5 Offers a curriculum that challenges each student to excel, reflects a commitment to equity, and demonstrates an appreciation of diversity

    3.6 Allocates and protects instructional time to support student learning

    3.7 Provides for articulation and alignment between and among all levels of schools

    3.8 Implements interventions to help students meet expectations for student learning

    3.9 Monitors school climate and takes appropriate steps to ensure that it is conducive to student learning

    3.10 Provides comprehensive information and media services that support the curricular and instructional programs

    3.11 Ensures that all students and staff members have regular and ready access to instructional technology and a comprehensive materials collection that supports the curricular and instructional program

    Gray Middle School’s teachers remain committed to student success. Teachers use county adopted materials, plan together and work together to make certain that all teachers are focusing on student needs and pacing properly. Lesson plans are reviewed weekly by administration. At Gray, our professional development activities coupled with strong, trusting relationships between the leadership team and career teachers ensures that students will succeed. 3.1

    Students are actively involved in the learning process at Gray Middle School. Activities stretch across the curriculum and provide opportunities for all types of learners to succeed. Teachers present content while actively meeting the indicators of the TAP Instructional Rubric. Through cluster groups, all teachers have been trained in using Bloom’s Taxonomy to expand student knowledge through higher order thinking activities and questions. Students work cooperatively, use manipulatives, question each other, and are encouraged to be creative. Gray Middle School offers extracurricular clubs and activities where students can delve deeper and investigate topics of interest that are personally meaningful. 3.2

    Data drives Gray Middle School. Every strategy, new lesson and implemented program is chosen specifically to raise student achievement. Based on FCAT test data and benchmark tests, cluster and classroom goals are set. Students are taught strategies to increase performance and on-going progress monitoring constantly indicates when remediation is necessary or a goal has been met. 3.3

    Mentor and lead teachers work together to find and present research-based student strategies to career teachers. Many types of innovative lessons and programs are utilized at Gray Middle School. 3.4

    Gray Middle School has a diverse population. Gray Middle offers high school credit classes as well as remedial classes. Our special education population is included in the regular classroom with the support of an inclusion teacher. We offer self-contained classes for our emotionally handicapped and educable mentally handicapped students. Additionally, Gray Middle School meets the needs of our limited English students by providing paraprofessionals in the content areas. For students who need help beyond the school day, tutoring is offered before school. 3.5

    Gray Middle School adheres to a single school culture. Expectations and procedures are consistent campus-wide. Instruction at GMS is bell to bell. All classes start with a bell ringer and lessons have a coherent beginning, middle and end based upon the objective of the lesson. Care is taken to keep interruptions to a minimum. 3.6

    Communication at Gray Middle School is both vertical and horizontal. TAP cluster groups are mixed by grade level and meet at least twice weekly. Interdisciplinary teams meet weekly. Departments meet at least monthly. Annual articulation occurs between Gray Middle School and the feeder elementary schools and the local high school. 3.7

    Gray Middle School teachers use multiple interventions to assist students. Students scoring Level 1 and Level 2 on the FCAT reading test are scheduled into 90 minute intensive reading blocks. Students scoring a Level 1 on the FCAT math test are scheduled into intensive math in addition to their regular math class. Other interventions in place include but are not limited to: Learning Strategies Classes, TAP strategies, Parent Conferencing, Behavior Modification Plans, Tutoring Programs, and Inclusion Teachers. 3.8

    Great strides are taken to ensure that classrooms are conducive to student learning. Gray Middle School takes pride in celebrating student accomplishments through award ceremonies and banquets. Teachers’ accomplishments are recognized at faculty meetings, performances, and community related events. The faculty and staff together model the camaraderie that maintains our positive school climate. 3.9

    Gray Middle School has a media center that is available to students to check out books and conduct research. Teachers schedule visits to the library and the media specialists are available to assist. An Accelerated Reading incentive program is conducted through the GMS media center. Teachers also have access to the Lake County Resource Library. 3.10

