O'Donnell Middle School
Principal: Janie Saxton
A+ Coach: Jen Mascheck
1,231 Students, Grades 7-8
|Limited English Proficient||19%|
A+ Scholars at O'Donnell developed their own personal learning plans for becoming more self-confident and successful in math. The majority of A+ Scholars who stayed true to their plans excelled on the state test in math.
What We've Accomplished
- For the first time ever, math teachers at O’Donnell are meeting regularly to co-create strong math lessons and coordinate common assessments. Student data is used both to inform changes in teaching and to make student enrichment and intervention decisions.
- O’Donnell’s principal has embraced the Challenge Network philosophy of Assessment FOR Learning, and her leadership team now conducts regular classroom walkthroughs to ensure that high-quality teaching and higher-order student learning is taking place.
- District leaders in Alief ISD have taken notice of the changes underway at O’Donnell, and are beginning to share A+ practices and trainings with middle school math teachers and school leaders across the district.
What We've Learned
- When a principal fully invests in leading a change effort, the possibilities for schoolwide transformation are ripe.
- A school’s master schedule can dramatically enhance or impede student learning. It is critical that students spend a sufficient number of minutes in mathematics class each day, and almost equally as important that teachers have sufficient time to plan, analyze, and revise lessons and assessments as a team.
- By helping teachers deconstruct and prioritize state standards and curriculum expectations, teaching can become more rigorous and focused, and student learning can reach a deeper level.
Located in southwest Houston, the diverse demographic breakdown of this Alief ISD campus mirrors the face of Houston and the future of the nation.
Principal Janie Saxton has been an active member of the A+ leadership academy since 2009. Her enthusiasm for the goals of the Challenge Network carries over to her leadership team — lending vital support for the project on the campus.
A blend of experience levels marks the math department, which consists of one first-year teacher, one third-year teacher, and two seasoned veterans with more than a decade each in the classroom.
2010 marked the first year ever for both O’Donnell Middle School and Alief ISD to earn a Recognized rating from the state.
O'Donnell Middle School Results
|Number of A+ Scholars||147|
|Number of A+ scholars scoring Commended (2009-2010)||6|
|Number of A+ scholars scoring Commended (2010-2011)||15|
|Number of A+ scholars missing Commended by 1 or 2 questions||28|
|Number of A+ scholars missing Commended by 3 or 4 questions||13|
|A+ Commended goal at end of Year 2 (2011-2012)||63|
Click here for year one results