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Comprehensive Needs Assessment: 



School Improvement Plan Teams have conducted a comprehensive needs assessment of the entire school, based on the information about the performance of children in relation to the state content and student performance standards (Utah State Core Curriculum).  Quality needs assessments include multiple sources of data.  Some to consider are:

Student Achievement Trends


South Sevier Middle School utilizes data from SAGE reading/language arts, mathematics, and science assessments.  Data from these assessments is used for formative and summative purposes.

Scores from SAGE assessments given in the spring of 2018 are summarized as follows:

6th Grade:  Math 45% proficient 

                   ELA 50% proficient

                   Science 58% proficient

7th Grade:  Math 49% proficient

                   ELA 56% proficient

                   Science 61% proficient

8th Grade:  Math 30% proficient

                   ELA 39% proficient

                   Science 40% proficient

Scores from SAGE assessment given in the spring of 2017 are summarized as follows:

6th Grade:  Math 43% proficient 

                   ELA 50% proficient

                   Science 62% proficient

7th Grade:  Math 40% proficient

                   ELA 42% proficient

                   Science 52% proficient

8th Grade:  Math 40% proficient

                   ELA 41% proficient

                   Science 52% proficient

Demographic data

Enrollment                                      307 students


Free and Reduced Lunch               128

279/551 (51%)

Asian/Pacific Islander                         1


African-American                                2


Caucasian                                       290


Hispanic                                            14


Native American                                 0


English Language Learners (LEP)      1

4/551   1%

Students with Disabilities                   31

64/551  12%

School climate (including safe school data)

SSMS teaches students of the importance of developing the character traits of tolerance, acceptance, and kindness.  The school provides a welcome, safe, and bully-free environment.  There are few suspensions and incident reports related to student misbehavior.  SSMS strives to provide a safe, positive learning environment where every individual has the opportunity to succeed and build his/her confidence in preparation for the future.

Course-taking patterns (secondary only)

At SSMS, core subject areas are taught in the morning portion of the day where learning behaviors are typically optimal for most students.   Afternoon periods are reserved for elective classes such as band, P.E., computer science, art, theatre, etc.  For many students, looking forward to the afternoon of elective periods is something that motivates them to come to school.  Placing core subject area focus in the morning allows opportunity for intensive intervention sessions to take place in the afternoons.  These sessions help strengthen and support what is being taught in the morning class periods.

Teacher qualifications

All teachers on the SSMS faculty are considered highly qualified to teach in their respective content areas except for one teacher who is completing a master’s degree to satisfy highly qualified status for new teaching assignments.  We consistently have many teachers working to complete various endorsements to bring additional skill and knowledge to their current expertise.  The majority of teachers have earned their Master’s Degree.

  1. Schoolwide Reform Strategies





Describe the strategies and the accompanying action steps that will be used to improve student achievement.  Use the following form to guide the planning. Please duplicate the form on the following page as needed for each goal.

Reform Goals and Strategies Form

(Complete one page for each goal)


School Goals:  Goals must be directly related to the results of the comprehensive needs assessment and directly tied to the Utah State Core Curriculum.  Goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based (SMART).


Our goal outlined by current trend data is to have 50% of our students considered proficient in all areas and in all subjects by the end of the year, we also expect all students to illustrate a years growth in all areas.  This will be measured using our state assessment, RISE.  (This is a new version of assessment to replace the SAGE.)



A flex interventions program is being implemented this year to focus specifically on improvement of literacy and numeracy skills.  Using the steps of identifying big rock skills, aiming for 70%+ student mastery from best shot teaching, implementing Tier II support aiming for student mastery to increase to 85%+, and carefully analyzing assessment data will help bring success for student learning and performance on end of year testing. RISE benchmark tests and comparison of spring-to-spring summative test data will be analyzed.  Additional assessment data will also be reviewed to support efforts being made to show curriculum growth and mastery: i-Ready Math and Language diagnostic scale scores and progress on individualized lesson plans, Utah Compose scores and growth. Regular study of the data will help drive instruction.  Also, using our observation and evaluation tool, ObserverTab, critical feedback for both celebration and improvement will be given to teachers to help direct goal setting that will increase student engagement and learning.

Scientifically Based Research Support

Regular PLC (Professional Learning Community) collaborations are held where teachers are able to collaborate, view and discuss data, and receive in-service on topics that will strengthen their teaching. In-service topics will come from scientifically proven strategies supported by data showing effectiveness.  Standardized assessment data, classroom assessment data, and progress monitoring data will be used to help guide decisions and plans of intervention.

Expected Impact in Core Academic Areas

(How will success be measured on an annual basis?)