    GMS provides students with lessons that engage their interest and develops critical thinking skills. Tech Cons are available to assist teachers with technology. An Integrated Learning Specialist (ILS) is on our campus several times a week to help teachers integrate technology into the classroom. All classrooms are equipped with a computer for teachers and additional student stations for the purpose of integrating technology into the classrooms. In addition, the school has received grants to provide wireless laptop computers for four of our interdisciplinary teams. Grants have also provided CPS programs, document cameras, and LCD projectors for classroom use. A computer lab is available to schedule whole group computer-assisted instruction. Gaps in student achievement continue to close as needs are identified and strategies are implemented. 3.11

    Impact Statement:

    Student achievement is the top priority at Gray Middle School. Student data is constantly analyzed and reviewed by administration and the leadership team to develop the school-wide goals. Continuous progress monitoring ensures the entire school is working toward goal achievement.

    Standard 4 Documenting and Using Results

    The school enacts a comprehensive assessment system that monitors and documents performance and used these results to improve student performance and school effectiveness.

    Quality School Indicators

    In fulfillment of this standard, the school:

    4.1 Establishes performance measures for student learning that yield information that is reliable, valid, and bias free

    4.2 Develops and implements a comprehensive assessment system for assessing progress toward meeting the expectations for student learning

    4.3 Uses student assessment data for making decisions for continuous improvement of teaching and learning processes

    4.4 Conducts a systematic analysis of instructional and organizational effectiveness and uses the results to improve student performance

    4.5 Communicates the results of student performance and school effectiveness to all stakeholders

    4.6 Uses comparison and trend data of student performance from comparable schools in evaluating its effectiveness

    4.7 Demonstrates verifiable growth in student performance

    4.8 Maintains a secure, accurate, and complete student record system in accordance with state and federal regulations

    At Gray Middle School, FCAT test results are analyzed to determine a baseline and develop school wide goals. Benchmark tests aligned to the state test are administered to the students at the beginning of the school year to determine the areas of need and formulate a school plan. Benchmark tests are also used at different intervals during the school year for progress monitoring. We use the data from these tests to determine which strategies we will incorporate in our classrooms that will increase student achievement. 4.1, 4.2, 4.3

    Within the TAP program, teacher’s observations are conducted multiple times throughout the school year to ensure teacher effectiveness and increased student achievement. These observations are done by both administrators and mentor and lead teachers. Each teacher’s IGP reflects an area of refinement and an area of reinforcement based on the TAP Instructional Rubric. 4.4

    The results of the previous year’s FCAT and the current year’s goals are posted and reviewed at every bi-weekly cluster meeting. On a daily basis teachers post and state the objective of the day’s lesson and the corresponding state standard. Furthermore, results and goals are included in our SIP and disseminated to our school community. 4.5

    Through TAP, historical data and trends and are complied and analyzed to provide ‘value added’. Also through TAP, GMS is provided information as to how we compare to another ‘control’ middle school of similar demographics. 4.6

    During the 2005-06 school year Gray was recognized as the 18th middle school in the state for increasing student learning gains. We have gone from being the lowest performing middle school in the district to the third highest performing middle school in two years. 4.7

    Student records are kept in accordance with state and federal regulations in individual student cumulative folders located in the appropriate guidance offices. Student records can be electronically accessed through the district’s mainframe. 4.8

    Impact Statement:

    The school enacts a comprehensive assessment system that monitors and documents performance and uses these results to improve student performance and school effectiveness. The school plan focuses on achieving annual student goals through the application of research-based, field tested instructional student strategies.

    Standard 5: Resources and Support Systems

    The school has the resources and services necessary to support its vision and purpose and to ensure achievement for all students.

