"Excellence in Every Endeavor"
This is the school motto developed by the students, staff, and parents of Mesa Middle School in a cooperative effort. Mesa Middle School, a California Distinguished School, also employs the mission statement of the Lucia Mar Unified School District: to ensure that all students acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential to become productive members of society. We see a school where the dignity and worth of each individual is recognized and each child is given the opportunity to achieve to his or her potential. Our mission and vision statements provide a common theme that unifies all segments of the Mesa Middle School community- administrators, teaching and support staff, parents, students and community members- in our quest for continuous school improvement.
Our unified beliefs provide staff with the ability to have high expectations for every student. Under-performing students are provided many support services and opportunities to achieve at the same high level as their peers so that we may close the gap between student achievement. Our vision and mission statements are communicated to parents, students and staff in many ways. On campus you can see "Excellence in Every Endeavor" demonstrated in all aspects of school life. A strong academic focus is evident throughout the school culture and classrooms. Samples of excellent student work are prominently displayed in classrooms school-wide, in the library, and office. Students are recognized frequently for academic achievements at quarterly awards assemblies for each grade level, in school newsletters, on the school web site, and at the end-of year Excellence Awards Night. We also teach character education through our Advisory Program and incorporate it throughout our school. Our character education theme reinforces our drive for excellence in every endeavor. Staff and parents evaluate our commitment to the school's mission/vision statement each spring and changes are made as needed.
Mesa Middle School gained distinction as a California Distinguished School in 1999 and as a California Demonstration School in Physical Education in 1997. Over the past five years we have focused on a continuous cycle of school improvement. We have analyzed our student data and developed instructional calendars and targets based on this data. We have strengthened our instructional practices, focused on reaching all students, especially El learners and economically disadvantaged students. Over the past five years, we have made great strides in the implementation and use of technology to enhance teaching and learning. We have regularly assessed and monitored student progress. We have implemented a comprehensive and wide ranging array of intervention strategies and support programs for struggling learners. In 2006 we scored an API of 780, a gain of 24 points! We also met our AYP goals, both school-wide and all subgroups, including English Language Learners. We made significant progress in closing the achievement gap in math, and made strong gains in language. All students "did their best" on the STAR and demonstrated their commitment to academic excellence.
Mesa currently houses 531 students in grades 7 through 8 in 28 classrooms, not including our Physical Education facilities. Our student population is comprised of: 2% African-American, 1% American Indian, 1% Asian, 44% Hispanic or Latino, 1% Pacific Islander, and 50% white. Mesa's Economically Disadvantaged students (49%) and English Language Learners (19%) comprise significant sub groups of our student population. Students with disabilities (15%), Migrant students (8%) and GATE students (10%) are other special populations. Sixty underrepresented and capable students are supported and served through the AVID Program, and many high-risk youth are served through school counseling programs and community-based programs like Lifebound Leadership, Mental Health/Drug and Alcohol Services, and Healthy Start.
Many intervention programs are offered to support our at-risk students. Support interventions emphasize a wide range of one-hour Study Lab sessions offered 1-4 days per week by credentialed teachers in all core subjects and ongoing counseling groups and services. Interventions also include: before school, break, lunchtime, and after school tutoring in all subject areas: a drop-in after school Homework Club, special education collaborative classes, and class size reduction teachers to support math and language instruction.
We welcome and encourage parent involvement at Mesa Middle School. Parents serve on parent advisory committees, volunteer in classrooms and as special tutors or instructors, join us for special presentations or recognition events, judge events or student work, chaperone activities and coordinate special events. We currently have parents on our School Site Council, our English Learner Advisory Council (ELAC), one staff member serving on the District Advisory Council, and in our Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA). For parents looking for connection to community resources, we have a Family Advocate on campus every week.
Communication between Mesa and our community is facilitated through a school/community liaison staff member (Family Advocate), an annual parent survey, school participation in the Nipomo Chamber of Commerce, student and staff participation in community events such as the Nipomo Oktoberfest, student performances at community events such as the Elks parade, student participation in community contests, parent education courses, our committed PTSA parents, and parent involvement in school committees. A strong partnership with our parents is vital to our students' success. Mesa seeks out local community organizations that will support and enrich our curriculum. The San Luis Obispo County Office of Education provides valuable professional development opportunities for both certificated and classified staff. We collaborate with SLOCOE and AVID Region 8 on our AVID Program. We offer AVID at both the 7th and 8th grade level. Cal Poly, SLO partners with us through its ETS: Educational Talent Search program. ETS reaches out to underrepresented students to expose them to college opportunities and possibilities. ConocoPhillips, an oil refinery on the Nipomo Mesa is a huge corporate sponsor for us. They have supported our student planners, provided new benches and tables, and donated fitness equipment for our student/ staff fitness center. Mesa's school community continues to unify through our common vision- "Excellence in Every Endeavor." We make every effort to reach all learners and help all students achieve. We believe that we must do our utmost to continuously improve our programs in order to ensure that all students achieve and experience positive middle school years.