By focusing on the data to drive our instruction, we will improve student mastery in core academic areas.  There will be fewer students with failing grades.  Progress monitoring data will show student growth and mastery of skills.  Overall, success in these tested areas will be measured using RISE data. 

Professional Development to Support Strategies

PLC collaboration time is focused on addressing the 4 key questions to the process: What do we want students to know? How do we know they are getting it? What do we do if they didn’t get it? What do we do if they’ve already got it?  Time is spent weekly in some form of collaboration. (flex planning teams, leadership and content teams, and whole school PLC).  Each collaboration views data to help improve instruction along with discuss new teaching strategies to improve instruction.


This goal is re-evaluated yearly and with immediate feedback from RISE and progress monitoring final assessments helping to identify the success of the school year as a whole.

Responsible Parties

Responsible parties to accomplish this goal will include Mrs. Nielson (School Administrator), SSMS teachers, parents of our students and the students themselves.

Evaluation Process

(How will the school monitor the implementation of the strategies and action steps associated with this goal?)

The evaluation process will be handled by Mrs. Nielson and administration at the District Office. Expectations will be outlined and discussed during PLC meetings.  As data becomes available, Mrs. Nielson will be held accountable by Superintendent Douglas and the District Office.  Individual Teacher Data will be discussed during evaluations at the end of the year.


  1. Instruction by Highly Qualified Teachers


The district and schools lose funding for courses not taught by highly qualified staff.  Either list the staff on this form OR download a copy of the CACTUS Highly Qualified Teacher Report.


Grade Level or Assignment

Highly Qualified?






Bryce Twitchell

6th Grade Language Arts



Kimberly Keisel

6th Grade Social Studies



Laurie Rose

6th Grade Science



Joelle Hansen

6th Grade Math



Chris Nielson

Instructional Coach/7th grade math



Lesia Coe

7th Grade Language Arts



Kimberly Parsons

CTE/Computer Science



Cortney Christensen

7th Grade Science



Eric Baker

7th Grade Social Studies / Physical Education



Janett Borg

8th Grade Math



Sonya Ogden

8th Grade Social Studies



Sam Lindgren

8th Grade Language Arts



Angela Card

8th Grade Science



Carson Christensen

Special Ed. Math / Regular Ed. Math




(special ed)

William Chappell

Special Ed. Language Arts / Math



James Cavan



  1. Professional Development Plan

            53A-3-701((1)(a) and (2)(a)(i)


Describe the professional development plan that aligns with the S.I.P and is compatible with the district Professional Development Plan.

Professional Development

Our Professional Development Plan is to provide professional development for all teachers on a consistent basis, through PLC collaborations using data to determine areas of focus and principal observations to determine individual, grade level and department needs, we will provide training to help improve teacher’s abilities and increase teacher accountability.  Other avenues by which we will provide professional development include, two additional training days outlined by Senate Bill 103, technology training provided by CUES or district personnel, two district wide professional development, and individual trainings and workshops outside of the school provided for teachers on an as needed or requested basis.

Scientifically-Based Research Support

Most of our professional development is provided based on test results.

Expected Impact in Core Academic Areas

All professional development provided is designed to increase success in our core academic areas

Budget and Funding Sources

PLC collaborations are after school hours so as to not interfere with student learning.  Senate Bill 103 days are provided by the state as additional teacher training days.  Any individual workshop trainings that teachers attend are paid for through our general budget or in-service funds.  CUES trainings are encouraged, available and free to our teachers and also include re-license points.


Our professional development is a continuous process throughout the year.

Responsible Parties

Mrs. Nielson is responsible to find, evaluate and provide professional development opportunities for our teachers.

Evaluation Process (How Will Success Be Measured?)

Success will be determined by increased time on task, student engagement, improved curriculum coverage, positive observation and the end result being a completion of our original goal.

  1. Recruitment and Retention of Highly Qualified Teachers


What strategies are implemented to attract, recruit, and retain highly qualified teachers in high need schools?

Describe strategies policies, incentives to recruit and retain teachers.

We work closely with Sevier School District following policies and procedures for recruitment and retention of highly qualified teachers.  We provide on-going staff development and the resources necessary to attract and support highly qualified teachers.  Teacher quality requirements are part of the application and interview process. Additionally, as a means to attract future teachers, Sevier School District allows South Sevier Middle School to host student teachers. Getting these teachers into our school allows them to witness the positive atmosphere at our school and hopefully make connections that will attract them to these positions when they come available.


  1. Parent Involvement


Please answer the following and attach documentation as needed.

