First Place, Middle Division, Middle Schools
Johnny Chandler, Principal
401 East College Street
Dickson, TN 37055
Dickson County Schools
Recipe For Success:
Dickson Middle School has adopted the beliefs of some rather successful individuals in providing the best education we can to our entire student body.
Coach Pat Head Summitt, coach of the Lady Vols, says, “Never Ever let anyone out work you.” We as a staff believe that is something we can always control. We have a lot of good teachers that work hard and lots of outstanding teacher’s who inspire their students and other teachers to work hard.
We emphasize being positive. Coach Lovie Smith, Head coach of the Chicago Bears, was not allowed to use the word “can’t” when he was growing up. Our staff and student body have an “I can” attitude. We will not accept “can’t” or “won’t” from students or staff. We don’t accept failure, that is not an option.
Coach John Wooden, Coach of the UCLA basketball team during its basketball dynasty, believed that “failing to plan was planning to fail”. Everything we do at Dickson Middle School is in preparation to perform well on our state test and prepare our students for the years ahead.
Here are some of the things we feel have helped us be successful:
- We address the student performance indicators (SPI’s).
- We provide good staff development and in-service programs for our teachers.
- We analyze data constantly, and all our decisions are data driven.
- Our school board has allowed us to have reading for every child in our school every day.
- We set high academic standards.
- We feel we have a good assessment program. Our system uses “ThinkLink” and our teachers have designed their own nine-week assessment tool that covers all the SPI’s on TCAP.
- We require our teachers to include a “word of the day” in each of their classes. Our students have seven classes each day. We feel this has really helped improve our vocabulary.
- We offer free tutoring before and after school and TCAP skills are addressed.
- Our school day has a 45-minute block of time we call “flexible time”. This time is designed for remediation and enrichment. Students get extra help when needed during this time or students, not needing remediation will have enrichment activities. This block of time is available for assemblies, pep rallies, etc. Academic classes are never missed. Six weeks before TCAP this time becomes TCAP review time.
- We integrate the state performance indicators into our exploratory classes.
- We offer lots of incentives for academic performance. Field days, Field trips, tailgate parties, movies, savings bonds, talent shows are some of the things we use as incentives for performing well during the school year.
- We write across the curriculum in all three grades (6 th, 7 th and 8 th) in preparation for our 8 th grade writing assessment. Each month our students write an essay on one of the pillars of our Character Counts program (6). We also require that all of our students submit an essay in the VFW Patriot Pen contest.
The main reason we have been successful is our teachers and our assistant principals. They work extremely hard every day. They are well trained and care about the job they do. They connect with our students personally, emotionally, and academically.