    Quality School Indicators

    In fulfillment of this standard, the school:

    5.1 Recruits, employs, and mentors qualified professional staff that are capable of fulfilling assigned roles and responsibilities

    5.2 Assigns professional staff responsibilities based on their qualifications (i.e., professional preparation, ability, knowledge, and experience)

    5.3 Ensures that all staff participate in a continuous program of professional development

    5.4 Provides and assigns staff that are sufficient in number to meet the vision and purpose of the school

    5.5 Budgets sufficient resources to support its educational programs and to implement its plans for improvement

    5.6 Monitors all financial transactions through a recognized, regularly audited accounting system

    5.7 Maintains the site, facilities, services, and equipment to provide an environment that is safe and orderly for all occupants

    5.8 Possesses a written security and crisis management plan with appropriate training for stakeholders

    5.9 Ensures that each student has access to guidance services that include, but are not limited to, counseling, appraisal, mentoring, staff consulting, referral, and educational and career planning

    5.10 Provides appropriate support for students with special needs

    The administration of Gray Middle School utilizes many resources to recruit

    potential staff members such as the district website, the Teach-in-Florida

    website and attending various job fairs at the state and national level. The school provides mentoring for new and veteran teachers through the TAP program. At GMS, teachers meet bi-weekly with mentor and lead teachers for on-site, embedded staff development and classroom support. In addition to the district’s induction program, Gray Middle School has developed an ongoing induction program for our new teachers. 5.1

    The principal assigns responsibilities to teachers based on their areas of certification, levels of experience and the needs of the school. Extracurricular and additional duties are assigned through teacher applications, interviews, and portfolio submission. 5.2

    The Teacher Advancement Program requires teachers to participate in professional development on a bi-weekly basis. The teachers work in small groups to learn strategies to use in their classrooms. Workshops and meetings are offered at the school in addition to the cluster bi-weekly meetings for teachers. The faculty and staff at Gray Middle School also take advantage of many professional development opportunities outside of the school. 5.3

    The assignment of staff is dependent on a district allocation formula. Based upon the number of teaching units allocated, the principal determines the master schedule. Discretionary monies are allocated to the school based upon a district formula as well. The principal, with the input of faculty and SAC, generates the school’s budget. 5.4, 5.5

    All schools in Lake County have a bookkeeper whose responsibilities deal primarily with the finances of the school. Under the direction of the principal, it is the bookkeeper’s responsibility to monitor all financial transactions using the district’s-adopted accounting systems. The county financial department is also subject to annual audits by the state. 5.6

    The maintenance of the school is comprised of nine custodians and is under the direction of one of the school’s administrators. The district’s maintenance and facilities departments work with the school to make sure work orders are completed in an expedient manner. 5.7

    Administration ensures that the staff is trained in crisis management. Teachers are in-serviced on exit routes and emergency routines. Each classroom has a copy of the Lake County Emergency Quick Guide, a first–aid emergency handbook, blood borne pathogen kit, and instructions for emergencies posted near the office call button. 5.8

    Gray Middle School has three guidance counselors who provide the student body with information on various topics not limited to bullying, conflict resolution, and career preparation. Counselors meet with teachers to discuss student needs. Guidance counselors make referrals to outside agencies as needed and provide for individual and group counseling. 5.9

    Gray Middle School has a special education program that includes an ESE specialist and inclusion teachers. Limited English speaking students are scheduled into an intensive ESOL reading class and ESOL paraprofessionals are scheduled into content classes to assist as needed. Teachers of students with special needs are provided support in making modifications and accommodations. 5.10

    Impact Statement:

    Gray Middle School provides the necessary resource and support systems to meet the needs of its students and teachers. Staff development is embedded and on-going throughout the school year.

    Standard 6: Stakeholder Communication and Relationships

    The school fosters effective communications and relationships with and among its stakeholders.