Describe the processes used to involve parents in the development of the S.I.P. process.  Attach copies of communications that were mailed or sent home, agenda with roll signatures, meeting notices, meeting minutes, etc.

Our school communicates with parents in a variety of ways, at the beginning of each year a student handbook is provided to parents and students to highlight important information.  We also have a website that is updated monthly so parents are aware of activities, meetings and upcoming events.  We encourage all parents to sign up for and use the ‘Remind / School Messenger’ text message service to relay important information and any possible emergencies.  Twice a year we hold parent teacher conferences for parents, students and teachers to sit down and review data and set goals pertaining to the student.  We also host a back to school night before school starts to relay important information.  Parents are also given access to student information, grades, etc. on the district parent page and through our Canvas grading system.  Our school is also on board with social media and our own Facebook page.  The SIP is located through these avenues for parents to view and become familiar with.

Describe how S.I.P. plans will be made available to parents and the public in an understandable and uniform format.

School Improvement Plans will be made available in paper form by request from parents at parent teacher conference and posted publicly via our school website.

Identify the parent involvement strategies that the school will use to involve parents.

Parents will attend our back to school night, parent teacher conferences (twice a year), and student success team meetings when necessary, targeting at risk students.  We invite our parents to visit our school and volunteer for our many organizations and committees.

  1. Transition between school programs (elementary to middle; middle to high school)



How are students and parents prepared for transitions between schools?

Description of Communication

South Sevier Middle School will invite future 6th grade students to attend a pre-orientation of our school in May, which will include a visit to the school with their 5th grade teacher, a meeting with the 6th grade team, school administration and a tour of the campus.   During the summer months, information involving the beginning of the upcoming school year will be mailed home.  We will also hold a back to school night orientation for 6th grade students and their parents and an open house for 7th and 8th grade students and their parents before the first day of school. 

Description of Collaboration Efforts

Collaboration efforts include meetings between the 5th and 6th grade teachers to discuss IEP students, behavior students and class lists.  Meetings between our school Counselor, Special Ed. Dept. and the high school counselor to discuss student records, assessment data, IEP students and behavior students to ensure future success of our students.

Description of Transition Activities

South Sevier Middle School will invite future 6th grade students to attend a pre-orientation of our school in May, which will include a visit to the school with their 5th grade teacher, a meeting with the 6th grade team, school administration and a tour of the campus.   During the summer months, information involving the beginning of the upcoming school year will be mailed home.  We will also hold a back to school night orientation for parents before the first day of school. 

  1. Decisions regarding the use of assessments


Describe how teachers are included in decisions regarding the use of assessments.

What assessments will be used to measure student progress and inform instruction?

Academic assessments used at South Sevier Middle School are the individual content areas included in the RISE assessment.  The i-Ready and the Utah Compose platforms will be used for progress monitoring.

Please describe how teachers were included in decisions regarding the use of assessments.

All teachers meet throughout the month with the principal in PLC collaborations either with grade level or department teams.  Collaboration with teachers and administration to view and make decisions regarding data and assessment, and to ensure student success takes place during these meetings.



  1. Students who experience difficulty mastering academic achievement standards


Describe the procedures in place to ensure that students who experience difficulty mastering any of the proficient or advanced levels of academic standards are provided timely and additional assistance.

How will the school identify which students experience difficulty in mastering academic standards?

Data collection and analysis from assessments will determine which students are struggling and which areas need more attention.  Observations and daily classroom assessment will also be used to determine student needs.  During our PLC collaborations we will focus on struggling students and what we can do to improve student success.

What interventions will the school provide for students experiencing difficulty in mastering academic standards?

The new flex interventions program is intended to provide students with opportunity to stretch, be given time for additional practice, or receive re-teaching.  Student assignments will be based on assessment performance data on specific skills.  Instruction will be focused on area of weakness or opportunity to extend learning to new levels.

How will the school evaluate the effectiveness of the chosen interventions and make adjustments as needed?

Math and language arts teachers will submit data to the principal to verify student mastery levels after best shot teaching and then again after tier II intervention sessions.

  1. Coordination of Budgets (Federal, State, Local funds)


Identify additional funding that will be used to achieve the goals.



Describe how the funding sources will support the S.I.P.

School Trust



These funds are used to run our intervention program for grades 6 – 8 to help improve student success in the core subjects.

*  Used to hire paraprofessionals

*  Pay for 1 period of a teacher’s salary that was not funded by state and district funds due to cuts in allocated money.

*Pay for beyond contract time being put in by LA and math teachers to plan for and prepare materials for the flex program.

* Provide up to date technology for teacher classrooms

* Provide opportunities for students to attend educational fieldtrips

* etc.