    Quality School Indicators

    In fulfillment of this standard, the school:

    6.1 Fosters collaboration with community stakeholders to support student learning

    6.2 Has formal channels to listen to and communicate with stakeholders

    6.3 Solicits the knowledge and skills of stakeholders to enhance the work of the school

    6.4 Communicates the expectations for student learning and goals for improvement to all stakeholders

    6.5 Provides information about student, their performance, and school effectiveness that is meaningful and useful to stakeholders

    There are many ways that Gray Middle School fosters collaboration with community stakeholders to support student needs. Gray Middle School has a web site that contains up to date relevant information for parents and members of the community. We have a call out system that informs parents of upcoming events and keeps them informed on their child’s attendance. A newsletter is mailed out once a month to parents that contain current events for the school, tips for student success, and upcoming activities. SAC and PTO meet once per month to discuss school related achievements and concerns. PTO works with parents of our students, teachers, administrators and staff to create various fundraisers. The SAC is an advisory board to the principal regarding school improvement needs. 6.1, 6.2, 6.3

    Orientation for incoming students, Parent Night, and Open House provide opportunities for teachers and parents to communicate the expectations of students, ideas for classroom and school improvement. Each student that attends Gray receives an agenda. These agendas contain school wide rules and policies, important contact information, and notable events and provides for two way communication. 6.4, 6.5

    Impact Statement:

    Gray Middle School offers a variety of channels for communication to build relationships and communicate with our stakeholders.

    Standard 7: Commitment to Continuous Improvement

    The school establishes, implements, and monitors a continuous process of improvement that focuses on student performance.

    Quality School Indicators

    In fulfillment of this standard, the school:

    7.1 Engages in a continuous process of improvement that articulates the vision and purpose the school is pursuing (Vision); maintains a rich and current description of students, their performance, school effectiveness, and the school community (Profile); employs goals and interventions to improve student performance (Plan); and documents and uses the results to inform what happens next (Results)

    7.2 Engages stakeholders in the processes of continuous improvement

    7.3 Ensures that plans for continuous improvement are aligned with the vision and purpose of the school and expectations for student learning

    7.4 Provides professional development for school personnel to help them implement improvement interventions to achieve improvement goals

    7.5 Monitors and communicates the results of improvement efforts to stakeholders

    7.6 Evaluates and documents the effectiveness and impact of its continuous process of improvement

    Gray Middle School engages all stakeholders in the processes of continuous improvement through TAP. Our Leadership Team establishes the yearly goals – the vision for the year – in consultation with our SAC based on student needs. Student assessment and data analysis drive the instruction in our classrooms. Professional communities meet twice a week to collaborate and develop strategies that meet the individual needs of our students based on formative assessments and progress monitoring. The school’s leadership team monitors the implementation of effective teaching strategies through observations and evaluations. Each faculty member develops and implements an individual growth plan (IGP) based on self-assessment as well as peer and administrative observations. The IGP includes a student achievement goal, interventions to improve student achievement and documents the results. 7.1, 7.2, 7.3

    Every effort is made to ensure that our faculty and staff are continuously developing professionally so that our students receive the most effective instruction necessary for academic success. At Gray Middle school teachers participate in professional development twice a week through learning communities called clusters. Through these cluster meetings teachers receive training in research-based strategies to provide interventions to improve student achievement. 7.4

    Gray Middle School makes every effort to evaluate, document, and communicate the effectiveness and impact of our continuous process of improvement. On a bi-weekly basis, formative assessments are analyzed, discussed, and strategies for improvement implemented. Each cluster, not only collects formative assessment data, benchmark testing data, and high stakes test data, but graphs the data for visual reference and then shares the information with stakeholders. Therefore, the effectiveness and impact of our continuous improvement is readily available. 7.5, 7.6

    Impact Statement:

    Gray Middle School displays a strong commitment to continuous improvement through a variety of means. Through the Teacher Advancement Program, the leadership team at Gray Middle School uses the data collected from multiple assessments to develop a school-wide goal, student achievement goals, and individual teacher goals.

Last Modified on June 13, 2011